Happy International Women’s Day!

Mary Sidney HerbertWe thought we’d take some time today to highlight some of our favourite female figures in literature starting with Mary Sidney Herbert.

Many people will know that the Sidney family had quite a literary bent, (Sir Philip Sidney for example), however the Countess of Pembroke was one of the first women to ever forge a reputation in literature as a poet, a patron, poetic translation and other literary works.

There are also people who believe that Mary Sidney Herbert was the real identity of William Shakespeare.


Here is an extract from one of our favourite pieces by Mary Sidney Herbert that is entitled “To the Angel Spirit of the Most Excellent Sir Philip Sidney”


Truth I invoke (who scorn elsewhere to move,
Or here in aught my blood should partialize),
Those precious rights well known best minds approve;
And who but doth, hath wisdom’s open eyes,
Not owly blind the fairest light still flies,
Confirm no less? At least ’tis sealed above


Where thou art fixed among they fellow lights;
My day put out, my life in darkness cast,

Thy angel’s soul with highest angels placed
There blessed sings, enjyoing heav’n-delights,
Thy maker’s praise, as far from earthly taste
As here they works so worthily embraced
By all of worth, where never envy bites.

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