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Edmund Spenser
Suggested Reading



"The poets' scrolls will outlive the monuments of stone. Genius survives; all else is claimed by death."

A View of the State of Ireland: From the First Printed Edition
(Edmund Spenser)


Edmund Spenser's Irish Experience: Wilde Fruit and Savage Soyl
(Andrew Hadfield )
Spenser's Irish Experience is the first sustained critical work to argue that Edmund Spenser's perception and fragmented representation of Ireland shadows the whole narrative of his major work, The Faerie Queene. The poem has often been read in specifically English contexts but, as Hadfield argues, demands to be read in terms of England's expanding colonial hegemony within the British Isles and the ensuing fear that such national ambition would actually lead to the destruction of England's post-Reformation legacy. Where A View of the Present State of Ireland attempts to provide a violent political solution to England's Irish problem, The Faerie Queene exposes the apocalyptic fear that there may be no solution at all. The book contains an analysis of Spenser's life on the Munster plantation, readings of the political rhetoric and antiquarian discourse of A View of the Present State of Ireland, and three chapters which argue the case that the apparently Anglocentric allegory of The Faerie Queene reveals a land gradually--but clearly--transformed into its Irish "Other."

Spenser's Forms of History
(Bart Van Es)
In Spenser's Forms of History, Bart Van Es presents an engaging study of the ways in which Edmund Spenser utilized a number of "forms of history"--chronicle, antiquarian discourse, secular typology, political prophecy, and others--in both his poetry and his prose, and assesses their collective impact on Elizabethan poetry.

The Cambridge Companion to Spenser
(Andrew Hadfield (Editor) )
In this accessible and rigorous introduction to Spenser, fourteen specially-commissioned essays provide all the essential information required to appreciate and understand Spenser's rewarding and challenging work. The Companion guides the reader through Spenser's poetry and prose, and provides extensive commentary on his life, the historical and religious context in which he wrote, his wide reading in Classical, European and English poetry, his sexual politics and use of language. A chronology and further reading lists make this volume indispensable for any student of Spenser.

The Faerie Queene: A Reader's Guide
(Elizabeth Heale)
The first great epic poem in the English language, The Faerie Queene is a long and complex allegory that presents the first-time reader with many difficulties of allusion and interpretation. This book, designed as a handbook to be consulted by students while reading the poem, is the only convenient and up-to-date guide available. Religious and political contexts are explained, while the analysis of Spenser's literary techniques encourages close reading. This revised edition takes account of recent developments in Spenserian criticism, and brings the guidance on further reading up to date.

The Works of Edmund Spenser: The Faerie Queen
(Edmund Spenser)
Originally published between 1932 and 1945, the eleven-volume Works of Edmund Spenser collects The Faerie Queene along with Spenser's minor poems, prose works, and Alexander C. Judson's The Life of Edmund Spenser.

The Works of Edmund Spenser: The Life of Edmund Spenser
(Alexander Cobin Judson)
Originally published between 1932 and 1945, the eleven-volume Works of Edmund Spenser collects The Faerie Queene along with Spenser's minor poems, prose works, and Alexander C. Judson's The Life of Edmund Spenser.

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