Sidney's The Defence of Poesy' and Selected Renaissance

Sidney's The Defence of Poesy' and Selected Renaissance Literary Criticism Penguin Classics Out of the intellectual ferment of the English Renaissance came a number of outstanding critical works that sought to define and defend the role of literature in society and to comment on the craft of writing Foremost among these is Sir Philip Sidney's The Defence of Poesy an elouent argument for fiction as a means of inspiring its readers to virtuous action George Puttenhams The Art of English Poesy is an entertaining examination of poetry verse form and rhetoric while Samuel Daniels A Defence of Rhyme considers the practice of versification and praises the English literary tradition Along with pieces by such writers as Sir John Harrington Francis Bacon and Ben Jonson these works reveal the emergence of key critical ideas and approaches and celebrate the possibilities of the English language

9 thoughts on “Sidney's The Defence of Poesy' and Selected Renaissance Literary Criticism Penguin Classics

  1. Roman Clodia Roman Clodia says:

    This contains almost the whole of George Puttenham's 'The Art of English Poesy' which is difficult to get hold of at a reasonable price but the collection as a whole is both stimulating and well put together Sidney's 'Defence' is also here in its entirety and while it's also available in the Oxford Sidney The Major Works it takes on added nuances when placed against the other writings on writing in this volumeAlexander's introduction and notes are illuminating and succinct and the bibliography is helpful a very useful volume for any students of Renaissance poetry

  2. Biblio Curious Biblio Curious says:

    The star of this book is Sidney's A Defence of Poetry All around it areThe Art of English Poesy By George Puttenham 1589A Defence of Rhyme By Samuel Daniel 1589And Selected Passages fromCertain Notes of Instruction 1575 By George GascoigneThe Garden of Elouence 1577; 1593 By Henry PeachamA Discourse of English Poetry 1586 By William WebbeA Brief Apology of Poetry 1591 by Sir John HaringtonAnd a few others includingSamuel Daniel Thomas Campion Francis Bacon Michael Drayton Sir William Alexander Ben Johnson A Fit of Rhyme against Rhyme Horace His Art of PoetrySidney's Defence is always wonderful to read It's so densely packed with references to political figures poets writers historians that most of it's dusty as can be What draws me in is Sidney's amazing craftsmanship for writing He uses words with as much finesse as the greatest painters This beautiful writing makes his ideas gleam out from between all these injected facts My first reading of it I was taken in by his sheer power of wit melodrama My second reading I was astounded by the intelligence involved in including so many references to support his ideasI bought this because of that 1st read of Sidney's Defence way back when So after reading his Defence the 2nd time I was sure delighted to discover this whole new genre of poets writing about the art of crafting poetry This Penguin edition doesn't include Shelley's widely famous A Defence of Poetry simply because it's too recent being a romantic and all But it does contain surprisingly witty intelligent other works George Puttenham's Art of English Poesy is essentially a mini non fiction novel with it's flash length chapters Each chapter is assigned to a specific subject about poetry poets and the people who loath them This makes it a delight to read or to uickly flip through when in a hot debate about how poetry will save humanity you need a reference to defend your caseSamuel Daniel uses a poetic form to argue that music can teach us learning has value A uoteO blessed letters that combine onein all ages past and make one live with all 180 182orHow many thousands never heard the nameOf Sidney or of Spencer or their books? 431 432

  3. Tim VanderMeulen Tim VanderMeulen says:

    This collection is a wonderful beginning to the study of the art of literature Whereas I skipped over George Puttenham and Samuel Daniel and the notes on rhetoric and English versification I enjoyed what was said by the authors about the importance of poesy in the face of opposition It is interesting to see how poets were criticized back in the Sixteenth Century as much as they are today But here we get the wise words of learned writers in defense of their craft I especially appreciate what was brought out by Sir Phillip Sydney that poesy is an art that is meant to “not only teach and move to a truth but teach and move to the most high and excellent truth” As a Christian he had an understanding of the connection between God’s moral law and the art of stories He also gives praise to the heroical “which is not only a kind but the best and most accomplished kind of poetry For as the image of each action stirreth and instructeth the mind so the lofty image of such worthies most inflameth the mind with desire to be worthy and informs with counsel how to be worthy” Sir John Harington likewise explains how poesy’s sole purpose is for instruction and pleasure These are the most important things to take away from this collection of essays and I will remember them in my own reading writing and literary criticism

  4. Pol Pol says:

    20102017—This edition is remarkably well annotated; the footnotes glossing foreign idioms and explaining difficult words is a nice touch As for Sidney's essay itself now I get some idea of the Renaissance platonism Martin Battestin went on at length about without explaining much in The Providence of Wit Though made in earnest I feel some of the arguments are not very strong but that's my 21st century sensibilities speaking of course Much I have to learn about Renaissance literary history but this is a nice beginner's glimpse into one corner of the literary scene in Elizabethan England

  5. Maisy Maisy says:

    I read this as part of my 3rd Year English Degree I found it really hard to comprehend at first It was only about halfway through that I started to understand his arguments and appreciate his uizzical and almost conversational writing style It gave a really good insight into ideas on Poetry in renaissance England Not my usual cup of tea but certainly not as bad as expected

  6. Sarah Sarah says:

    I only read this as part of a widwer exploration into the 'Olde song of Percy and Duglas' but I would like to revisit Sidney's discussion of the literary landscape of the time

  7. Katheryn Thompson Katheryn Thompson says:

    This is a lovely collection with useful notes and a brilliant introduction Surprisingly readable

  8. Lise Lise says:

    A defence of the role of literature in society

  9. Kathryn Marie Kathryn Marie says:

    I love this exploration and celebration of the writing fiction and the English language

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