For seventy years she held undisputed sway over the hearts of the most distinguished men of France; queens, princes, noblemen, renowned warriors, statesmen, writers, and scientists bowing before her shrine and doing her homage, even Louis XIV, when she was eighty-five years of age, declaring that she was the marvel of his reign.
In this work Sidney combined the chivalric and Greek narratives in a manner highly suggestive of the heroic romances. To put it briefly; he was indebted to the Amadis cycle for episodes, 34 and to HeliodorusMontemayorand Sannazaro for the design, a semi-pastoral in which courtiers and ladies-in-waiting, posing as shepherds and shepherdesses, figure in endless love scenes interspersed by duels, battles, and shipwrecks.
Looking toward the later development, we note three significant fea- tures in the Arcadia: The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia, ed. Brunhuber, Die Arcadia und ihre Nachlaufer, S.
Gregg, Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama, pp. Yet it must not be inferred that the Arcadia is a mere con- glomeration. It is decidedly the best romance we shall have to consider, a masterpiece of its kind, and furthermore, in characterization, notably in the sympathetic delineation of Philoclea and Pamelathere is nothing comparable with it until the narratives of Richardson.
That Richardson named his " virtuous serving-maid " after Sidney's heroine is an inter- esting instance of literary relationship. The new century saw no waning of its vogue. During the forty years preced- ing the outbreak of the war, it was printed no less than nine times, three times more by the end of the century, and shortly thereafter "modernized" by a certain Mrs.
We all know Milton 's acknowledgment that the " vain amatorious poem " was a book " in that kind full of worth and wit.
Finally, Addison, it will be remembered, men- tioned it among the books in " Leonora's Library. Weames ina poetical version of an episode, the much read Argalus and Par- thenia by Quarles, inand dramatizations like Shirley's Arcadia, c.
Works, London,iii. More and Sir Nicholas Bacon were the other " pillars. Imitations, strange to say, were not very numerous.
In England about the time of the publication of the Arcadia, Greene, Lodge, and others wrote, to borrow their own phrase, " after the manner of Sir Philip Sidney.
During the seventeenth century, although many romances were given an Arcadian title and many authors were indebted to it for their episodes, there was only one close imitation, The Countess of Montgomery's Uraniaby Lady Mary Wroth. This most invertebrate romance has never been reprinted but because the authoress was " niece to Sir Philip Sidney," it has received far more attention than it deserves.
The other romances of the time were translations or close imitations of the French. In short, so far as our own fiction is concerned, the influence of the Arcadia although it remained a popular book for so long, due in part, perhaps, to the prestige of Sidney's name, is a neg- ligible factor.
Its vogue is interesting as showing that there already existed in English fiction characteristics and tenden- cies which, had it not been for the political disturbances that checked literary development, would in all probability have produced the same sort of romances that were later imported from France.
What influence, if any, the Arcadia had on the continent is purely a matter for conjecture. Jusserand cites a play, Mareschal's Cour Bergerementions that a copy of the edition of the Arcadia was in the Jesuit library that later came into the possession of Fouquet, and states that Niceron, Florian and Chapelain admired it.
Indeed, in spite of its romantic tone and style, so realistic is it in purpose and content that M. Jusserand regards it as our first novel of manners.
Utter, who has analyzed it carefully, the plot although " one which could hardly fail of success if properly worked out" was left " so undeveloped as to be scarcely distinguishable beneath the other material under which it is burdened.
We find all the machinery for development and analysis of char- acter and emotions standing idle, a complete absence of back- ground and sense of fact that would reflect contemporary life and manners with anything like specific detail.
In the Arcadia there is a somewhat similar didactic element, in that Sidney was interested in the " perfect courtier. Utter, Studies in the Origin of the English Novel. See also, "Source of Euphues; the anat- omy of Wyt," by S.
And although it continued to be reprinted until the outbreak of the Civil War, it had ceased to be authoritative long beforewhen Henrietta Maria made French etiquette supreme at the court.
Greene, 47 Lodge, Munday and other Elizabethans, simplified and condensed the material, increased the number of incidents, and exaggerated the striking and superficial features of the style.
In short, the situ- ation parallels that of the Arcadia and the heroic romances: From the point of view of the literary historian they are unimportant, since they mark the adoption of the romance form for purposes of satire and prop- aganda rather than any legitimate development.
Wolff, Englische Studien, forxxxvii. The ideal commonwealths, with their various theories for benefiting mankind, belong more properly to the history of political theory than to that of prose fiction, since, in most instances, there is no plot, no love theme, no characterization, and little action.
As the name implies, these romances, like the pastorals, depicted ideal conditions, but unlike the pastorals, were concerned with the theories of government, religion, and industry, which it was assumed would eliminate injustice, impiety, poverty, and all other evils. By depicting the happi- ness of people living under the proposed conditions, the authors sought to bring about certain reforms or to abolish abuses.the fourth edition improved.
festival of love; or, a collection of cytherean poems: procured and selected by ge pe,* and dedicated to. The shock element has always been associated with the avant-garde since Courbet produced his unidealized peasant scenes, and it seems destined to stay.
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