A Critical Companion to Spenser Studies (Palgrave Advances) by Bart Van Es

By Bart Van Es

This publication presents an authoritative consultant to discuss on Elizabethan England's poet laureate. It covers key subject matters and offers histories for all the fundamental texts. a few of contemporary such a lot favourite Spenser students provide debts of debates at the poet, from the Renaissance to the current day. crucial for these generating new learn on Spenser.

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His Poetry stands second only to the English Bible of 1611, in enriching our (poetical) language. (Grosart, 1882–84, 1: 250) The early twentieth century Twentieth-century scholarship itself is ushered in by the edition of Spenser’s “poetical works” that remains standard today: J. C. Smith and Ernest de Sélincourt (1909–10, 1912), which includes an introduction to the poet’s life and works. Because this edition was issued in paperback as late as 1970, and is still in print, students of Spenser continue to be drawn to de Sélincourt’s introduction.

During this period, we might say, chronology replaces biography as the convenient textual staple of the Spenser edition. 7 Other examples right at hand are the two editions used for this book: Hamilton’s The Faerie Queene (2001); and McCabe’s shorter poems (1999). ” The post-Judson turn from biography no doubt paved the way for poststructuralism during the 1980s, and especially the New Historicism, inaugurated by Stephen Greenblatt (1980), who includes an influential chapter on the colonial energy at work in Sir Guyon’s destruction of the Bower of Bliss, situated historically in terms of English policy toward the Irish.

This strategy should enable us to determine just where we are even as it indicates how we have arrived. A Life in the Works As the example from Prothalamion intimates, Spenser is the first canonical author of his time and nation to write both his own biography and his own literary commentary. From his inaugural publication in 1579, the pastoral Shepheardes Calender, through to Prothalamion, he uses the nascent medium of print and book to advertise himself as England’s “new Poete” (E. K. “Epistle”, Shepheardes Calender), the heir to the “old [native] poet” (1), Chaucer, and to Virgil, the great classical poet of imperial destiny for the Roman nation.

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