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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume III. Renascence and Reformation.

XVI. Elizabethan Prose Fiction

§ 8. Sir Philip Sidney

Of all the workers in the field of romance, Sir Philip Sidney stands out as best qualified by nature and circumstance to deal with the theme. Amid the shades of Penshurst, the golden past had entered his soul, and its gentle influence was shed over his remaining days. He travelled abroad and made friends with Languet; at home, his sympathies were divided between art and action. He began life as a courtier in 1575, but his idealistic temperament proved to be but ill-adapted for an atmosphere of intrigue. Bickerings with the earl of Oxford and a rebuff from Elizabeth drove him, in 1579, into rustic retreat at Wilton, whence he emerged to take up diplomatic work abroad, and to fall before Zutphen in 1586.