The Sidneys of Penshurst and Beyond: Contexts, Connections, Collaborations

Conference Bookings

Here is a link to book for the conference Sidneys of Penshurst and Beyond Conference

As a delegate, your booking fee includes lunches, coffees and teas, for the two days of the conference; a two course conference dinner in the Garden restaurant, a seat for the coterie performance of Love’s Victory (which will be filmed), accompanied by early modern banquet (dessert). If you require an additional guest ticket for the performance and banquet, please select option 2 on the booking form. Bookings are open until 16th September.

Travel and Accommodation

Because Penshurst Place is a country house in a rural location there are no buses and trains nearby. See

 If you are coming by car, free parking will be available for you.

If you are coming by train, be aware that Penshurst railway station is, deceptively, a good 3 mile walk from Penshurst village and there no taxis available there. We therefore recommend travelling to Tonbridge station and booking a taxi from there to your accommodation. We have recommended accommodation at Premier Inn Tonbridge North (see below) which can be booked independently. Those staying there can also book options 3 and 4 on the booking link for the taxis we have organized on both days of the conference to help make your journeys to Penshurst Place easier. (Please be prepared to pay a small supplement if the fees increase over the next 3 weeks). Taxis are in short supply in the Tonbridge area so do book in advance however you are planning to travel. 

Conference Programme

We are delighted to announce the programme for ‘The Sidneys of Penshurst and Beyond: Contexts, Connections, Collaborations’ conference at Penshurst Place on 27-28 September 2022. Featuring Sidney scholars from around the world, our panels explore how the legacies of the acclaimed Sidney-Herbert family coterie continue to thrive in literary, sociohistorical, and theatrical fields – and beyond.

Please find accommodation details below.


Tuesday 27 September

9.15-9.30 Welcome (Alison Findlay and Philip Sidney)   


Panel 1: 9.30am – 11.00am Mary Sidney: Texts and Contexts          

Chair: Jessica Malay

Michele Osherow: ‘“A pattern to the rest”: More on the Convergence of Text and Textile in Mary Sidney’s Psalms’

Helen Hackett: ‘“Look on thy Mary with her bitter tears”: Nicholas Breton’s impersonations of Mary Sidney’

Alison Sorbie: ‘Amyntas Dale: Ivychurch’s celebrated Locus Amoenus


Coffee and Tea break: 11.00am – 11.30am


Panel 2: 11.30am – 1.00pm Philip Sidney’s Connections                         

Chair: TBC

Henry Jones: ‘The Proportions of Poetry: Sir Philip Sidney and Nicholas Hilliard’

Gerit Quealy: ‘Astrophil’s Star: Penelope Rich and the Sidneys’

Penny McCarthy: ‘Moffett muffled: unspeakable secrets in Nobilis and Lessus Lugubris


Lunch served in the Garden Restaurant 1.00pm – 2.00pm


Panel 3: 2.00pm – 3.00pm Textual and Museological Curations (online session with panellists live for questions)                                                             

Chair: Ramona Wray

Mary Ellen Lamb: ‘Scribal Readings of a Verse Exchange between William Herbert, Third Earl of Pembroke and Benjamin Rudyerd’

Rieko Ishibuchi: ‘Shakespeare’s Sisters in Japan: With Special Reference to the Reception History of the Sidney Ladies’ (10pm Japanese time)


Coffee / Tea break 3.00pm – 3.15pm


Panel 4: 3.15pm – 4.30pm Echoes in and of the Sidneys              

Chair: Philip Sidney

Gavin Alexander: ‘The Sidneys and Greek Lyric’

Camille Gontarek: ‘Sonic, Polyphonic and Architectonic Sounds: Listening to the Echoes of Lady Mary Wroth’s Urania


4.30pm – 5.30pm Tour of Penshurst Place (25 places) or relax and walk round the gardens


6.00pm – 7.00pm Conference Dinner served in the Garden Restaurant (2 courses)


7.15pm Performance of Love’s Victory in Baron’s Hall with banqueting course

Arranged seating and banquet refreshments at banqueting tables. The performance will be filmed so please avoid wearing very bright colours which will upstage the actors. Please complete the form provided at the beginning of the conference giving your permission to be included in the filming as the cameras pan across.


10.30pm Carriages



Wednesday 28 September

Panel 5: 9.15am -10.45am The Sidneys in War and Peace           

Chair: Alison Findlay

Karen L. Nelson: ‘Sidney Women, Warrior Culture, and Literary Production’

Marion Wynne-Davies: ‘Relocating the Sidney Women: Mary Sidney Herbert and Mary Sidney Wroth in London’

Q&A with Actors, Director and Musicians on production of Love’s Victory


10.45am – 11.15am Tea and Coffee break


Panel 6: 11.15am – 12.45pm Arcadias and Urania                                   

Chair: TBC

Joel B. Davis: ‘Bildung in Arcadia, Building Properly Arcadian Narrative’

Aurelie Griffin: ‘Lady Mary Wroth between pastiche and parody in The Countess of Montgomery’s Urania (1621)’

Mabel Mundy: ‘Imagining “Uncouth Love” of “Some Third Sex”: Reader Participation in the Queer Arcadia


12.50pm – 1.00pm Introduction to reading Naomi J. Miller: ‘Reimagining the Sidney Family Women Through Fiction’


1.00pm Lunch in the Garden Restaurant


2.00pm – 3.00pm Readings from the novels Imperfect Alchemist and Strange Labyrinth by Naomi Miller, accompanied by Tamsin Lewis.


Panel 7: 3.00pm – 4.30pm Philip Sidney: Fashioning and Refashioning an Aesthetic  

(accompanied by tea / coffee and pastries)

Chair: TBC

Martina Kastnerová: ‘Learned images of Nature: Physica, Philip Sidney and Camerariusʼ brothers’

Fraser McIlwraith: ‘The secret Image of an Imitator’: Philip Sidney meets Johannes Sturm’

Don E. Wayne: ‘An Ironic Succession: Sir Philip Sidney, Ben Jonson, and a New Aesthetic’


4.30pm Brief concluding remarks by Don E. Wayne, Philip Sidney and Alison Findlay


Accommodation Details

We advise that the best accommodation to book for the conference is the Premier Inn Tonbridge North. This is the closest accommodation to Penshurst Place and taxis transporting delegates to and from the conference will be organised from here. Please use the hyperlink above to book your accommodation; alternatively, you may ring on the telephone number below.

Premier Inn Tonbridge North, 109 London Road, Tonbridge, Kent TN10 3AN

Tel. 0333 3219096


A conference at Penshurst Place on 27-28 September 2022


We invite proposals for papers which explore the connections between the writings of the Sidney-Herbert family coterie and the world beyond. The conference aims to explore literary collaborations: exchanges between members of the family circles; conversations with writers in Britain, Europe, and beyond; and collaborations across time through critical and creative writings.

Another important area of investigation will be the Sidney-Herberts’ material collaborations with scribes, editors, printers, publishers and performers, both in their lifetimes and in their textual afterlives.

The Sidneys’ political, economic and diplomatic ties add a spatial-geographical dimension to our discussions and we welcome papers that place the Sidney-Herbert residences in wider contexts, looking to the City of London, the Court, the Continent and further afield to Arcadia, Tartaria and beyond.

Alison Findlay and Philip Sidney

Please send your proposals for 20-30 minute papers to by 30 July 2022.