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REVIEWS WYATI AND SIDNEY' IWhatever distortion was involved in the modern revival of metaphysical poetry," A. C. Hamilton remarks, /lunder its pressure the reading of Elizabethan poetry became critically mature.'" Critical rehabilitation of Spenser is evidently well under way: the wealth of rhetorically-oriented studies and of those emphasizing new historical perspectives (increasingly also of formal studies) augments from year to year. One could not say quite as much for most Elizabethan poets or their Tudor forerunners, although recent books on Daniel and Sackville, by Joan Rees and Paul Bacquet, have filled serious gaps. Definitively complete studies of Wyatt and Sidney, however, are still to seek: tangles and obscurities remain in store. The monograph by Southall, for example, scarcely counters the force of H. A. Mason's bland proposal to remove the study of Wyatt's English lyrics from literature to sociology. As for Sidney, while the work of Hallett Smith, in particular, has quickened criticism of Astr0l'hel and Stella, Arcadia is generally neglected. Yet with the completion of Muir's editorial attentions to Wyatt, and especially the appearance of Ringler's Sidney, further critical advances cuuld be expected; new estimates of the two poets do in fact bud out now. Miss Thomson divides her study in two parts: three chapters centre on the place of "courtly love" and "courtly wisdom" in Wyatt's biography, five on his poetry (omitting the Psalms, and in general not centring on the question of rhythmical and metrical purpose). Nine brief appendices bearing on Wyatt's career and poetical practice complete the volume. No doubt the decision to separate life and art might be questioned; yet, without more precise information about the Wyatt canon, ('QuId one reasonably expect an authoritatively integrated critical biography? "Only a few dates are known and a few others conjecturable" (x) . In any case, the themes of Part I, that "the courtly idiom has currency in life as well as in literature" (13), and that Wyatt's career illustrates the connection made by "Renaissance Humanism" between learning and both moral and political wisdom (47, 75), give direction to Part II. Thus, chapters on Wyatt's translations and adaptations of classical works emphasize uCatherine of Aragon's Wyatt," for whom imitation of ancient forms and style was less compelling than the matter "Patricia Thomson, Sir Thomas Wyatt and his Background. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. 1964. Pp. xiv, 298, $7.55. Walter R. Davis, .fA Map of Arcadia: Sidney's Romance in its Tradition"; Richard A. Lanham, "The Old Arcadia" (Yale Studies in English, vol. 158). New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 1965. Pp. xi, 417. $10.00. David Kalstone, Sidney's Poetry: Contexts and Interpretations. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. 1965. Pp. x, 195. $4.50. Volume XXXVI, Number 2, January, 1967 194 HUGH MACLEAN of classical wisdom; Miss Thomson agrees at last with Thomas Warton, that the satires are Wyatt's most I

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 193-197
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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