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This content is taken from the Lancaster University's online course, Penshurst Place and the Sidney Family of Writers. Join the course to learn more.

First Impressions: The Sidneys and Penshurst

Now that you have spent some time examining the work of the Sidney family, please share your thoughts by posting to the comments section below.

  1. How important do you think the family network is to each of the Sidney writers? Is it more important for female rather than male writers?

  2. Can you give any examples of collaboration between the Sidney writers?

  3. What similarities can you see between the poetic construction of Penshurst in Ben Jonson’s poem or in Sir Philip Sidney’s description of Kalander’s household in ‘The Countess Penshurst’s Arcadia’ and the real Penshurst Place and gardens?

Look at the images on the Penshurst Place interactive garden map

  1. What features of Penshurst do you think are celebrated in Ben Jonson’s poem ‘To Penshurst’ and what makes Arcadia an ideal or utopian place in the extracts from Sir Philip Sidney’s text?

  2. How do Sir Philip Sidney and Lady Mary Wroth’s depiction of a pastoral landscape contrast in mood?

  3. How are poetry and writing intertwined with the landscape in pastoral literature and in Sidney and Wroth’s writings?

Tag suggestions:

#arcadia #utopia #marywrote #benjonson #topenshurst #penshurstgardens #family #femalewriters #malewriters

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This article is from the free online course:

Penshurst Place and the Sidney Family of Writers

Lancaster University