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Spenser in Dublin Abstracts

Note: the complete program is available at the conference web site.

This page has been updated as of October 15, 2015. 

Spenser in C17th Ireland

Chair: Andrew Carpenter
University College Dublin

“Spenser and the Literature of Early Modern Ireland”
Naomi McAreavey
University College Dublin
My paper has a polemical purpose first and foremost: I want to argue that scholarship on the literary culture of Early Modern Ireland has for too long been dominated by the work of Spenser and other (New) English writers. It goes without saying, I hope, that truly groundbreaking scholarship has been produced on Spenser and Ireland. However, this has not really led to broader attention to the writing of Spenser’s Irish contemporaries. Moreover, it tends to be anglo-centric, in that it privileges often negative English representations of Ireland. It is clear that if Spenser continues to dominate the literary landscape of Early Modern Ireland, our understanding of his Irish contexts will be seriously skewed.

Strides are being made, however. There has been a concerted effort by Irish scholarly presses to make available new editions of key works of drama and poetry by sixteenth and seventeenth-century writers. But critical analysis of this material is lagging behind, with many important texts still lacking sustained scholarly attention. There are exceptions, to be sure: Carpenter, Coolahan, Coughlan, Fogarty, Rankin and others have made substantial contributions to the scholarship. However, much more work is needed if we are to adequately assess the place of Spenser in the literature of Early Modern Ireland.

I hope to make a small contribution to this burgeoning field by introducing the way some Irish writers of the seventeenth century fashioned themselves as poets under the shadow of Spenser and other giants of “English” literature. In doing so I will attend to the literary endeavours of the Catholic Old English, a group particularly maligned in Spenser’s writing, and examine the way they saw themselves contributing to Ireland’s literary canon. Focusing on the poetry of Richard Bellings and his circle, I will explore the productive tensions inherent in Old English literary creativity.

“Friends and Family: Funerary Memorials of Edmund Spenser’s Contemporaries in Ireland”
Amy Harris
Independent Scholar

Abstract not available.

“Battling Amazons: Spenser’s Amazons and the Werbergh St Theatre, Dublin 1637-40”
Deana Rankin
Royal Holloway, University of London
This paper explores how Spenser haunts the cultural life of Dublin in the years before the outbreak of the War of the Three Kingdoms. It argues that in the wake first of Sir James Ware’s publication of Spenser’s View (1633) and then of the death of Spenser’s successor as poet laureate, Ben Jonson (1637), Spenser’s Irish legacy is both figured and contested in the Amazon warriors who tread the boards (and lurk in the wings) of the first Irish theatre in Werburgh Street.

By way of introduction, I explore the place of Boudica into Renaissance English historiography. Even as Spenser insists on including Boudica as an ancestor for Britomart and thus Gloriana/ Elizabeth (The Faerie Queene II.x.56-57), he acknowledges that she is a highly controversial predecessor: more wild Scythian than civilising Tudor; more Amazon warrior than politic queen.

Having established that Boudica in particular and the amazon warrior in general emerge as troubled figures for the necessary submission of the (savage) past to the (civilising, colonising) forces of the future, I then focus on Henry Burnell’s Landgartha (performed 1640, published Dublin, 1641) and James Shirley’s The Politician (written c. 1639?, published London, 1655). I argue that Burnell’s Landgartha—the Viking shield-maiden who demonstrates her skill both as warrior and politician—not only offers a carefully considered Old English response to the Machiavellian politicking of Marpisa, Shirley’s fictional Norwegian queen. She also, by way of Ireland’s Viking’s past, offers an alternative historiography for the pre-conquest years; a civil, theatrical response to the poetic intemperance evident in many of Spenser’s untamed Amazons. 

Love and Dancing

Chair: Dorothy Stephens
University of Arkansas

“Proximity and Eternity in the Amoretti: Spenser’s Phenomenology of Marriage”
Joseph Parry
Brigham Young University
In this paper I consider two questions that, to my knowledge, no other Spenser scholar has explored together or separately: 1) what difference does (or should) it make to us that Edmund Spenser writes his Amoretti to and about a second wife? What might it have meant for Spenser at a personal as well as professional level to write not just about, but also from within his experience of a second committed love relationship after having already experienced the terminus ad quem that all committed mortal love relationships anticipate and move ineluctably towards: the death for ever of the relationship at the death of the beloved. But further, 2) what are we to make of Spenser’s claim in the sonnets that his and her erotic desire for each other “shall endure for ever,” and that marriage is “the knot, that ever shall remaine” (6. 9-10, 14)? Spenser does not refer here to the way that poetry immortalizes love and the beloved. In terms that recall the moment that Spenser utters his famous philosophical dictum “eterne in mutability,” when he describes Adonis with Venus at the center of his garden, Spenser, though he readily acknowledges the poetry that death will sever their relationship, their desire for and their oath to each other will be eternal.

