sir philip sidney (1554 – 1586)

Sir Philip Sidney, a poet, a critic, a soldier, and a statesmen, was born in Kent in 1554. and educated at Oxford. At the early age of 22 he was sent as ambassador to the emperor of Germany; in his “Grand Tour”, he also visited Italy where he met Tintoretto and Veronese. . On his return from the “Gran Tour” he began to take an interest in overseas voyage, becoming adventurer in Martin Frobisher’s espeditions. In 1585 he was in the Low Countries as governor and supported Raleigh and Drake expedition to the New World which, despite his endeavours, he was never able to visit. During a battle near Zutphen on the Dutch side against the Spaniards, he received a wound that caused his death (1586).
He embodied the ideals of the perfect Renaissance gentleman modelled on Castione’s Cortegiano.
His works include:
– Astrophel and Stella, more than one hundred beautiful songs and sonnets mainly written on imitation of Petrarcha, addressed to a lady he called Stella,;
– Arcadia, a pastoral romance in poetic prose, after the fashion of the Spanish romances and imitated from Sannazzaro’s work bearing the same title;
– Apologia fpr Poetrue, or Defense of Poesy, in which he defended “the nobler uses of poetry”, the art superior to history and philosophy.

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