Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke

Standard Name: Pembroke, Mary Sidney Herbert,,, Countess of
Birth Name: Mary Sidney
Married Name: Mary Herbert
Titled: Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke
Titled: Countess of Pembroke
Mary Sidney wrote with a generation of Protestant women models behind her.
Hannay, Margaret P. Philip’s Phoenix: Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke. Oxford University Press, 1990.
But her reputation, even her literary existence, has been eclipsed by the almost mythic fame of her brother Philip. He was older, publicly known, and universally admired even before his death. He published nothing; his writings reached the wider world by passing through the hands of his sister and of their friend Fulke Greville . Her writings encompass wholly independent texts, collaborations with Philip, and her revisions of work by him. The dates at which she wrote them are mostly debatable. But unlike any other Elizabethan noblewoman, Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, published her non-religious works as well as her religious. Her work in translation (not only the psalms); and in lyric poetry and heroic drama (perhaps in pastoral romance as well) helped shape the mainstream literary tradition.
Circular watercolour miniature of Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of  Pembroke, by Nicholas Hilliard, c. 1590. She is wearing a black gown with roses and honeysuckle embroidered on the bodice, multiple necklaces, and a fashionable cartwheel ruff which almost fills the frame.  Her short blonde curls are topped with honeysuckle and lace. National Portrait Gallery.
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Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Anthologization Lady Jane Lumley
The next year, a modern scholarly edition of LJL 's work appeared, as The Tragedie of Iphigeneia, in Three Tragedies by Renaissance Women, edited by Diane Purkiss together with plays by the Countess of Pembroke
Birth Sir Philip Sidney
SPS , poet, fiction-writer, critic, and elder brother of Mary, Countess of Pembroke , was born at Penshurst Place, near Tonbridge in Kent, the eldest in his family of seven children.
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Family and Intimate relationships Katherine Parr
KP 's younger sister, Anne, married William Herbert (later first Earl of Pembroke) and bore a son whose wife was Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke .
Family and Intimate relationships W. H. Auden
Nicholas Jenkins of Stanford University formerly maintained on his website at a section called W. H. Auden. Family Ghosts, designed to show how Auden's family, despite his claims to ordinariness, sprang from a...
Family and Intimate relationships Margaret Hoby
Three months after her first husband's death, the twenty-year-old Margaret Devereux (later MH ) married Thomas Sidney (younger brother of the poets Sir Philip Sidney and Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke ).
Hoby, Margaret. “Introduction and Editorial Materials”. The Private Life of an Elizabethan Lady: The Diary of Lady Margaret Hoby, 1599-1605, edited by Joanna Moody, Sutton, 1998, p. xv - lvii.
Family and Intimate relationships Margaret Hoby
Editor Joanna Moody suggests that as the wife of Thomas Sidney, MH must have had contact and even exchanged intellectual influence with her sister-in-law Lady Pembroke , but this is pure speculation.
Hoby, Margaret. “Introduction and Editorial Materials”. The Private Life of an Elizabethan Lady: The Diary of Lady Margaret Hoby, 1599-1605, edited by Joanna Moody, Sutton, 1998, p. xv - lvii.
xxii n16, xxxii n36
Family and Intimate relationships Sir Philip Sidney
His mother, Lady Mary Sidney , was a duke's daughter and sister of two brothers who became earls (one of them, Robert Dudley , the Earl of Leicester and the favourite of Queen Elizabeth )...
Family and Intimate relationships Dorothy Sidney, Countess of Sunderland
The Sidney family was in fact a kind of royalty of literature. Dorothy's Sidney grandfather was a poet, and the fame of her great-uncle and great-aunt Sir Philip and Mary Sidney, later Countess of Pembroke
Family and Intimate relationships Lady Anne Clifford
LAC married her second husband, Lady Pembroke 's second son, Philip Herbert, Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery , Lord Chamberlain to Charles I .
Spence, Richard T. Lady Anne Clifford, Countess of Dorset, Pembroke and Montgomery. Sutton Publishing, 1997.
91, 93-4
Family and Intimate relationships Lady Mary Wroth
LMW 's aunt and godmother, Mary, Countess of Pembroke , was a significant figure in her life. Pembroke wrote to the younger Mary's mother in 1590 sending my blessing to my pretey [sic] Daughter.
Waller, Gary F. Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke: A Critical Study of Her Writings and Literary Milieu. University of Salzburg, 1979.
Family and Intimate relationships Lady Eleanor Douglas
This seems not to have been a love-match. Sir John was at this time nearly fifty and physically unattractive. He was a family friend from Wiltshire.
He is not to be confused with John Davies of Hereford
Family and Intimate relationships Ephelia
After being brought up in the Herbert family, Lady Mary Villiers was given away (not yet in her teens) in a dynastic marriage, celebrated with great pomp on 8 January 1635, to Charles, Lord Herbert
Friends, Associates Emilie Barrington
EB 's friendship with Frederic Leighton was in its early stages connected with her friendship with his sister Alexandra Orr (author of A Handbook to the Works of Robert Browning). When she ceased to...
Friends, Associates Caroline Norton
In the mid-1840s CN acquired some new friends: biographer John Gibson Lockhart , author Alexander William Kinglake , rising young statesman Sidney Herbert (direct descendant of the Countess of Pembroke ), and the intellectual translator...
Intertextuality and Influence Jane Porter
JP 's original dedication invoked the memory of Sir Philip Sidney , who did not disdain to write a romance and who consigned his excellent Work to the Affection of a Sister
Porter, Jane. Thaddeus of Warsaw. T. N. Longman and O. Rees, 1803.
(thus recognising...


23 January 1590
Edmund Spenser dated (using the old-style reckoning of 1589) his letter to Sir Walter Raleghexpounding his whole intention in the first three books of The Faerie Queene, which was published soon afterwards.
John Taylor published The Needles Excellency: A New Booke wherin are divers Admirable Workes wrought with the Needle, which includes (along with hints on embroidery) praise of great ladies.
By Christmas 1869
Francis Galton , mathematician, scientist, and eugenicist, published Hereditary Genius: An Enquiry into its Laws and Consequences,
2 July 1927
Crosby Hall in Chelsea (a building originally located in Bishopsgate in the City of London, once owned by Sir Thomas More , probably later rented by Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke , moved stone...