Spenser’s Amoretti is radical. It is radical, in the first place, for the poet-lover to get the girl. It’s even more radical for the poet-lover to renew the process and achieve the same result a second time. A second marriage in a literary work that conspicuously connects itself to Petrarch and to the conversation in poetry and philosophy that Petrarch, and now Spenser, take up that reaches back at least as far as Plato, is a striking, even jaw-dropping move. This conversation concerns the problems and fundamental conflicts that eros, and especially committed eros, pose to our attempts to conceptualize the self in time and eternity, which connects to some of the biggest philosophical questions we can ask about the character and purpose of human existence, the nature of the being who created us, the nature of our relationship with divinity, our nature in the eternities, and so forth. But then for Spenser to talk about something like eternal marriage—those are fightin’ words in the Augustinian conception of love and being against and before which Petrarch melts and freezes.

This is not a paradox that can be resolved. But in sonnets such as Sonnet 64, “Coming to kisse her lips,” Spenser finds a way that resembles, perhaps even anticipates, Jean-Luc Marion’s contemporary interest in how eros as phenomenon can help us explore the problem that is at the center of phenomenology and, I would argue, Spenser’s poetry: the problem of conceptualizing the meaning of being. Eternity is fundamental to the erotic phenomenon. To love is to intend to love for ever. It is not love if I say to a beloved, I will love you for 5 years, or for 60, but then cease to love you. In the lived experience of loving, in sexual experience or in the way we talk, touch, and renew daily the oath we took to love the beloved, eternity as present intention materializes within being.

“‘Heydeguyes, and trimly trodden traces’: Country Dances, Landscape, and Solitary Shepherds in Edmund Spenser’s Shepheardes Calender
Marianne Micros
University of Guelph
In The Shepheardes Calender, Edmund Spenser mentions dance in eight out of the twelve eclogues, including specific dances which correspond to their natural settings and particular seasons. These dances blend nature ceremonies with courtship rituals, Dionysian revelries with Apollonian harmonies. During Spenser’s era, dance was not only a festive activity in rural areas, but also an important tool in the education of young gentlemen, who were expected to practice regulated and highly choreographed steps as part of their maturation into manhood. In both city and country, dance was an important aspect of courtship and coming-of-age rituals; however, some of the shepherd speakers in The Calender are unable or unwilling to participate in dances for various reasons, including unrequited love, age, and the duties of a shepherd, priest, or poet. They have thus become isolated from celebrations and rituals that would bind them to a possible mate, the community as a whole, and their natural surroundings. In this essay, the heydeguyes and the other dances mentioned in The Shepheardes Calendar, such as the dance of the Graces in “Aprill,” the hornpipe in “Maye,” the movements of the “bouncing Bellibone” in “August,” and the “Millers Round” in “October,” are discussed in relation to the landscape and in the context of such matters as male maturation, love relationships, courtship customs, and class consciousness. 

“Biopolitical Spenser”
Graham Hammill

SUNY, Buffalo 
Abstract not available.


Spenser’s Homes

Chair: Roger Kuin
York University 

“There’s No Place Like Home: Spenser and the Pastoral as Poetic Retreat”
Denna J. Iammarino
Case Western Reserve University 
The inclusion of “home” in the title of Spenser’s second pastoral, Colin Clout’s Come Home Againe (CCCHA) is an interesting one. Traditional, critical discussions surrounding this elusive title often hinge on just where this homecoming takes place. Spenser’s courtly audience would naturally consider home to be England—a return from Spenser’s ten-year departure to Ireland. But Ireland is often considered Colin Clout’s home. As William Oram suggests in the poem’s introduction, “The uncertain reference of the title thus suggests one of the poem’s governing concerns, that of the poet’s proper place in relation to the world of power—the world of Elizabeth’s court” (519). However, if considered more abstractly, the title not only asks “Where is Spenser’s (or Colin’s) home?” but also questions, “Where is the home of Spenser’s poetic ideas?” As this study posits, the occurrence of elevated topics—such as the humanness of interpretation, the role of the reader, and the function of the poet as teacher—compounded with Spenser’s persistent return to the pasture suggests that the pastoral is a place where he forges his most authentic ideas about the purposes of poetry. These same poetic ideas and concerns later find maturity in the lines of The Faerie Queene (FQ). For Spenser, returning “home” to this poetic space may provide a place for him to reground himself in the poetic task he conceived of here in The Shepheard’s Calendar (SC).

