Robert Sidney, first Earl of Leicester, is known in literary circles primarily for his relationship to three more famous writers: he was the younger brother of Sir Philip Sidney and of Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, and father of Lady Mary Sidney Wroth. His own writing skills are evident in his recently discovered poems and in his extensive correspondence. More than 3400 letters by and to him are extant, most of them business and political letters. His personal correspondence, and particularly these affectionate letters to his wife, reveal a man who strives to live up to the example of his celebrated brother Philip. He is deeply concerned about his wife and children, frustrated in his job, and anxious to fund the extravagant hospitality and display that he believes to be necessary to his position as a Sidney. His letters home are particularly appropriate to this series, for they trace a conflicted relationship with Queen Elizabeth and demonstrate the importance of female kinship networks to male courtiers (sketched out in the chart of Family Alliances). These family letters, and those of his agent Rowland Whyte, also give us vivid details about the childhood of his eldest daughter, Mary (here often ‘Mall’ or ‘Malkin’). We thus have more documentation for the early life of Lady Wroth than for almost any other early modern writer.