Introduction
A context for The Faerie Queene
in Spenserian allegory and Elizabethan biblical exegesis
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Spenser described his allegorical epic to his friend Walter Raleigh as an alternative to straightforward moral and religious teaching. This book seeks to put Spenser’s project in context by introducing readers to Spenser’s reference point—16th century sermons, homilies, and liturgies—particularly their use of biblical types for contemporary individuals and concerns. In contrast to deconstructive, gender-based, or psychoanalytic studies, this book attempts to read The Faerie Queene as its first readers might have done. Sermon studies by A. F. Herr, Peter Blench, Millar MacLure, and Peter McCullough and his collaborators are useful guides; many printed sermons are available on the database Early English Books Online. An outline of the book’s nine chapters and acknowledgements close the introduction.

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