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.
it be attempted. The field of archaeology is littered enough with the husks of premature publication. Notes 1 A briefe note of Ireland , R. Gottfried (ed.), Spenser’s Prose Works (Baltimore, 1946) p. 236. 2 ‘A letter of the authors’, F. M. Padelford (ed.), The Faerie Queene Book One (Baltimore, 1932), p. 168. 3 Portions of this work have been drawn from the results of research projects published from 1992 to 2005. I am grateful for
sygnificacyon Custummaly Wysdom, now Gode, now man, Spows of the chyrche and wery patrone, Wyffe of eche chose sowle. Thus Wysdom began.40 38 Kaske, ed., Faerie Queene: Book One, xix. 39 Eugene D. Hill, ‘The Trinitarian Allegory of the Moral Play of Wisdom’, Modern Philology 73.2 (November 1975), 121–35, expounds what he describes as the play’s ‘Trinitarian allegory’. 40 At points ambiguous (perhaps purposefully so), this speech might be paraphrased as follows: ‘Men call me Eternal Wisdom, a denomination that suits my regality, and is particularly appropriate in that
–5. 41 E. Spenser, ‘The Faerie Queene’, p. 2 in F. M. Padelford (ed.), The Works of Edmund Spenser; The Faerie Queene: Book One (Baltimore, 1932). A. L. Rowse, The Elizabethan Age: The Cultural A chievement (Chicago, 1972), pp. 56–7, p. 179. But Spenser’s ‘colonialism’ has been the subject of much lively debate; see Maley, Salvaging Spenser .
, wisdome warnes’; and Carol Kaske, who cites this line in support of her (albeit shrewd) contention that Una is Sapience in her edition: The Faerie Queene Book One (Indianapolis and Cambridge: Hackett Publishing, 2006), xix. For Una as a (genuine) Wisdom figure, see Chapter 7. 51 Cf. Halpern: ‘I can’t help finding something slightly ominous and uncanny about Una’s claim to understand the dangers of Error’s cave before the monster has even put in an appearance’ (‘Una’s Evil’, 2). MUP_Walls_Final.indd 32 30/07/2013 16:14 The fallibility of Una 33 speech of
This book is the first ever concordance to the rhymes of Spenser’s epic. It gives the reader unparalleled access to the formal nuts and bolts of this massive poem: the rhymes which he used to structure its intricate stanzas.
As well as the main concordance to the rhymes, the volume features a wealth of ancillary materials, which will be of value to both professional Spenserians and students, including distribution lists and an alphabetical listing of all the words in The Faerie Queene. The volume breaks new ground by including two studies by Richard Danson Brown and J. B. Lethbridge, so that the reader is given provocative analyses alongside the raw data about Spenser as a rhymer. Brown considers the reception of rhyme, theoretical models and how Spenser’s rhymes may be reading for meaning. Lethbridge in contrast discusses the formulaic and rhetorical character of the rhymes.
into the line for the sake of rhyme, or of the line’s having been forced either 84 On pleonasm in The Faerie Queene, see Webster, ‘Oral Form’; Sale, Reading Spenser; Williams, Flower on a Lowly Stalk, and Gill, Logonomia. In her edition of The Faerie Queene, Book One, Carol Kaske mentions such things as pleonasm and formulaic constructions occasionally in her notes; but it has not much been attended to. 85 Tranter, ‘“The Sea It Selfe Doest Thou Not Plainely See?”’, argues that nothing is ‘plaine’ in The Faerie Queene. The Bondage of Rhyme 115 to accommodate the