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The Ghost and the Machine in the Sidney Family Corpus


While it is widely accepted that Mary Sidney played an important part in the publication of Sir Philip Sidney's works, it is less well-recognized that in doing so she made a profound impact on the construction of the English author function. Through her management of her brother's corpus, her patronage activities, and through her own literary self-fashioning, Mary Sidney helped define the terms of early modern authorship and authority. Ironically, however, in cultivating the archetype of the "Dead White Male" she promoted a poetic mythology whose enduring influence would eventually obscure her own decisive role in its development.