“For Musicke is the Handmaid of the Lord”: Women, Psalms, and Domestic Music-Making in Early Modern England

Linda Phyllis Austern*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Mary Sidney certainly hints, here and elsewhere, at modern analogies for the travails and travels of Israel, but her stress on Israel is lighter, her stress on the speaker’s pain greater. In some regards, then, the illustration better suits her translation than it does that of Louis Chron’s sister; it shows a chained prisoner, but one would need the psalm to recognize a member of the captive Israelite nation. Mary Sidney is one of her time’s most powerful translators of psalms into English verse, with impressive metrical variety and rhythmic force, so it is not surprising that some of that power goes into what can seem a personal expression, whoever the speaker and of whatever gender. Sidney’s translation again edges into what they often consider George Herbert’s territory. Male and female can merge in some psalm translations. So can the praising, beseeching private self and the equally pressured, equally rejoicing, and world outside.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPsalms in the Early Modern World
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages77-114
Number of pages38
ISBN (Electronic)9781317073994
ISBN (Print)9781409422822
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities

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