One of the major questions motivating this examination asks why does Spenser return to the pastoral once he has traversed into epic? In order to answer such a question, this study looks at Spenser’s poetic craft—the often-tense triangulation of inspiration, expectation, and tradition—to consider how a poem like CCCHA is not only a poetic retreat for Spenser, but a continued development of his poetic ideals and a space in which he reconciles the tensions between a poetic career and a poetic mind. For Spenser, this tension between poetic craft and poetic obligation forces him to consider not just what a text means, but how it means. And CCCHA is a poetic space in which Spenser simultaneously states his ideals about poetry and creates textual content that exemplifies such ideas. More specifically, his continued poetic approach of multiplicity in representation is one way in which he alleviates the tensions between poetic craft and poetic obligations. In CCCHA, while he is not working from an ars poetica, he is trying to move towards one as he works through his poetics. That is, he does not present us with a statement about poetry, but instead uses his poems themselves to illustrate—not just state—the complexity and difficulty of authentic poetic experience. Essentially, these pastoral returns are poetic retreats—moments where Spenser reevaluates his epic project and regrounds himself in a place he seemingly values as a genuine, poetic space. 

“Spenser’s Home: Remaining Here Below”
William Oram

Smith College
When on Mount Acidale Calidore comes across Colin’s hundred dancing maidens they are “thumping the hollow ground.” The participle, “thumping” gives the ethereal vision a curiously solid existence, and throughout his poetry Spenser tends to privilege the Many over the One. This paper looks at two different instances of this emphasis in Spenser’s poetry. In the Garden of Adonis, he celebrates matter, which, in the figure of Venus, dominates Adonis (form): “she … possesseth him and of his sweetness takes her fill” (The Faerie Queene It is a commonplace in neoplatonic writings to treat matter as a woman who actively “catches” male form, but matter is figured as a loose woman or a prostitute who goes through a series of lovers, staying faithful to none. By contrast, in the garden Spenser makes Venus’s relation to Adonis at once fruitful and tragic as creation inevitably leads to death. In Fowre Hymnes the speaker, for all his seeming ambition to go beyond this world, also remains here below. Despite the neoplatonic speculation of the first two hymnes, the speaker’s abiding concern is to gain the love of an earthly Lady. The later hymns, on the other hand, explore a visionary failure. There the speaker attempts to move himself to a colloquy with the God, through meditation on Christ’s life and on the created world. But both meditations end not with an achieved devotional utterance, but with the speaker’s unsatisfied self-address to “look at last up to that sovereign light / From whose pure beams al perfect beauty springs” (HHB 295-6). In these poems Spenser abides on earth, which is where his reality lies.

“Spenser’s Home in Ireland”
Jean Brink

Huntington Library 
Abstract not available.

Passions, Virtues and Humours

Chair: John Staines
John Jay College, CUNY

“How to Be Happy in The Faerie Queene
Katherine Eggert
University of Colorado
No one is really happy in The Faerie Queene, but the 1590 Faerie Queene begins to posit how to go about being happy, in a way that is radical and new. This paper argues that the 1590 Faerie Queene undertakes a stepwise meditation on the prevailing notions of Spenser’s time on what it takes to be happy, only to reject all of them in favor of a quite modern happiness. The Faerie Queene’s consideration of precedent theories of happiness begins in Book I, where Redcrosse’s wish not to have to “turne againe / Backe to the world, whose ioyes so fruitlesse are” (I.x.63) reflects both Aquinas’s idea that bliss pertains only in heaven, and Aristotle’s opinion that there is no telling whether you have been happy until you get to the end of your life and judge that you have been fortunate enough to qualify. Redcrosse thus seems to have no hope of being happy in the moment. Nor does that entire canto of Book II ostensibly devoted to the topic of secular happiness, the Phaedria episode, offer a much better guide to managing emotional well-being. We don’t get a clear sense of what Phaedria’s doing wrong in her mirthful state of mind, and we also are not given any response to her or alternative to her that moderates her joy to a temperate level. Only in the 1590 ending to Book III, where Britomart wishes for herself “like happinesse” to that of Amoret and Scudamour, do we perceive a workable model of earthly happiness: one that depends on fellow feeling and human community, including the community of readers asked to judge the scene. This episode’s reworking of happiness as not only secular but also relational and communitarian proves to be an important precedent for some of the most radical theories of happiness that the seventeenth century will construct. 

“Paracelsian Places in The Faerie Queene
Nathanial B. Smith
Central Michigan University
Read alongside the writings of the early sixteenth century Swiss physician and iatrochemist Paracelsus and his English disciples, Book II of The Faerie Queene appears much more skeptical of humoral medicine and psychology than is often recognized. Best known for his chemical treatment of syphilis and a homeopathic approach to illness such as miners’ diseases, Paracelsus’s deep debt to Neoplatonism, medieval alchemical writings, and popular, non-professional medical practices led him to ridicule and dismiss Galenic medicine as backward, materialist, and out of line with Christian doctrine. While Spenser is unlikely to have read Paracelsus directly, a number of Paracelsian texts in the 1580s and 90s familiarized English readers with a zealously Protestant critique of the Galenic idea that physical, mental, and by extension moral health results from the “dead qualities” of the four humoral complexions, binary combinations of the qualities of temperature and humidity. While Galenic language appears in prominent places throughout Book II, problems with reading the book through a humoral lens go beyond minor oddities, including the absence of the word “phlegm” and the description of Amavia’s suicidal blood as “sanguine.” Repeatedly, and in line with Paracelsian thinking, characters exhibit not two but three qualities, as when Sansloy, in canto ii, fluctuates between sanguine (hot and moist) and choleric (hot and dry) temperaments, a combination of three qualities, one predominant. The trinitarian structure of the passions in Book II may even echo the Paracelsian conception of disease as an imbalance (acrasia) of the three non-material principles of bodies, sulphur (reminiscent of “Burnt” Pyrochles), mercury (volatile Cymochles), and salt (sooty Mammon), cured not by allopathic, material medicine but by astral intervention. Tempered like a sword in Book II’s song of fire and flood, Guyon is the perfect homeopathic physician in the Bower of Bliss, fighting intemperate Acrasia with intemperance.

