Philip Sidney by Alan Stewart
A Double Life

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Courtier, poet, soldier, diplomat - Philip Sidney was one of the most promising young men of his age. Son of Elizabeth I's deputy in Ireland, nephew and heir to her favourite, Leicester, he was tipped for high office - and even to inherit the throne. But Sidney soon found himself caught up in the intricate politics of Elizabeth's court and forced to become as Machiavellian as everyone around him if he was to achieve his ambitions. Against a backdrop of Elizabethan intrigue and the battle between Protestant and Catholic for predominance in Europe, Alan Stewart tells the riveting story of Philip Sidney's struggle to suceed. Seeing that his continental allies had a greater sense of his importance that his English contamporaries, Philip turned his attention to Europe. He was made a French baron at seventeen, corresponded with leading foreign scholars, considered marriage proposals from two princesses and, at the time of his tragically early death, was being openly spoken of as the next ruler of the Netherlands.

About Alan Stewart

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Alan Stewart is the author of the acclaimed biographies Philip Sydney: A Double Life and Hostage to Fortune: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon (with Lisa Jardine).
Published October 31, 2011 by Vintage Digital. 416 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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More importantly, Stewart shows how Philip’s worldview was shaped by a series of mentors, among them Hubert Languet, who recognized Philip’s potential—a potential defined as much by his family tree as by his considerable intellectual gifts.

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London Review of Books

I don’t think he can be thinking of my own Sir Philip Sidney: Courtier Poet, enthusiastically reviewed by Blair Worden in the LRB (LRB, 25 June 1992), since he would surely not in that case have used the phrase ‘in almost fifty years’.

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