Mary Sidney

Life Story

Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke, was from a family close to Elizabeth I and she spent two years in the queen’s entourage. As countess, Mary presided over one of the great Elizabeth prodigy houses at Wilton, and was at the centre of a literary circle, encompassing her brother, Sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser and others. Amongst other works, she published the first secular drama in English by a woman, in translation from the French original.

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Following in the Footsteps

Mary Sidney lived in the Welsh Marches, Dublin, and various locations in southern England, as well as travelling to Flanders. Her main residence was at Wilton House, in Wiltshire.

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Find out more about Lady Mary Sidney

Mary was famous in both her own time, and subsequently as an author and translator, and also as a patron of some of the best known Elizabeth an poets. Find out more about the works dedicated to her here

Book Reviews

There have been no recent biographies of Mary. The 1912 'Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke' by Frances Berkeley Young remains a key text, together with the hard-to-come by 'Philip's Phoenix: Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke' by Margaret P. Hannay.