“Phaedria as the Servant of Weakness of Will in Book Two of The Faerie Queene
Gillian Hubbard
Victoria University of Wellington
Abstract not available.

The Mutabilitie Cantos

Chair: Linda Gregerson
University of Michigan

“The Face and Place of Mutabilitie”
Tamara Goeglein
Franklin & Marshall College  
Mutabilitie serves as a mistress of emblematic revels in the seventh canto of the Mutabiltie Cantos. This is her place in the trial, yet it is the narrator who describes—nay, experiences—the pageant of seasons, months, and hours, which begins with his “So” (7.28.1). It continues for nearly twenty stanzas and concludes with Mutabilitie’s reappearance and her indicative “Lo” (7.47.2). The “So” and the “Lo” set off the emblematic verse as inlaid, inserted, or embedded within the narrative arc. This is what “emblem” meant, much as a mosaic, and Early Modern emblematists refer to it this way. For Andreas Alciato, emblems were bits of ekphrastic verse, deliberately artificial and often markers of one’s identity. The emblematic pageant is the face Mutabilitie, whom, like Nature, we never actually see. How could we? 

“Ecstatic Metaphysics in the Cantos of Mutabilitie”
Galena Hashhozheva
Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich
Abstract not available.

“‘Gods Assembled all on Arlo hil’: Highs and Lows in Spenser’s Ireland and his Fictions”
Daniel Lochman
Texas State University
From the Theatre of Worldlings on, Spenser’s works represent physical locations of high and low in imaginative topographies that draw on literary traditions and historical experience. This paper considered Spenser’s unstable valuation of high and low in topical allegories of politics, religion, and authorship, like the instability in The Shepheardes Calender of Colin’s poetic elevation in June or Morrell’s religious elevation in July. In The Faerie Queene, elevated loci bear varied symbolic valence, from the dangers of the House of Pride or the Giant’s cliff to the pleasures of the New Jerusalem, Garden of Adonis, and Mount Acidale. The paper focused on ambivalent elevation in Colin Clout’s Come Home Again and the Mutabilitie Cantos, in both of which Spenser’s historical experience of the Ballahoura Hills and Galty Mountains shadows the idealized representation of Arlo Hill, resulting in narratives of change and in experiential wolves and thieves that challenge not only mythic deities but England’s Cynthia, whose imperial fiction threatens to dissolve and become disjoined from prophesied eternal “rest” (The Faerie Queene VII.vii.2.7)—the latter lacking any narrative bridge back to the experiential similar to Contemplation’s redirection of Redcrosse’s gaze in Book I. The narrative also dissolves within its visionary narrator. Although The Faerie Queene’s concluding stanzas gesture toward experience, time, and “all that moueth”—that is, toward a narrative that “doth in Change delight,” as any effective Sidneian or Spenserian narrative should—Mutabilitie disrupts heroic quests like those for imperial justice and courtesy, virtues fallen from favor by the close of Books 5 and 6. As the narrative disappears, so too does any hope that Galtymore can be inscribed as Arlo Hill.

