in Comic Spenser


I sincerely thank the following teachers, colleagues, family members, and friends for their valuable feedback on successive drafts of this book: Helen Cooper, Colin Burrow, Andrew Zurcher, Andrew Hadfield, Gavin Alexander, Kathryn Walls, Julian Lethbridge, Kim Coldham-Fussell, Katie Stallard, Vanessa Manhire, Jean Rumball, Miriam Muth, and Tatjana Schaefer. Two anonymous readers helped me to improve my typescript considerably, and I regret that I cannot name them here. I am also very grateful to my copy-editor, Robert Whitelock, for correcting numerous errors in my typescript, and to Matthew Frost and his colleagues at Manchester University Press for their professionalism and warmth.

In particular, I thank Helen Cooper for her support for this project and for her patience and wisdom, Andrew Zurcher for his infectious enthusiasm for Spenser and for finding The Faerie Queene funny, and Kathryn Walls for being the best possible mentor – and for inspiring me to read The Faerie Queene. As coeditor of this series, Professor Walls engaged with my work critically and constructively, giving me her time even when it was in shortest supply. My correspondence with The Manchester Spenser began under the editorship of Professor Lethbridge, who could not have been a kinder or more humane critic of my work at a time when I needed just such a reader, and I thank him also.

I am grateful for generous financial support from the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust; from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge; and from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Finally, I want to thank my family. I am mindful of the practical, emotional, and material support that I have drawn upon over many years. I dedicate this book to my greatest supporter. I also thank my grandmother Doris Plank, who has in many ways facilitated my work, and my sisters, Kim and Constance, for giving me help when I needed it. I am also grateful to my father Andrew Coldham-Fussell, for always being interested. Finally, I want to thank my husband Adrian McNabb and my two sons, Guthrie and Louis, for sticking in there when it seemed that this would never be done, and for allowing me (many) periods of necessary selfishness to prepare this book for publication.

Comic Spenser

Faith, folly, and ‘The Faerie Queene’


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