The Countess of Pembrokes Arcadia (The Old Arcadia)

Paperback | November 7, 2008

byPhilip SidneyIntroduction byKatherine Duncan-Jones

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Philip Sidney was in his early twenties when he wrote his `Old' Arcadia for the amusement of his younger sister, the Countess of Pembroke. The book, which he called 'a trifle, and that triflingly handled', reflects their youthful vitality. The `Old' Arcadia tells a romantic story in a manner comparable to that of Shakespeare's early comedies. It is divided into five `Acts', and abounds in lively speeches, dialogues, and quasi-dramatic tableaux. Two young princes, Pyrocles and Musidorus, disguise themselves as an Amazon and ashepherd to gain access to the Arcadian Princesses, who have been taken into semi-imprisonment by their father to avoid the dangers foretold by an oracle. As a vehicle for Sidney's prophetic ideas about English versification, the `Old' Arcadia also includes over seventy poems in a wide variety of metres and genres. In clarity, symmetry, and coherence the `Old' version is greatly superior both to the ambitious but unfinished `New' Arcadia and theamalgamated, `composite' version, a hybrid monster which Sidney himself never envisaged.

From the Publisher

Philip Sidney was in his early twenties when he wrote his `Old' Arcadia for the amusement of his younger sister, the Countess of Pembroke. The book, which he called 'a trifle, and that triflingly handled', reflects their youthful vitality. The `Old' Arcadia tells a romantic story in a manner comparable to that of Shakespeare's early ...

Katherine Duncan-Jones is a Fellow in English at Somerville College, Oxford. She is the author of Sidney: Courtier Poet (1991); and the editor of Oxford Authors Sidney (1989) and Oxford Poetry Library Sidney (1994).

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.81 inPublished:November 7, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199549842

ISBN - 13:9780199549849

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"Essential reading for the renaissance."--Susanne Collier, California State University, Northridge
"Splendid and affordable, with scholarly glossary and explanatory notes."--Susanne Collier, California State University, Northridge
"The best paperback edition I've seen."--Dr. Robert Albano, Troy State University, Dothanr