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Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke

(1561—1621) writer and literary patron


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(1561–1621),

was the younger sister of P. Sidney, whose first version of the Arcadia was written for her at Wilton. After her brother's death in 1586 she became in effect his literary executrix, overseeing the publication of the Arcadia and the rest of his works for the editions of 1593 and 1598. She completed the Psalms, of which Sidney had translated only the first 42, rendering them in a very wide variety of English verse forms; they were not published as a whole until the edition of J. C. A. Rathmell (1963). She translated several works including Petrach's Trionfo della morte. Her reputation as a patroness perhaps outstripped her specific achievements. The epitaph on her by W. Browne was popular throughout the 17th cent.

Subjects: Literature.


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