Puttenham (generally accepted as the author of The Arte of English Poesie) had access to at least some of Sidney’s work in manuscript; he quotes or alludes to CS 27 and OA 61, 45, and 62 to illustrate the figures of ‘Prosonomasia, or the Nicknamer’, ‘Epithonema, or the Surclose’, ‘Epimone, or the Loveburden’, and ‘Icon, or Resemblance by imagerie’ (pp. 169, 181, 188-9, 204). Examples are also, however, drawn from many other poems of the period. As in the lists below, Sidney is only one among other notable Elizabethan poets, all with their own special skills. Such a position became almost unthinkable once the literary element in the ‘Sidney myth’ had begun to solidify in the early 1590s. (Meres, No. 25 mentions Sidney with others, but, significantly, usually places him at the beginning of a list).
And in her Majesties time that now is are sprong up an other crew of Courtly makers Noble men and Gentlemen of her Majesties owne servauntes, who have written excellently well as it would appeare if their doings could be found out and made publicke with the rest, of which number is first that noble Gentleman Edward Earle of Oxford. Thomas Lord of Bukhurst, when he was young, Henry Lord Paget, Sir Philip Sydney, Sir Walter Rawleigh, Master Edward Dyar, Maister Fulke Grevell, Gascon, Britton, Turberville and a great many other learned Gentlemen, whose names I do not omit for envie, but to avoyde tediousnesse, and who have deserved no little commendation….
I repute them [Surrey and Wyatt]…for the two chief lanternes of light to all others that have since employed their pennes upon English Poesie, their conceits were loftie, their stiles stately, their conveyance cleanely, their termes proper, their meetre sweete and well proportioned, in all imitating very naturally and studiously