Writing after Sidney: The Literary Response to Sir Philip Sidney 1586-1640

Paperback | October 14, 2010

byGavin Alexander

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Writing After Sidney examines the literary response to Sir Philip Sidney (1554-86), author of the Arcadia, Astrophil and Stella, and The Defence of Poesy, and the most immediately influential writer of the Elizabethan period. It does so by looking closely both at Sidney and at four writers whohad an important stake in his afterlife: his sister Mary Sidney, his brother Robert Sidney, his best friend Fulke Greville, and his niece Mary Wroth. At the same time as these authors wrote their own works in response to Sidney they presented his life and writings to the world, and were shaped byother writers as his literary and political heirs. Readings of these five central authors are embedded in a more general study of the literary and cultural scene in the years after Sidney's death, examining the work of such writers as Spenser, Jonson, Daniel, Drayton, and Herbert. The study uses awide range of manuscript and printed sources, and key use is made of perspectives from Renaissance literary theory, especially Renaissance rhetoric. The book aims to come to a better understanding of the nature of Sidney's impact on the literature of the fifty or so years after his death in 1586; italso aims to improve our understanding both of Sidney and of the other writers discussed by developing a more nuanced approach to the questions of imitation and example so central to Renaissance literature. It thereby adds to the general store of our understanding of how writing of the EnglishRenaissance offered examples to later readers and writers, and of how it encountered and responded to such examples itself.

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Writing After Sidney examines the literary response to Sir Philip Sidney (1554-86), author of the Arcadia, Astrophil and Stella, and The Defence of Poesy, and the most immediately influential writer of the Elizabethan period. It does so by looking closely both at Sidney and at four writers whohad an important stake in his afterlife: hi...

Gavin Alexander is a University Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of English, a Fellow of Christ's College, where he teaches English, and the Fellow Librarian of the College Library. He works on literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Other research interests include poetry and music, rhetoric, the history of versification...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:424 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.68 inPublished:October 14, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199591121

ISBN - 13:9780199591121

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Philip Sidney: Dialogue and Incompletion2. Elegies and Legacies3. Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke: The Last Word4. Families and Friends5. Robert Sidney: Finding and Making6. Lyric After Sidney7. Fulke Greville: Life After Sidney8. Versions of Arcadia9. Mary Wroth: The Constant ArtPostscriptBibliography

Editorial Reviews

"[A] searching and detailed study... Gavin Alexander has succeeded admirably in shedding new light on how and why Sidney figured so large in the literary consciousness of his generation." --The Cambridge Quarterly, Volume 36, Number 4 2007