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SIR PHILIP SIDNEY Arcadia Sir Philip Sidney, the finest type of gentleman of Elizabethan days, was born on November 30, 1554, at Penshurst, Kent, the eldest son of Sir Henry Sidney, Lord-Deputy in Ireland, and grandson, on his mother's side, of the Duke of Northumberland, who was beheaded for complicity in the Lady Jane Grey conspiracy. Education at Oxford, travel abroad, diplomatic service, a wise interest in literature, and a singular graciousness of character made Sidney "a full man." He was regarded, at home and abroad, as the ideal gentleman of his time, and a heroic death, at the siege of Zutphen, on October 2, 1586, enhanced his fame. His body was brought home for a national funeral in old St. Paul's. Sidney's claims as a writer are based on both prose--"Arcadia" and "An Apologie for Poetrie"--and verse--"Astrophel and Stella."
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April 30, 2013
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