Philip Sidney: Astrophil and Stella

(3065 words)
  • Sarah Howe (University of Cambridge)

Philip Sidney probably wrote his landmark sonnet sequence, Astrophil and Stella, between 1581 and 1582 during a period at Wilton House, the estate of his sister’s husband, the Earl of Pembroke. At that time Sidney was most likely at work not only on the sonnets of Astrophil and Stella, but also on a prose treatise arguing in favour of poetry and imaginative literature in general. (This treatise later came to be known as either The Defence of Poesy or An Apology for Poetry, according to the titles of its two different printings in 1595.) It is impossible to establish which work Sidney completed first, but it is suggestive that the sonnets of Astrophil and Stella emerged at around the same time as …

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Howe, Sarah. "Astrophil and Stella". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 July 2013
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. The Sonnet Tradition