Mary Sidney Wroth’s Urania
in European erotic romance
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The fictional politics of Mary Sidney Wroth's The Countess of Montgomery's Urania overcomes many of the obstacles to fulfilling the philhellene Protestant aspiration of European integration. In reality, despite the efforts of Sidney, Mary Sidney Herbert and other philhellene Protestants, following Emperor Mathias's death on 20 March 1619, the Catholic status quo was bolstered by the election on 28 August 1619 of Ferdinand II. The politics of Urania are subsumed within Sidney Wroth's intimate revelations of her unfulfilled devotion to Herbert, and his intermittent but intense feelings for her. Urania is obsessed with romantic attachment, self-interest, political marriage and restitution of status to the dispossessed. Nonetheless, the narrative defies the conventions of both ancient and European erotic romance by concentrating on the author's multiple personae, rather than on the eponymous heroine.

European erotic romance

Philhellene Protestantism, Renaissance translation and English literary politics

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