Sir Walter Raleigh's literary legacy consists of a highly fragmented oeuvre including many unprinted or pirated poems and works of disputed authorship. No collection of Raleigh's poetry produced under his own direction or that of a contemporary, either in print or in manuscript, exists. This book is a collection of essays by scholars from Great Britain, the United States, Canada and Taiwan that covers a wide range of topics about Raleigh's diversified career and achievements. Some essays shed light on less familiar facets such as Raleigh as a father and as he is represented in paintings, statues, and in movies. Others re-examine him as poet, historian, as a controversial figure in Ireland during Elizabeth's reign, and looks at his complex relationship with and patronage of Edmund Spenser. The theme of Raleigh's poem is a mutability that is political: i.e., the precariousness of the ageing courtier's estate, as revealed by his fall from eminence and the loss of his privileged position in court. The Cynthia holograph engages in complex ways with idealistic pastoral, a genre predicated upon the pursuit of otium (a longing for the ideal and an escape from the actual). The Nymph's reply offers a reminder of the power of time and death to ensure the failure of that attempt. There were patrilineal imperatives that might have shaped Raleigh's views of sovereignty. Raleigh's story is an actor's story, one crafted by its own maker for the world-as-stage.
Dubbed 'the English Virgil' in his own lifetime, Edmund Spenser has been compared to the Augustan laureate ever since. He invited the comparison, expecting a readership intimately familiar with Virgil's works to notice and interpret his rich web of allusion and imitation, but also his significant departures and transformations. This book considers Spenser's pastoral poetry, and the genre which announces the inception of a Virgilian career in The Shepheardes Calender. It also considers to which he returns in Colin Clouts Come Home Againe, throwing the 'Virgilian career' into reverse. The book first makes a case for taking seriously the allegorical mode of reading Virgil's Eclogues prominent in the commentary tradition from Servius to the Renaissance. It then examines how The Shepheardes Calender seeks to replicate the Virgilian dynamic of bargaining with power in its opposition to the D'Alencon match. When 'Colin Clouts Come Home Againe' is read in conjunction with 'Astrophel', it becomes clear that they have in common not only their central themes but also their major intertexts, both in Virgil and in Spenser's other works. They are in fact complementary parts of the same project, constructing their meaning and their poetic programme through allusive dialogue both with Virgil and with each other.
By the early years of the twentieth century, the fame of Torquato Tasso and his work in England had started to wane. This book of Tasso's literary, artistic, and biographical afterlives is an attempt to stimulate a revival of 'sympathetic interest' in a now undeservedly underappreciated epic masterpiece and its fascinating poet. It addresses the simultaneous and long-standing impact of the poet's work, particularly his epic Gerusalemme liberata, on opera and the visual arts. The first strand of the book traces the reception and artistic afterlives in England, focused on the amorous interlude of Armida and Rinaldo in her enchanted garden in cantos XV and XVI. Initially, the book concentrates on the literary impact of Armida's arrival in the poem, examining how the poets Abraham Fraunce and Samuel Daniel both responded to canto IV of Tasso's poem. The poet, Edmund Spenser, regarded Gerusalemme liberata as a significant new epic model as he seemed to both reflect and pre-empt its enormous popularity in other artistic media. The book investigates the impact in England of visual depictions of scenes from Tasso's romantic episodes, featuring both Rinaldo and Armida and the almost equally popular Tancredi and Erminia. It explores ambitious musical adaptations of the episode for the London stage in the native form of dramatic opera in John Dennis's 'Rinaldo and Armida: A Tragedy'. Among other things, the second strand of the book analyses many imaginative engagements with aspects of the poet's legendary biography, such as his prolonged imprisonment in Ferrara.
