Sir Philip Sidney has always appealed to his fellow poets as the type of what a poet should be. Shelley called him ‘a spirit without spot’ and Browning called him ‘the starry paladin’. His legend bears comparison, in many respects, with that of Rupert Brooke.
He was born at Penshurst, in Kent, on 30 November 1554, of a noble family, and named after Philip II of Spain, his godfather. Educated at Shrewsbury and Christ Church, he came down prematurely from Oxford at the age of fourteen, without taking a degree, when his college was closed