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Thinking poets
Author: Yulia Ryzhik

The names Edmund Spenser and John Donne are typically associated with different ages in English poetry, the former with the sixteenth century and the Elizabethan Golden Age, the latter with the ‘metaphysical’ poets of the seventeenth century. This collection of essays, part of The Manchester Spenser series, brings together leading Spenser and Donne scholars to challenge this dichotomous view and to engage critically with both poets, not only at the sites of direct allusion, imitation, or parody but also in terms of common preoccupations and continuities of thought, informed by the literary and historical contexts of the politically and intellectually turbulent turn of the century. Juxtaposing these two poets, so apparently unlike one another, for comparison rather than contrast changes our understanding of each poet individually and moves towards a more holistic, relational view of their poetics.

Attractive opposites

This book brings together ten chapters on the relations between Spenser and Shakespeare. There has been much noteworthy work on the linguistic borrowings of Shakespeare from Spenser, but the subject has never before been treated systematically, and the linguistic borrowings lead to broader-scale borrowings and influences, which are treated here. An additional feature of the book is that a large bibliography of previous work is offered, which will be of the greatest help to those who follow up the opportunities offered by this collection. The book presents new approaches, heralding a resurgence of interest in the relations between two of the greatest Renaissance English poets to a wider scholarly group and in a more systematic manner than before. This will be of interest to students and academics interested in Renaissance literature.

Dan Geffrey with the New Poete

This is a much-needed volume that brings together established and early career scholars to provide new critical approaches to the relationship between Geoffrey Chaucer and Edmund Spenser. By reading one of the greatest poets of the Middle Ages alongside one of the greatest poets of the English Renaissance, this collection poses questions about poetic authority, influence and the nature of intertextual relations in a more wide-ranging manner than ever before. With its dual focus on authors from periods often conceived as radically separate, the collection also responds to current interests in periodisation. This approach will engage academics, researchers and students of medieval and early modern culture.

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The pastoral poems
Author: Syrithe Pugh

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.

Andrew Hadfield

3 Edmund Spenser’s Dublin Andrew Hadfield It has long been accepted that Ireland had a potent effect on the imagination of Edmund Spenser (1552/4–99), the most important non-dramatic poet of the English Renaissance. Often this has been seen in entirely negative terms, especially since C. S. Lewis argued that ‘Spenser was the instrument of a detestable policy in Ireland’, so that by the fifth book of The Faerie Queene ‘the wickedness he had shared begins to corrupt his imagination’.1 That book – at least the allegorical representation of events in Ireland – was

in Dublin
Tamsin Badcoe

Spenser writes, a trespasser who ‘once hath fastened/ His foot thereon, may neuer it recure,/ But wandreth euer more vncertein and vnsure’ (II.xii.12). For a moment, the nature of the space, and the way one encounters it, temporarily coincide. When offering a kind of shorthand for the discontinuous landscape of The Faerie Queene , Angus Fletcher has observed that ‘the questing mind fills the area between the places, while the places – quite unreal as places we might have been to – are islands of hope in a landscape of wonder’; 4 yet, insular space in Spenser’s

in Edmund Spenser and the romance of space
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Faith, folly, and ‘The Faerie Queene’

Once a byword for Protestant sobriety and moral idealism, Spenser is now better known for his irony and elusiveness. Yet his sense of humour is still underestimated and misunderstood. Challenging the bias behind this neglect, this study shows that humour, far from being peripheral or superficial, goes to the heart of Spenser’s moral and doctrinal preoccupations. It explores rifts between The Faerie Queene’s ambitious and idealising postures and its Protestant vision of corruptible human nature. Figures to be comically ‘undone’ include the hero, the chivalric lover, the virgin, and the ideal monarch – as well as Spenser’s own epic-poet persona. Yet bathos has a positive significance in Christian theology, and Spenserian humour proves to be an expression of tolerance and faith as well as an instrument of satire. On this basis, Comic Spenser contends that the alliance of humour and allegory in The Faerie Queene affirms the value of the creative and ‘errant’ imagination.

Affiliation, allusion, allegory
Rachel E. Hile

2 Spenser’s satire of indirection: affiliation, allusion, allegory The previous chapter provided a preliminary analysis of how indirect satire works to create a sense of an allegorical connection to the real world and real situations and discussed how allusions, symbolism, and analogy prompted allegorical projections that inflected contemporaries’ understanding of the message of Mother Hubberds Tale, Spenser’s best-known satirical work. In this chapter, I will continue analyzing Spenserian indirection in satire, but with an additional concept in play by

in Spenserian satire
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Friendship and Literary Patronage
Wayne Erickson

2 Spenser and Ralegh Friendship and Literary Patronage1 Wayne Erickson all accounts agree in giving him a commanding presence.1 Sir John Pope Hennessy, discussing portraits of Ralegh, 18832 Like many Spenserians and, I suppose, many Ralegheans, I have wanted to call Spenser and Ralegh friends,3 at least in the guarded manner adopted by Jerry Mills in his article on Ralegh in the Spenser Encyclopedia. He writes that, ‘[f]or Spenser, Ralegh was more than a patron’, that in the Letter to Ralegh and in Spenser’s dedications to Ralegh, ‘there are suggestions of

in Literary and visual Ralegh
Tamsin Badcoe

It is unlikely that any amount of utilitarian objectivizing will ever wholly dispel the symbolic resonance that arises from that strange tension between shaping line and unshaped space, between bounded and boundless. 1 I ask you: Is it not time to slash Janus’s face? 2 In his translation of Sonnet 26 from Les Antiquitez de Rome , Spenser invokes the technical language of spatial representation only to dismiss it, in order to gauge the success of an empire that once stretched its influence to the limits of the known world. At the height of

in Edmund Spenser and the romance of space