Controversy raged through England during the 1570-80s as Puritans denounced all manner of games & pastimes as a danger to public morals. Writers quickly turrned their attention to their own art and the first and most influential response came with Philip Sidney's Defense. Here he set out to answer contemporary critics and, with reference to Classical models of criticism, formulated a manifesto for English literature. Also includes George Puttenham's Art of English Poesy, Samuel Daniel's Defence of Rhyme, and passages by writers such as Ben Jonson, Francis Bacon, and George Gascoigne.
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Gavin Alexander is a University Assistant Lecturer in English & Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge, and has written on the Sidney family and circle and the literary response to him.