The Countess of Pembroke
Triumph of Death
[separate set of pages]
Many other relevant electronic texts are available from Renascence Editions.
Additional electronic texts are available from the following subscription-only sites; users in higher education institutions may find that their institution already subscribes:
Literature Online / US
The original printed editions are all available via Early English Books Online, providing your institution subscribes:
A substantial bibliography of Sidney criticism, with abstracts, is available at Sir Philip Sidney, On Line.
These pages aim to provide a hub for the online study of
writers in the Sidney family. At few times in English literary history have so
many members of one family achieved so much. Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586) is
now rightly celebrated, as he was for much of the seventeenth century, as one of
the key figures in the Elizabethan revival of English letters, both as patron
and as one of the most talented and original practitioners of that golden age.
His sister Mary, Countess of Pembroke (1561-1621) was a major poet and patron in
her own right. Although it is only recently that she has benefited from
substantial critical attention, her status and importance were unquestioned in
her own day. Their younger brother Sir Robert Sidney has only recently emerged
as a gifted minor poet – his poems were identified in
his own autograph manuscript copy in 1973. The writings of his daughter Lady
Mary Wroth include a massive and intricate prose romance and a brilliant sonnet
The Sidneys were active at the English court, travelled in Europe, and shared a politically alert international outlook. They were interested in new developments at home and on the Continent in literature, the visual arts, and music. All of these interests are woven through their writings. The historical, philosophical, and literary works they read accorded always with the most forward-looking tastes, and in many cases they helped to shape the reading habits of those around them. As patrons they encouraged all the major composers, artists, and writers of their day, by example and often by personal friendship. Each one of these remarkable writers deserves separate consideration. Their writings and careers have, of course, many points of contact which make comparative study equally rewarding.
These pages are under construction and will continue to develop. We will provide a biography and bibliography for each writer, electronic texts or links to texts, and a roundup of links to other sites of interest. As time passes, visual and acoustic interest will be added.
These pages are maintained by Gavin Alexander and were last updated on Tuesday, 28 May 2002