National romance and Sidney’s Arcadia
in European erotic romance
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In using Annius's pseudo-Berosus legend of Samothes to politicise his Old Arcadia, Sir Philip Sidney appears to be unique among creative writers of the European Renaissance. Sidney uses erotic romance to demonstrate how all sense of political and social responsibility can be eroded by passion. Sidney and Hubert Languet were selective monarchomachists. While neither was motivated by Tsar Ivan IV the Terrible's savagery in Russia, both shared William of Orange's objection to Spanish Catholic tyranny, brutally enforced in the Netherlands. In 1590 Ponsonby published Fulke Greville's edition of the long, substantially revised first section of Sidney's working papers, referred to as the New Arcadia. In the New Arcadia, Sidney delicately develops the interplay between Philoclea's emotions. The symbolism of Philoclea's smock is both self-referential and directed at the reader.

European erotic romance

Philhellene Protestantism, Renaissance translation and English literary politics

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