Allegory and Simile

Chair: Heather James
University of Southern California 

“Imitating Florimell: The Place of Epic Simile in Book III of The Faerie Queene
Maria Fahey
Friends Seminary
Imitating Florimell” explores the place of Florimell in Book Three of The Faerie Queene with particular emphasis on the book’s epic similes. In just six cantos Spenser situates Florimell in eight similes, transporting her to places as far-fetched as the heavens, the hunting grounds, and the Aegean strand. Whereas the main narrative critically presents the chaste/chased Florimell’s unwillingness to distinguish between the pursuit of rude foresters and goodly knights, the similes locate the logic of her motivation to flee from all men as she searches for the man she desires, a logic obscured in the poem’s main narrative. Furthermore, Florimell’s imitation of heavenly bodies, wild animals, birds, and classical nymphs distinguishes her from False Florimell, the zombie who imitates only Florimell. Although the immobilizing power of the poet’s quill, like the immobilizing gaze of the men chasing her, threatens to turn Florimell into an imitable and lifeless image of male desire, that same poet’s quill gives life to True Florimell by situating her in far-away simile worlds where she imitates beings at once like and unlike herself. By identifying her with various creatures that authorize her fear of being beheld and by allowing that fuller range of identities to stake its place in the poem at large, the similes redirect Book Three’s overall comment on chastity and cause the narrator eventually to admit a more complex, often darker, vision of relations between knights and maidens than he first asserts. Book Three of The Faerie Queene—the book “contayning” chastity—reveals how a simile is able to unsettle the narrator’s attitude toward the chaste Florimell and, thus, toward chastity more generally. Recent scholars of narrative, from Susanne Wofford to Franco Moretti, have characterized similes and metaphors as figures that ultimately contain the transformations they perform. I, however, emphasize that the narrative transformations within an epic simile are not always cordoned off by the figure’s formal structure and can significantly shape the meanings of a work overall.

“Place in Simile and the Simile of Place in Spenser’s Faerie Queene
Susanne Wofford
Abstract not available.  

“Finding Freedom in Spenser’s Rhetorical Places”
Maria Devlin
Harvard University 
Critics often oppose allegory and freedom. When characters must embody an idea, this constraint destroys their freedom of choice in action. For Spenser, however, freedom is found, not in lack of constraint, but in ability to judge. Judgment is deliberation guided by a principle and attentive to particulars. On their own, principles underdetermine action. Agents must deliberate and choose how they will realize their principle in particular circumstances. Even allegorical characters bound to embody a certain virtue can deliberate as to how to embody that virtue in action. Such deliberation is signaled and enabled by rhetoric. Early Modern rhetoric and dialectic, and in particular the places or topics, were designed to help a speaker discern and compare the relevant particulars of his situation so he might judge how to respond to it. When we see characters in The Faerie Queene employing the tools of deliberative rhetoric, we also see them engaged in judgment and free choice. 

Spenser’s Environments

Chair: Tiffany Werth
Simon Fraser University 

“The Generative Center of Disruption: Harvey, Spenser, and Earthquakes”
Rebecca Totaro
Florida Gulf Coast University 

When on 6 April 1580 an earthquake struck in the Strait of Dover, it set off a wave of literal and literary aftershocks as people attempted to account for the rare phenomenon in a period prior to the codification of meteorology as a discipline. Some considered the earthquake a supernatural occurrence, a warning directly from God; others drew from newly circulating Aristotelian meteorological theories to posit that the earthquake could be an entirely natural event, not to be feared and certainly not to be interpreted by way of prognostication as a call to a particular kind of action. Gabriel Harvey and Edmund Spenser, each in different ways over the course of the next decade, combined these explanations and to them added still more compelling and memorable accounts of the cause of earthquakes. In the letter exchange from 1580 and in The Faerie Queene, earthquakes figure as the progeny of a generative maternal body—an appropriation of the paradigmatic pagan mother earth who is the creative center of the geocosmic universe and who gives birth not only to the gods and to humans but to the titans who threaten to disrupt order even from their incarceration within earth’s womb. This short paper will include an examination of a couple of the most extraordinary of their imaginings and of the dangers associated with privileging such readings of radical meteorological change. For example, in the earthquake letters, my focus will be on Harvey’s joke that a sneezing mother earth, rather than a Christian God, caused the earthquake; in book 1 of the The Faerie Queene, the meteoric progeny of mother earth are Redcrosse Knight’s gravest of opponents; in book 3, Britomart, even in her virginity, figures forth mother earth rumbling because of her meteorophysiological love wound; and it is Spenser’s greatest titaness, Mutability herself, who challenges order and establishment, pointing to the disruptive nature of a female, non-Christian, generative center for passionately motivated, less than predictable creation. 

“‘The Sunbeams bright upon her body playd’: Generation and Landscape in the Birth of Belphoebe and Amoret”
Susan Staub
Appalachian State University
Abstract not available. 

