The Library of the Sidneys of Penshurst Place circa 1665

Edited by Germaine Warkentin, Joseph L. Black, and William R. Bowen

© 2013

For two centuries (1540-1740) the Sidney family of Penshurt Place, Kent, produced poets, courtiers, collectors, and at least one revolutionary. Increasingly aware of the cultural ideal of the learned nobleman and of libraries as representations of that ideal, the Sidneys amassed one of the largest gentry libraries in England of their period. This edition of their library catalogue provides a vivid portrait of the birth, growth, and eventual demise of the distinguished family’s library collection.

Comprised of nearly 5000 entries, the catalogue is presented with a full introduction describing the Sidneys’ intellectual world and life, their reading and collecting, the women collectors of the family, and the dispersal of the library in 1743. The editors employ all the resources of contemporary bibliography, print and digital, to identify the titles in the catalogue, and where possible to locate the Sidneys’ own copies still extant, as well as architectural analysis to identify and describe the library room at Penshurst, now lost to nineteenth-century renovations.

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Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 420 pages
  • Dimensions: 8.8in x 1.3in x 11.3in
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SKU# SP001009

  • PUBLISHED OCT 2013

    From: $146.25

    Regular Price: $195.00

    ISBN 9780802042934
  • PUBLISHED DEC 2013

    From: $146.25

    Regular Price: $195.00

Quick Overview

Comprised of nearly 5000 entries, the catalogue is presented with a full introduction describing the Sidneys’ intellectual world and life, their reading and collecting, the women collectors of the family, and the dispersal of the library in 1743.

The Library of the Sidneys of Penshurst Place circa 1665

Edited by Germaine Warkentin, Joseph L. Black, and William R. Bowen

© 2013

For two centuries (1540-1740) the Sidney family of Penshurt Place, Kent, produced poets, courtiers, collectors, and at least one revolutionary. Increasingly aware of the cultural ideal of the learned nobleman and of libraries as representations of that ideal, the Sidneys amassed one of the largest gentry libraries in England of their period. This edition of their library catalogue provides a vivid portrait of the birth, growth, and eventual demise of the distinguished family’s library collection.

Comprised of nearly 5000 entries, the catalogue is presented with a full introduction describing the Sidneys’ intellectual world and life, their reading and collecting, the women collectors of the family, and the dispersal of the library in 1743. The editors employ all the resources of contemporary bibliography, print and digital, to identify the titles in the catalogue, and where possible to locate the Sidneys’ own copies still extant, as well as architectural analysis to identify and describe the library room at Penshurst, now lost to nineteenth-century renovations.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 420 pages
  • Dimensions: 8.8in x 1.3in x 11.3in
  • Reviews

    The Library of Sidneys of Penshurst Place is a monumental achievement that will contribute to scholarship on the history of reading, libraries, and the Sidney family… It is a book worthy not only of any decent research library, but of a private collection – a joy to read, skim, and to display on the bookshelf.’


    Andrew Strycharski
    Sidney Journal vol 34:02:2016

    ‘This masterful edition, the product of decades of collaborative research, represents a remarkable contribution both to Sidney studies and to early modern book history.’


    Katherine R. Larson
    Renaissance and Reformation vol 37:01:2014

    “The Library of The Sydneys is the product of more than forty years labour and it is saturated with the incremental accumulation of expertise. Some books take time, and are better for it, and this is one of those.“


    Adam Smith
    Times Literary Supplement, June 12, 2015.

    ‘It is an informative work, admirably organized and structured. The research is exhaustive and scholarly and it is a fascinating book to read.


    Renae Satterley
    The Library vol 15:04:2014

    ‘Warkentin, Black, and Bowen have produced an extremely careful publication, attractively and logically presented … The Library of the Sidneys is an important publication that offers insights into the mysteries of manners, arms, and arts’ that the Sidneys commanded – and collected – for so many years.’


    Daniel Starza Smith
    Library & Information History vol 31:01:2014

    ‘Warkentin’s successful efforts provide a fascinating analysis of book-collecting and reading of the Sidney Earls of Leicester… This volume will be prized by Sidney scholars.’


    Susan Whyman
    SHARP News vol 23:04:2014

    “This is a meticulous and scholarly study of a family archive and its innumerable literary ramifications.”


    David Pearson
    The Book Collector 64.4 (Winter 2015)

    The Library of the Sidneys of Penshurst Place circa 1665 is a major piece of scholarship that has been eagerly awaited, and it will be used and cited for many years. An admirably researched edition, it includes an elegant introduction that presents the history of the manuscript catalogue and intellectual  biographies of the owners of the books, in particular the second Earl of Leicester, about whom relatively little is otherwise known. Until recently, much of the scholarly speculation about early modern reading has been based more on academic instinct than fact, but this book should change that.”


    F.J. Levy, Department of History, University of Washington

    “An important research tool and a serious advance in state-of-the-art research, The Library of the Sidneys of Penshurst Place circa 1665 offers a comprehensive account of the books of one of England’s most important literary families. This catalogue is the work of over twenty-five years of sustained exploration by a team that could scarcely be better qualified, and the expertise they have developed is evident everywhere throughout this volume. The editors have combined their knowledge  with a real effort to keep the reader in mind, making for a lucid, helpful introduction that tells the collection’s moving story.”


    Andrew Taylor, Department of English, University of Ottawa
  • Author Information

    Germaine Warkentin is a professor emeritus of the Department of English at Victoria College, University of Toronto.



    Joseph L. Black is professor and director of Graduate Studies in the Department of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


    William R. Bowen is Chair of the Department of Arts, Culture and Media at the University of Toronto Scarborough.
  • Table of contents

    Preface and Acknowledgments

    Illustrations

    Abbreviations

    Introduction

    The Sidneys of Penshurst

    The Penshurst Library Catalogue

    The Life of the Mind in Arcadia

    The Making of the Catalogue

    Readers and Collectors, 1540-1626

    Sir Henry Sidney

    Sir Philip Sidney

    Robert Sidney, first earl of Leicester

    Robert Sidney, second earl of Leicester

    ‘Lord Lisleys Study’

    The Library at Penshurst after 1665

    Readers and Collectors: The Later Sidneys, 1677-1743

    The Sale of the Penshurst Library

    Penshurst after the seventh earl

    Textual Introduction

    The Library of the Sidneys of Penshurst Place circa 1665

    Appendix of Associated Books

    References

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