A Continuation of Sir Philip Sidney's "Arcadia"
Anne Weamys's A Continuation of Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia is a woman's contribution to one of the dominant genres of her sex's readership in the seventeenth century: the heroic romance. Part of the considerable power and appeal of this work is its reduction of the heroic romance to a smaller scale. In its shorter length and its comparatively direct style, it avoids the fustian and bloat of the form. At the same time, it elaborates on the genre's stronger points-its playfulness and fantasy, its explorations of the nuances of sensibility-while not sacrificing its capacity for political statement. Arcadia is an interesting and accessible story that can be read in a single sitting.