“‘Noiyse Wherof the Quyre of Byrds Resounded’: A Critical Animals’ Reading of Spenser’s Ornithology”
Kevin De Ornellas
University of Ulster
Spenser’s birds have received much attention in the past: it is well known that Spenser mentions dozens of different, precise species; and given the sheer scale of the Spenserian oeuvre it is hardly surprising that there are several hundred references to birds, some very specific and ornithologically accurate; some general and/or vague and/or purely figurative. It is time for a thorough engagement with Spenser’s birds: and it should be pursued with a stress on the more accurate, precisely depicted avians of Spenser. In the past there has been a supposition that Spenser did not know birds in the way that the country boy Shakespeare knew birds. Such superficial differences between Spenser as urban court poet and Shakespeare as public playwright with a countryman’s spirit are at best simplistic and at worst misleading: the division between city and country in the 1590s was obviously profoundly different from our temporal, environmental and geographical contexts. Scholars have been energetically examining registers of ecological differences, such as birds, in Early Modern texts for some years now. As Karen Raber asserts in a recent monograph “Scholars like Erica Fudge, Bruce Boehrer [et al] … have transformed the study of animals in the Renaissance from hobby history to serious academic subject.” But it seems that the recent scholarly engagement with the Renaissance non-human has not yet been fully applied to Spenser’s canon: indeed, references to Spenser in many seminal monographs in the field are almost embarrassingly few. It is the purpose of my paper to make a contribution to change that, arguing for the primacy of avian imagery in Spenser as a dynamic, serious, vital component of Spenser’s ecological colouring. For critical animals scholars and ecocritics a Cormorant is not just a malign allegorical figure representing venality and rapaciousness—it is a flesh-and-blood entity under threat from real environmental destruction in the 2010s—the physical threat to the bird parallels the linguistically dangerous troping of the supposedly malevolent bird in Spenser’s verse. And the bird that Amoretti Sonnet LXXIII’s speaker’s desired female might “gently encage” is not a mere symbol of a captured heart but rather a register for all eccentric imprisonments of wild beasts by human superiority—assuming men and women. In short, in 2015 Spenser’s birds may be seen as real birds, alive, corporal and linked crucially to material birds today—they serve not just as poetic decoration or political allusion. 

Sources of A View

Chair: Clare Carroll
Queens College, CUNY

“Irish Sources for Spenser’s View
Nicholas Canny
NUI, Galway 
Nicholas Canny pointed to a difference between the early section of Spenser’s View, where Irenius and Eudoxus considered how to reform Ireland, and the later section where Irenius prescribed how the agreed reform should be accomplished. Canny explained that the later section, describing how garrisons might be positioned throughout Ireland, could have been drawn from any of several sixteenth-century programmes of government for Ireland seeking one military escalation to bring the entire country to order, and promising to meet the cost from the extra revenue that would accrue to the crown once order was established. For the earlier section, Canny considered the remote influence to have been twelfth-century texts by Gerald of Wales, describing the Norman intervention in Ireland as a civilising process, and recent interpretations of those texts, notably Richard Stanyhurst’s 1577 A Plain and Perfect Description of Ireland. Canny considered this latter identification problematic because the ultimate purpose of the View was to discredit Stanyhurst’s argument that Irish born descendants of the Norman conquerors of Ireland should complete that task. The problem was resolved, claimed Canny, because Stanyhurst’s original text reappeared in the 1587 edition of Holinshed’s Chronicle accompanied by some translations from the writings of Gerald of Wales made by John Hooker (an English Protestant antiquarian), and also by Hooker’s History of Ireland 1546-86 where he attributed the disturbed condition of the country to the recalcitrance of lords of Norman descent. This, for Hooker, and also for Spenser, proved that the Irish population of English descent was in greater need of reform than their Gaelic neighbours. Given that this was the novel argument of the View Canny concluded that Hooker’s contribution to the 1587 edition of Holinshed’s Chronicle was the most potent influence on that text. 

“Spenser Among the Anthropologists”
Elizabeth Fowler
University of Virginia
What would happen if we were to be more patient—not politically patient, but intellectually, historiographically patient with the Vewe of the Present State of Ireland? What if we asked, what is the nature of its thinking? How does it fit into the history of thought? I think we would see it as a piece of social science, an early example of anthropology, ethnography, and comparatist world history. Early anthropology grew hand in hand with colonialism, and then it also became, in the last century, one of colonialism’s chief critics. We can see Spenser as a Worldling, a global writer, not just a Brit, with the faults as well as the promise of early social science. His early work is resolutely non-national, and his Ireland is a space that is part of the world: deeply mixed and various. This talk was a manifesto that urged us to be inspired by three brilliant social scientists of the last century (Margaret T. Hodgen, Janet Abu-Lughod, and Wendy James) and to consider more seriously three of Spenser’s explicit sources (Olaus Magnus, George Buchanan, and Johannes Bohemus), who were his partners in the construction of modern social thought. 

