concerning the trewnesse of the
Christian religion, written in French, published in 1587, and Mary Sidney translated
de Mornay’s A Discourse of Life and Death, with RobertGarnier’s Antonius, both
published in 1592.
20 I would like to thank Joseph Black for sharing the catalogue of the library before it was
published. G. Warkentin, J. L. Black and W. R. Bowen (eds), The Library of the Sidneys
of Penshurst Place, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 2013. See also G. Warkentin,
‘The world and the book at Penshurst: the second Earl of Leicester (1595–1677) and his
the installation of the sculpture,
while still others were written by Fausto Romano and Michaelangelo (c.
1544–6).37 More accessible to Bess and collaborators would have been RobertGarnier’s Antonie, published in France in 1578 and translated by Mary Sidney
Herbert in 1592. Although Garnier’s closet drama displays much of Cleopatra’s
untrustworthiness, he still pictures her as a sovereign queen as well as wife
and mother, skilled in diplomacy and languages, dying from grief at the loss
of Antony. Bess’s decision that her figure of Cleopatra be attended by the
latter constitute her most serious poetic output, completing her brother
Philip’s unfinished task. She also translated from French an ethical
tract, A Discourse of Life and Death by Philippe de Mornay, and RobertGarnier’s Senecan play Antonius. Some have thought that ‘The Dolefull
Lay of Clorinda’ in Spenser’s Astrophel is her composition, though it
appears to be Spenser’s own.
The Herbert estate, Wilton in Wiltshire, was a centre of literary activity and patronage. Philip Sidney composed much of his Arcadia there
and dedicated it to his sister. She mourned his death