Sir Philip Sidney - Life Stories, Books, and Links
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Stories about Sir Philip Sidney

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Picture of Sir Philip Sidney, author of the
Sir Philip Sidney
(1554 - 1586)

Category:  English Literature
Born:  September 27, 1554
Penshurst, Kent, England
Died:  March 25, 1586
Ludlow, Shropshire
Related authors:
Christopher Marlowe, Sir Walter Ralegh, William Shakespeare
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Sir Philip Sidney - LIFE STORIES
10/17/1586     Sidney the Shepherd-Knight
On this day in 1586 the courtier-poet Sir Philip Sidney died from his battle wounds. It is impossible to tell how much of the monument which Sidney's contemporaries constructed to him is based in reality, but the Queen is said to have described him as "the most accomplished gentleman in Europe," and the commoners at his funeral shouted, "Farewell, the worthiest knight that lived," and as C. S. Lewis put it, "Even at this distance, Sidney is dazzling."
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An Apology For Poetry (Or The Defence Of Poesy): Revised and Expanded Second Edition
by R.W. Maslen (Editor), Sir Philip Sidney
guide, poetry, analysis
Sir Philip Sidney: The Major Works (Oxford World's Classics)
by Sir Philip Sidney, Katherine Duncan-Jones (Editor)
anthology, poetry, prose, letters
The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia
by Sir Philip Sidney, Maurice Evans (Editor)
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Allegory and Epic in English Renaissance Literature: Heroic Form in Sidney, Spenser, Milton
by Kenneth Borris
literary analysis
Elegies for Sir Philip Sidney
by A. J. Colaianne (Introduction), W. L. Godshalk (Introduction)
literary history
Elizabethan Literature and the Law of Fraudulent Conveyance: Sidney, Spenser, and Shakespeare
by Charles Ross
literary analysis
Favorite Sons: The Politics and Poetics of the Sidney Family
by Elizabeth Mazzola
Philip Sidney: A Double Life
by Alan Stewart
Sidney to Milton, 1580-1660
by Marion Wynne-Davis
literary analysis
Sidney's Poetic Justice: The Old Arcadia, Its Eclogues, and Renaissance Pastoral Traditions
by Robert Stillman
literary criticism
Sir Philip Sidney and Arcadia
by Joan Rees
literary criticism
Sir Philip Sidney: A Study in Conflict
by Henry C. Warren
Squitter-Wits and Muse-Haters: Spenser, Sidney, Milton, and Renaissance Antipoetic Sentiment
by Peter C. Herman
literary history, analysis
The Shape of Things Known; Sidney's Apology in its Philosophical Tradition
by Forrest G. Robinson
analysis and criticism
The Sound of Virtue: Philip Sidney's Arcadia and Elizabethan Politics
by Blair Worden
criticism and analysis
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Sir Philip Sidney
Find a biography which examines Sidney's life and enduring legacy as one of the most important writers of the golden age of English literature.

"Sidney's works circulated only in manuscript during his lifetime. It was not uncommon for writers who planned a career of public service to keep their literary efforts somewhat hidden in this way. But after Sidney's death a pressure to print his works built up and was recognised by his closest friend, the poet Fulke Greville, who was responsible for the first printing of the Arcadia in 1590. Sidney's sister then took control of his works and, in part chivvied by printers who issued pirate editions, she produced a series of authorised texts culminating in a 1598 volume of the Arcadia which contained in addition Astrophil and Stella, the Defence of Poesy, and other occasional pieces including an important collection of musical verse, the 'Certain Sonnets'. With Sidney's collected works finally in print his myth was complete, and his influence on the younger generation of writers sudden and immense." Bartlett's Familiar Quotations
Offers a small selection of quotes from the works of Sir Philip Sidney.
Essay -- "Sir Philip Sidney: Astrophil and Stella"
An essay presented by the University of London examines "structure, theme and convention in Sir Philip Sidney's sonnet sequence, Astrophil and Stella."

"Like other sonnet sequences Astrophil and Stella concentrates primarily on attitudes and states of mind, whereby all the poems centre on a single all-absorbing experience, in this case Astrophil's obsessive and rejected love. The autobiographical element is evident and the sonnets voice Sidney's desires, regrets, and conflicts of conscience, which resulted from the social pressures and moral restraints of his time. Even though the reverberating theme of the poem is one of moral bleakness it was nevertheless greatly admired and appreciated by the righteous and virtuous Elizabethans because of the conventions it adhered to, such as the didactical element, and the complementing structural features."
Find an anotated biography, bibliography, and links to essays and electronic texts, including:

  • The Defense of Poesie (1595)

  • Arcadia

  • Astrophel and Stella
  • Sir Philip Sidney, On Line (Saint Louis University)
    "Sir Philip Sidney, On Line is a comprehensive listing of printed material by and about the Elizabethan courtier and writer from his lifetime to the present. It includes not only editions of his works and critical and scholarly commentary on them, but also biographical and bibliographical studies and literary works written about him, such as funeral elegies and fictional representations of his life. Our initial aims in compiling the bibliography were twofold: to call attention to a large body of secondary material not listed before the project began in 1980, and to provide readers with thorough annotations so that more of their time might be given to Sidney and less to research. More recently, a third aim has been added: to keep the database current and make it conveniently accessible on the World Wide Web."
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    March 18, 2018
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