Proportional Form in the Sonnets of the Sidney Circle: Loving in Truth

Hardcover | March 1, 1998

byTom W. N. Parker

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The structure of Philip Sidney's Astrophil and Stella is governed by a distinctive and complex set of proportions, found also in the sonnet sequences of Fulke Greville and Robert Sidney written under its influence. For all these works to be ordered around the same set of proportions indicatesa remarkable degree of careful planning and precise execution, and in turn affects their meaning. The tremendous effort of constructing the sequences according to intricate mathematical patterns suggests that the patterns themselves held a particular significance, one that requires investigation forthe light it throws on these authors' intentions in composition. In this study Tom Parker reveals cosmological ideas implicit in the form of Astrophil and Stella, ideas which not only undermine much of the romantic and biographically-based criticism of the sequence, but call into question how we should read the sonnet sequences that were influenced bySidney, both within and beyond his immediate circle. As well as those of Greville and Robert Sidney, the book looks in detail at the sonnet sequences of Giordano Bruno, Mary Wroth, Henry Constable, Barnabe Barnes, and Michael Drayton, to determine the extent to which the sonnet vogue of the 1590sincorporated Sidney's broader cosmological concerns.

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The structure of Philip Sidney's Astrophil and Stella is governed by a distinctive and complex set of proportions, found also in the sonnet sequences of Fulke Greville and Robert Sidney written under its influence. For all these works to be ordered around the same set of proportions indicatesa remarkable degree of careful planning and...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:268 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.83 inPublished:March 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198184433

ISBN - 13:9780198184430

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Philip Sidney and Proportional Form - Astrophil and Stella, Certaine Sonets, and Bruno's De gli eroici furori2. Fulke Greville and Proportional Form - Caelica in Manuscript and Print3. Proportional Form in the Poetry of Robert Sidney and Mary Wroth4. Henry Constable and Proportional Form - Diana and Spirituall Sonettes5. Barnabe Barnes and Proportional Form - Parthenophil and Parthenophe and Divine Centurie of Spirituall Sonnets6. Michael Drayton and Proportional Form - Idea and Other PoemsConclusionIllustrations of Proportional FormBibliographyIndex