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Philip's Phoenix: Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke
     

Philip's Phoenix: Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke

by Margaret P. Hannay
 

In contrast to previous studies that have portrayed Mary Sidney as a demure, retiring woman, this biography shows that she was actually an outspoken and dynamic figure. Basing her work on primary sources including account books, legal documents, diaries, and family letters, Hannay shows that Sidney was a vibrant, eloquent, self-assertive woman who was deeply

Overview

In contrast to previous studies that have portrayed Mary Sidney as a demure, retiring woman, this biography shows that she was actually an outspoken and dynamic figure. Basing her work on primary sources including account books, legal documents, diaries, and family letters, Hannay shows that Sidney was a vibrant, eloquent, self-assertive woman who was deeply involved in Protestant politics. Although she did confine her writings to appropriately feminine genres, she called herself "Sister of Philip Sidney" to establish a literary and political identity. As a Phoenix rising from her brother's ashes, she transcended gender restrictions by publishing her brother's writings, by writing and translating works which he would have approved, by assuming his role as literary patron, and by supporting the cause for which he died. Hannay also reveals—via court cases—that in her final years the countess turned from literary to administrative responsibilities, contending with jewel thieves, pirates, and murderers.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Hannay's impressive book is a no-nonsense literary biography of one of the most important women on the literary scene of the time."—Recent Studies in English Renaissance

"Hannay's book is very rewarding to read...thorough and meticulous primary research."—Renaissance Quarterly

"An invaluable resource for some years to come."—Literary History

"This important biography of a leading early modern woman writer will be an extremely useful resource: it is packed with detail, and includes five previously unknown and unpublished letters by the Countess of Pembroke....[I]t is a highly impressive work of scholarship."—Notes and Queries

"A biography that is at once more candid, clearer, and more comprehensive than any we have had before."—Sixteenth Century Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195057799
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
01/28/1990
Pages:
346
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.56(h) x 1.23(d)

Meet the Author

Siena College

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