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ENGLISH MEN OF LETTERS.
EDITED BY JOHn Morley.
PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK.
Any of the above works will be sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price.
THE chief documents upon which a life of Sir Philip Sidney must be grounded are, at present, his own works in prose and verse, Collins' Sidney Papers (2 vols., 1745), Sir Henry Sidney's Letter to Sir Francis Walsingham (Ulster Journal of Archæology, Nos. 9-31), Languet's Latin Letters (Edinburgh, 1776), Pears' Correspondence of Languet and Philip Sidney (London, 1845), Fulke Greville's so-called Life of Sidney (1652), the anonymous "Life and Death of Sir Philip Sidney," prefixed to old editions of the Arcadia, and a considerable mass of memorial writings in prose and verse illustrative of his career. In addition to these sources, which may be called original, we possess a series of modern biographies, each of which deserves mention. These, in their chronological order, are: Dr. Zouch's (1809), Mr. William Gray's (1829), an anonymous Life and Times of Sir Philip Sidney (Boston, 1859), Mr. Fox Bourne's (1862), and Mr. Julius Lloyd's (later in 1862). With the American Life I am not acquainted; but the two last require to be particularly noticed. Mr. Fox Bourne's Memoir of Sir Philip Sidney combines a careful study of its main subject with an able review of the times. The author's industrious researches in State Papers and other MS. collections brought many new facts to light. This book is one upon which all later
handlings of the subject will be based, and his deep indebtedness to which every subsequent biographer of Sidney must recognise. Mr. Lloyd's Life of Sir Philip Sidney appearing in the same year as Mr. Fox Bourne's, is slighter in substance. It has its own value as a critical and conscientious study of Sidney under several aspects; and in one or two particulars it supplements or corrects the more considerable work of Mr. Bourne. For Sidney's writings Professor Arber's reprint of the Defence of Poesy, and Dr. Grosart's edition of the poems in two volumes (The Fuller Worthies' Library, 1873), will be found indispensable.
In composing this sketch I have freely availed myself of all that has been published about Sidney. It has been my object to present the ascertained facts of his brief life, and my own opinions regarding his character and literary works, in as succinct a form as I found possible.
BADENWEILER, May 11, 1886.