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‘Freedom Among the Dead’: Greville’s Life of The Renowned Sir Philip Sidney

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Abstract

This chapter takes Greville’s claim that his long-deceased friend, Philip Sidney gives him “a kind of freedome even among the dead” as a starting point to analyse how the memorial biography is, for Greville, not just a process of writing another life, but a specifically Protestant means of mourning. It uses Judith Butler’s arguments that mourning makes humans redefine themselves relationally, fostering political community, to analyse Greville’s Dedication to Sir Philip Sidney, as a work in which the process of writing and of rewriting Sidney redefines Greville’s own sense of self and shapes his Protestant politics, hopes, fears, and beliefs.