Astrophil and Stella

Publishing history

Many of the poems were circulated in manuscript form before the first edition was printed by Thomas Newman in 1591, five years after Sidney's death.[3] This edition included ten of Sidney's songs, a preface by Thomas Nashe and verses from other poets including Thomas Campion, Samuel Daniel and the Earl of Oxford.[4] The text was allegedly copied down by a man in the employ of one of Sidney's associates, thus it was full of errors and misreadings that eventually led to Sidney's friends ensuring that the unsold copies were impounded.[5] Newman printed a second version later in the year, and though the text was more accurate it was still flawed. The version of Astrophil and Stella commonly used is found in the folio of the 1598 version of Sidney's Arcadia. Though still not completely free from error, this was prepared under the supervision of his sister the Countess of Pembroke and is considered the most authoritative text available.[4] All known versions of Astrophil and Stella have the poems in the same order, making it almost certain that Sidney determined their sequence.

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