Sidney, Mary

   English writer and literary patron, sis-ter of Philip Sidney. She made the suggestion that led to her brother's writing the Arcadia, which he dedicated to her. Her mar-riage to Henry Herbert, earl of Pembroke, made her countess of Pem-broke. After her brother's premature death, Mary used her patronage to encourage works in praise of him, of which the most important was Edmund Spenser's Astrophel. She took charge of Philip's literary estate, preparing editions of his Arcadia in 1593 and 1598. In 1592 she published her own translations of works by French authors Philippe de Mornay and Robert Garnier; and in 1602 she allowed publication of her dialogue in praise of Astrea in a book by Francis Davison. Most of Mary Sidney's writings, however, circulated only in manuscript, including an English translation of at least a portion of Petrarch's Trionfi and two of her own poems. She also continued her brother's work of translating the Psalms from the French Huguenot Psalter of Clément Marot and Théodore de Bèze.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

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