From its Nobel laureates to its literary festivals, modern-day Dublin lives up to its role as a literary capital. The question of whether Ireland experienced a cultural and literary Renaissance has received increasing scholarly attention in recent years. This book extends the discussion by engaging with the specific literary culture of its capital city. It begins with an argument for the internationalised literary culture of late medieval Dublin by an analysis of James Yonge's 'Memoriale'. The citizens of Dublin engaged with and actively read texts imported from London, as Dublin's own printing was limited. The book presents case studies that establish Dublin as an emerging city of Renaissance literature by focusing on Edmund Spenser's political and social connections and by examining the literature of complaint emanating from late Elizabethan Dublin. It analyses the constructed authorial personae of Richard Bellings, James Shirley and Henry Burnell residing in Dublin, and discusses the concepts of literary friendship. Sir James Ware's scholarly achievements are analysed and his extensive intellectual community are investigated, revealing an open-minded Dublin community. In addition to being a representative Renaissance activity, translation was harnessed in the country as an 'instrument of state', as shown by translations of Gaelic poetry. The Renaissance literary production in Dublin had a multi-linguistic character with Latin orations taking place in the Trinity College Dublin. The book also addresses the question of whether the English-language drama composed and staged in Restoration Dublin is most accurately described as Anglo-Irish drama or 'English drama written in Ireland'.
To the Queene.
Out of the ashes of disolacon and wastnes of this your wretched realme of Ireland. Vouchsafe moste mightie Empresse our Dred soveraigne to receive the voices of a fewe moste unhappie Ghostes … far from the light of your gracious sunshine which spreadeth it selfe over Countries most remote … yet upon this miserable land being your owne just and heritable dominion letteth no one little beam of your large mercie to be shed.
EdmundSpenser, 1598 1
This is the first book-length study devoted to Una, the beleaguered but ultimately triumphant heroine of Book One of The Faerie Queene. Challenging the standard identification of Spenser’s Una with the post-Reformation Church in England, it argues that she stands, rather, for the community of the redeemed, the invisible Church, whose membership is known by God alone. Una’s story (its Tudor resonances notwithstanding) thus embraces that of the Synagogue before the Incarnation as well as that of the Church in the time of Christ and thereafter. Una’s trajectory also allegorizes the redemptive process that populates the City. Initially fallible, she undergoes a transformation that is explained by the appearance of the kingly lion as Christ in canto iii. Indeed, she becomes Christ-like herself. The tragically alienated figure of Abessa in canto iii represents, it is argued, Synagoga. The disarmingly feckless satyrs in canto vi are the Gentiles of the Apostolic era, and the unreliable yet indispensable dwarf is the embodiment of the adiaphora that define national (i. e., visible), Churches. The import of Spenser’s problematic marriage metaphor is clarified in the light of the Bible and medieval allegories. These individual interpretations contribute to a coherent account of what is shown to be, on Spenser’s part, a consistent treatment of his heroine.
We are informed that at Kilcolman, the seat of this Seignory, there was a fair stone house built by Edmund Spencer [sic], which was utterly destroyed in the late wars; that the same, being re-edified, was lately consumed by fire. Since which time a convenient English house is built in the place thereof.
Survey of the Plantation of Munster, 1622 1
The Elizabethan court poet EdmundSpenser, author of The Faerie Queene and colonial officer in County Cork, resided at Kilcolman Castle from
labelled ‘Spenserian’ after the poet of Elizabethan chivalry, EdmundSpenser. The question posed here is whether the continued tradition of defended residences in Ireland was related to this English ‘chivalric revival’ in aristocratic architecture. Moreover, the houses built by the elite in Ireland during the Plantation Period no doubt projected power and status, but a firmer understanding of this elite depends upon whether they saw themselves as a colonial or an imperial ruling class. 3
Even in some of the best biographies, old and new, and in some of
the most solidly convincing readings of the poem, scholars sometimes
get carried away. Robert Lacey, for instance, in his solid popular biography of Ralegh, describes Colin Clouts Come Home Againe as ‘a rare
8 EdmundSpenser, The Yale Edition of the Shorter Poems of EdmundSpenser, ed. William
A. Oram et al. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989), 525. Spenser’s dedication to
Ralegh of Colin Clouts Come Home Againe is dated 27 December, 1591, though the
poem was not published until 1595, and
EdmundSpenser are included in this
1577 collection. In 1577 Harvey had no interest in publicly announcing his
‘friendship’ with Spenser, an undistinguished member of John
Young's London household.
To the degree that Harvey's marginalia are chronologically
accurate, we can tentatively assume that he was acquainted with Sir Philip
Sidney by the winter of 1577. He recorded in his edition of Livy that he and
Sidney had studied