Catalogue

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Philip's phoenix : Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke /
Margaret P. Hannay.
imprint
New York, N.Y. : Oxford University Press, 1989.
description
xiii, 317 p.
ISBN
0195057791
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York, N.Y. : Oxford University Press, 1989.
isbn
0195057791
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
573069
 
Bibliography: p. 279-297.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1990-09:
A scholarly biography of Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke (1561-1621), Philip's Phoenix draws extensively on court records, dedications, correspondence, and family papers. The result is comprehensive but somewhat labored. Hannay shows how the Dudley-Sidney Protestant alliance began in the reigns of Edward VI and Mary Tudor and how it was maintained and strengthened by arranged marriages and family networking during Elizabeth's reign. Though Mary Sidney could not fight beside her brother at Zutphen, she disseminated Protestant ideology through her religous translations and literary patronage. She also fashioned her brother's death into a Protestant martyrdom. Hannay struggles to reveal Mary Sidney as a powerful and learned woman in her own right, but the Countess consistently appears in relation to the men around her: her father Robert, her uncle Leicester, her brother Philip, her husband William Herbert, and her son William. When her husband died, the Countess lost money, prestige, and position; in retirement to Spa, however, she at last gained her individuality. An intriguing study that shows the difficulties involved in trying to liberate Renaissance women from the patriarchy that confined them. Appropriate for graduate students, upper-division undergraduates, and general readers. -V. M. Vaughan, Clark University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A biography that is at once more candid, clearer, and more comprehensive than any we have had before."--Sixteenth Century Journal
"A biography that is at once more candid, clearer, and more comprehensivethan any we have had before."--Sixteenth Century Journal
"An intriguing study."--Choice
"An invaluable resource for some years to come."--Literary History
"Hannay's book is very rewarding to read...thorough and meticulous primary research."--Renaissance Quarterly
"Hannay's book is very rewarding to read...thorough and meticulous primaryresearch."--Renaissance Quarterly
"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 impressive book is a no-nonsense literary biography of one ofthe most important women on the literary scene of the time."--Recent Studies inEnglish Renaissance
"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
"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
"Margaret Hannay makes a substantial contribution to our knowledge of the life of one of the most significant literary figures of the Elizabethan and early Stuart reigns....Hannay's study strikes a balance between recording intimate minutiae of daily life and charting the progression ofevents. Much of her reconstruction of history exudes the warmth and also the wrath of feminist criticism. Some will hold that this style of presentation lacks intellectual rigor, is uncritical, economical with the truth, and old fashioned. In Hannay's version it is highly readable, clear, and packedwith meaningful documentation carefully presented by a discerning scholar."--Sidney Newsletter
"Margaret Hannay makes a substantial contribution to our knowledge of thelife of one of the most significant literary figures of the Elizabethan andearly Stuart reigns....Hannay's study strikes a balance between recordingintimate minutiae of daily life and charting the progression of events. Much ofher reconstruction of history exudes the warmth and also the wrath of feministcriticism. Some will hold that this style of presentation lacks intellectualrigor, is uncritical, economical with the truth, and old fashioned. In Hannay'sversion it is highly readable, clear, and packed with meaningful documentationcarefully presented by a discerning scholar."--Sidney Newsletter
"The biography provides detailed coverage...An especially valuable contribution is Hannay's presentation of new letters by the countess of Pembroke in her original wording."--Albion
"The biography provides detailed coverage...An especially valuablecontribution is Hannay's presentation of new letters by the countess of Pembrokein her original wording."--Albion
"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 andQueries
"This important biography of a leading early modern woman writer will bean extremely useful resource: it is packed with detail, and includes fivepreviously unknown and unpublished letters by the Countess of Pembroke....[I]tis a highly impressive work of scholarship."--Notes and Queries
"Timely indeed, Impressively sourced to scores of primary documents, each consulted first-hand...Philip's Phoenix embodies years of careful scholarship."--Albion
"Timely indeed, Impressively sourced to scores of primary documents, eachconsulted first-hand...Philip's Phoenix embodies years of carefulscholarship."--Albion
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 1990
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
Although previous studies have portrayed Mary Sidney as a demure, retiring woman, Hannay, basing her work on primary sources (account books, legal documents, diaries, family letters), has discovered that she was brilliant, learned, witty, articulate, and adept at self-presentation. Married to the wealthy Earl of Pembroke, she ruled over her little court at Wilton just as Elizabeth ruled in London. Her wisdom, poetry, and scholarship were extravagantly praised by those who soughtto gain her favour. When Philip, her older brother, died fighting for the Protestant cause, she moved to London to take up his literary activities, publishing his writings, writing and translating works of which he would have approved, assuming his role as literary patron and supporting theProtestant cause for which he died. All the literary work for which she is celebrated took place between her return to London in 1588 and her husband's death in 1601. While previous biographers contended that her widowhood was quiet and uneventful, Hannay shows, via court cases, that her final years were colourful indeed, as, administering the properties she retained, she contended with jewel thieves, pirates, and murderers, finally bringing them to trial after complex legal and politicalmanoeuvres.
Long Description
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.
Main Description
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 thatSidney 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 herbrother'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 finalyears the countess turned from literary to administrative responsibilities, contending with jewel thieves, pirates, and murderers.
Table of Contents
Genealogical Chartsp. xvi
Prologue: The Bear and the Porcupinep. 3
"Daughter of Very Good Hope"p. 15
"As You Begine"p. 33
"Sister vnto Astrofell"p. 59
"This Moses and this Miriam"p. 84
"Patronesse of the Muses"p. 106
"Most Vertuous Actions"p. 143
"A Most Heroical Spirit"p. 173
Epilogue: The Lionsp. 208
Notesp. 215
Bibliographyp. 279
Indexp. 299
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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