“The Classical Background to the View
Gordon Braden
University of Virginia
Most references to classical Greek and Roman literature in the View are brief and of no great consequence; it is likely that many of them were mediated by more recent writers, such as George Buchanan. A few classical works, however, have a relevance to the View whether Spenser was immediately consulting them or not, notably those having to do with the classical Roman experience of conquest and empire. Caesar’s De bello gallico, glancingly cited six times in the View, is the obvious example; but there are particularly uncanny, previously unnoted connections between Spenser’s dialogue and a work he alludes to by author but never specifically names, Tacitus’s Agricola. Agricola is an important source for the history of Rome’s conquest and pacification of Britain, a difficult process with analogies to the English attempt to subdue Ireland; Tacitus indeed raises the possibility that Ireland might be the next logical object of Rome’s attention. But Agricola is not ultimately a narrative of imperial success; it is Tacitus’s biography of his father-in-law, the governor who brought Rome to the point of subduing the entire island of Britain, only to be recalled by Domitian, who also began Rome’s withdrawal to a line south of what is now Scotland. As a protest against the injustice and folly of the emperor’s action, Agricola offers a parallel to Spenser’s protest against the recall of his own patron, Lord Grey, whom he similarly argues had been on the point of successfully completing his mission. Spenser’s criticism of high-level malfeasance in Elizabeth’s court is muted, far more careful than Tacitus’s denunciation of the corruption at the center of Roman power, nor does Spenser give voice to the kind of sarcastic scepticism about England’s imperial mission that Tacitus puts in the mouth of the resistance leader Calgacus in denouncing Rome. But the parallel can nevertheless be detected in surprising places, including Spenser’s famous depiction of the suffering of the Irish rebels at the hands of English policy.


Spenser in Translation and Popular Culture

Chair: Anne Lake Prescott
Barnard College

“Greatest Hits: The Faerie Queene in Internet Media”
Alan Garfield
University of Dubuque   
A particular curiosity of the 5th International Spenser Conference, with a host of unique titles and takes on Spenser, is the obvious and anxious observation which sounds something like this: Am I going to hear any new discoveries about the subject? Surely we’ve already heard the author rearranged and rethought, and that can be exciting. We’ll just have to see if there is one single archival discovery, a so-called “smoking gun,” that conclusively proves something that no one knew before.

But this is not that kind of paper. It’s a methodological thing. While The Faerie Queene was so widely admired and imitated from the 16th-19th centuries (can you possibly read Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream or Milton’s Paradise Lost without Spenser by your side?), my focus is fast forward. That The Faerie Queene interacted with its time so significantly and that it helped to fashion our own is without contest; but what is there in this romance-epic poem to inform the brave, new, internet-based, digital world of ours and, more particularly, that of our students?

Does Horace’s utterance (ut picture poesis) still apply to contemporary iterations and considerations of The Faerie Queene? Are Spenserians ready for internet-age interpretations in various media? The answer—how else could it be—is that contemporary re-interpretation must also be allowed, embraced and critiqued else the work risks “The antique rolles, which there lye hidden still” (

In this paper, two Spenserian taxonomies are introduced and explored using multimedia. Most ubiquitous is Digital Spenser—The Faerie Queene in various formats principally for didactic purposes. The second (and most exciting) category is Media Spenser; perhaps both more problematic and entertaining at the same time. When is modernizing Faerie Queene tampering with Spenser’s text; when does it allow new insights; or when is it just kitsch?

The paper analyses twelve examples in both categories.

While zombie apocalypse and game remediation, with the assistance of powerful and inexpensive technology, has become the pervasive backbone of our students today, how do we react to such reinterpretations? This paper posits that it is our students’ duty to interpret Spenser differently. In fact, one might almost go so far as to say there is a dignity to interpret these Cantos differently. In sociological parlance, I think we could say that many of these examples have tried to universalize the particularity of The Faerie Queene. The examples make being different acceptable in the language of today.

“‘The dragon is sin’: Spenser’s Book One as Evangelical Fantasy Fiction”
Margaret Christian
Penn State Lehigh Valley
One way to look at Spenser is as a sixteenth-century Frank Peretti, the “sanctified Stephen King” whose evangelical fantasy novels made New York Times bestseller lists in the 1990s.

Frank Peretti’s The Oath (1995) features a contest between an allegorical dragon and Dr. Steve Benson, wildlife biologist and fallible protagonist. In his quest, the hero takes up with a Duessa-figure, the seductive and deceitful Tracy, and is rescued and mentored, not by Prince Arthur, but by the born-again but socially awkward Levi who offers this paper’s title. (The only clergy who appears is, like Archimago, on the dragon’s side.) The characters’ sins produce stylized physical symptoms like Redcrosse’s, and the healing of Benson’s infected wound is part of his conversion and experience of grace.

Many anonymous early annotators of The Faerie Queene had interests less literary than Jonson’s, Raleigh’s, or Drummond’s. These readers experienced Book One as Christian fiction and noted its biblical affinities rather than its literary excellence. The parallels between Spenser’s and Peretti’s works can remind us of Spenser’s broad appeal and the types of enjoyment a range of readers found in the pages of Book One.

“French Translations of Spenser: a Poetics of Purple Patches”
Laetitia Sansonetti
Université Paris Ouest Nanterre, France
There has been no complete translation of The Faerie Queene in French. The latest attempt (which dates back to the 1950s) was a bilingual edition of selected excerpts. In his foreword, the translator, Michel Poirier, explains that his choice of format is justified for The Faerie Queene “more than any other work in the English language.” Although he adds that the excerpts selected are of sufficient length to give the readers a good overview of Spenser’s rich poem, he also vindicates his choice of a translation in “rhythmical prose” with the statement that The Faerie Queene shows “very little use of poetic diction, has few poetic images, many repetitions and some padding.”  

