Controversy raged through England during the 1570-80s as Puritans denounced all manner of games & pastimes as a danger to public morals. Writers quickly turrned their attention to their own art and the first & most influential response came with Philip Sidney's Defense. Here he set out to answer contemporary critics &, with reference to Classical models of criticism, formulated a manifesto for English literature. Also includes George Puttenham's Art of English Poesy, Samuel Daniel's Defence of Rhyme, & passages by writers such as Ben Jonson, Francis Bacon & George Gascoigne.
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 who had 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 by other 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 a wide 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; it also 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 English Renaissance offered examples to later readers and writers, and of how it encountered and responded to such examples itself.
The Renaissance saw a renewed and energetic engagement with classical rhetoric; recent years have seen a similar revival of interest in Renaissance rhetoric. As Renaissance critics recognised, figurative language is the key area of intersection between rhetoric and literature. This book is the first modern account of Renaissance rhetoric to focus solely on the figures of speech. It reflects a belief that the figures exemplify the larger concerns of rhetoric, and connect, directly or by analogy, to broader cultural and philosophical concerns within early modern society. Thirteen authoritative contributors have selected a rhetorical figure with a special currency in Renaissance writing and have used it as a key to one of the period's characteristic modes of perception, forms of argument, states of feeling or styles of reading.