Sir Philip Sidney

By Philip Sidney; Katherine Duncan-Jones | Go to book overview

THE OXFORD AUTHORS

General Editor: Frank Kermode

PHILIP SIDNEY was born on 30 November 1554. He was educated at Shrewsbury School and Christ Church, Oxford; he may have spent some time also at Cambridge. In 1572 he set out for three years of foreign travel. He was in Paris at the time of the St Bartholomew's Day Massacre of Protestants; he also stayed in Frankfurt, Vienna, Padua, and Venice (where Veronese painted his portrait, now lost), and made a brief excursion into Hungary. In 1577 he went to the Continent again, as an ambassador to the Imperial Court at Prague. Soon after his return he may have begun to write the Old Arcadia, which he finished in 1580. The Defence of Poesy probably belongs to 1581, and the sonnet sequence Astrophil and Stella to 1585-3. Soon after this he began to recast his Arcadia on epic lines, a revision which he never completed. In 1583 he married Frances Walsingham, whose father was Secretary of State to the Queen. Though he was appointed royal cup-bearer in 1576, and in 1583 was knighted, he held no major office until in 1585 he was appointed Governor of the Dutch port of Flushing. In September 1586 he was shot in the thigh during a battle against the Spanish near Zutphen and died of infection just over three weeks later.

KATHERINE DUNCAN-JONES was educated at King Edward VI High School for Girls, Birmingham, and St Hilda's College, Oxford, where she obtained the Charles Oldham Shakespeare Prize and the Matthew Arnold Memorial Prize. After a year of teaching in Cambridge she was elected to a fellowship at Somerville College, Oxford. In 1972 she edited (with J. van Dorsten) Miscellaneous Prose of Sir Philip Sidney for the Clarendon Press; her paperback Selected Poems of Sir Philip Sidney (also Clarendon Press) was published in 1973. She delivered the 1980 Chatterton Lecture to the British Academy on Sidney's poetry. Her biography Sir Philip Sidney: Courtier Poet was published in 1991.

-i-

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Sir Philip Sidney
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Oxford Authors i
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Acknowledgements xix
  • Chronology xxi
  • Note on Text xxv
  • A Dialogue Between Two Shepherds, Uttered in a Pastoral Show at Wilton 1
  • The Lady of May 5
  • Certain Sonnets 14
  • The Old Arcadia 42
  • Lamon's Tale 139
  • Asthrophil and Stella 153
  • The Defence of Poesy 212
  • The New Arcadia the Pitiful Story of the Paphlagonian Unkind King 253
  • Psalms Psalm Vi: Domine Ne in Furore *
  • Letters 279
  • Appendices 299
  • Notes 330
  • Further Reading 409
  • Selective Glossary 411
  • Index of First Lines 412
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