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Communication Dans Un Congrès Année : 2024

Remembering the ‘Right Poet’ : Memory and Oblivion of Astrophil and Stella (1594-1633)?

Pádraic Lamb


The death of Philip Sidney in 1586 was quickly followed by the publication of four volumes of elegies from the universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Leiden; this initial outpouring was followed by a considerable body of verse (as well as dramatic adaptations) engaging with the Sidneian legacy. Scholars have traced the different stages of Sidney’s important literary legacies in the Jacobean period and through the period of the English Civil War. His Astrophil and Stella is widely credited with inspiring the sonnet-craze of the 1590s; many sonneteers, like Michael Drayton, were open about their attempts to perpetuate the “writ” of “Divine Sir Philip” in both style and its thematic and metapoetic concerns. Opposed to this imitation, however, is a significant tendency in the earlier period of reception of Sidney which lays emphasis on Sidney’s edifying epic and religious poetry and translations. Writers such as Thomas Moffet and Fulke Greville, early biographers of Sidney, wish to consign Astrophil and Stella to oblivion, as incompatible with their project of memorialization of a pious Protestant poet. In this paper, after reviewing what may be called the strategy of oblivion adopted by Moffet and Greville, I wish to look at the alternative strategies of Mary Sidney Herbert and George Herbert. These two poets doubtless share the fundamental generic objection to Astrophil and Stella. They choose, however, to engage in appropriation and sacred parody of Astrophil and Stella in order to constitute their own literary memorials to Philip Sidney.


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hal-04396194 , version 1 (15-01-2024)


  • HAL Id : hal-04396194 , version 1


Pádraic Lamb. Remembering the ‘Right Poet’ : Memory and Oblivion of Astrophil and Stella (1594-1633)?. Mémoire et oubli dans le monde anglo-américain des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles, Jan 2024, PARIS, France. ⟨hal-04396194⟩
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