In this paper, I would like to show how Poirier’s partial translation of The Faerie Queene, and those by others (Emile Legouis and Paul de Reul) before him, are shaped by a certain understanding of Spenser’s poetics that has informed the reception of Spenser in France. My aim is not to criticise those translations (most of which are outstanding) but to reveal how the choice of “selected excerpts” (in French, “morceaux choisis”) depends on a conception of Spenser’s poetics that is, I think, (at least partly) mistaken. By singling out “purple patches,” Poirier and his predecessors promote an interpretation of The Faerie Queene as a series of “tableaux” or “vignettes” that downplays the narrative dimension of the poem.

My reflection on French translations of The Faerie Queene will thus, I hope, help shed light on some particularities of Spenser’s narrative poetry which become lost in a collection of purple patches.


Spenser’s Cities

Chair: Tamara Goeglein
Franklin & Marshall College 

“Miniature Cities”
Rachel Eisendrath
Barnard College
Journeying down Old Kent Road toward Canterbury, Chaucer’s pilgrims glimpse ‘real’ towns from a distance, calling them out by name as they go by: “Lo Depeford!…. / Lo Grenewych, ther many a shrewe is inne!” exclaims the Host (I.3905-6), and six fragments later, the Host calls out, “Loo, Rouchestre stant heer faste by” (VII.2723). In The Faerie Queene, Spenser describes what London would have looked like from a distance, from the perspective of those “beholding it from farre” (III.ix.45). In this paper, I situate these textual accounts of distant cities alongside the rendering of miniature cities in the backgrounds of Netherlandish paintings. For example, in Gerard David’s 1510-15 Virgin and Child with Four Angels at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the cathedral steeple of Bruges depicted in the background is so tiny that it seems almost to pinprick the knee of the levitating angel in the foreground.

My paper draws attention to the connection between the realism of these miniature cities and their distant smallness. Rather than disregarding the size of these cities by excising them from their context in the backgrounds of visual and literary works, my paper explores how these small patches of realism can be understood in relation to other ways of viewing the world. If the descriptive precision of cities can be linked to the rise of worldly observation, what can be said about their diminutive size? By concentrating on the proportion of these cities in relation to surrounding scenes, I consider how the geographical realism of the Early Modern period emerged from within medieval worldviews.

“Radigund’s City and Woman’s Place in the Social Order in Book V of The Faerie Queene
Lori A. Davis Perry
US Air Force Academy
This paper examines the unsettled relationship between patriarchy and justice in the city of Radigone and its queen, Radigund. Although patriarchy appears to represent a solid convergence of both metaphysical and genealogical order—both that which is and that which always was—Spenser’s imagery does not sustain the clear boundaries we expect between patriarchal and matriarchal hierarchies, just and unjust violence, divine authority and brutal oppression. In fact, moral and physical distinctions between Radigund, Artegall, Talus, and Britomart consistently collapse in moments of extremis, revealing that they are more alike than first imagined. Thus our assumptions about the cosmological and genealogical sources of patriarchal authority begin to fray, leading us to ask uneasy questions about the distinctions between justice and vengeance. Even patriarchy, so solidly sanctioned by custom and long tradition, fails to secure its continued authority without recourse to violence, and cannot summon the hegemonic amnesia required to maintain control over the civil society of Radigone.

“Spenser’s Ruines of Time, Prosopopoeia and Corporate Personhood”
Joel Rodgers
University of Toronto
Abstract not available.

Spenser and Chaucer

Chair: Craig Berry
Independent Scholar

“Reviving Labours Lost: Chaucerian Supplement in Book IV of The Faerie Queene
Leah Whittington
Harvard University
This paper approaches Spenser’s “completion” of Chaucer’s Squire’s Tale in Book IV of the Faerie Queene by considering it with reference to the Renaissance genre of the supplementum, continuations of works thought to be incomplete—from Maffeo Vegio’s Thirteenth Book of the Aeneid to Chapman’s continuation of Marlowe’s Hero and Leander. Spenser critics informed by deconstruction (Jonathan Goldberg, Elizabeth Bellamy) have described Book IV’s continuation of the Squire’s Tale in terms of a loss of narrative control, as Spenser allows his narrative voice to be absorbed and subsumed into other antecedent and authoritative poetic voices. I argue, by contrast, that Spenser’s supplement to Chaucer figures imitation as a double gesture vis-à-vis the literary past, simultaneously implying lack or absence in the source and also a reverential commitment to leaving that source intact as an incomplete artifact. For Spenser, supplementing Chaucer is act of humanist scholarly recuperation, a pathos-laden process of piecing together a fragmentary ancient text damaged by “cursed Eld the cankerworme of writs” (IV.ii.33.6), which transfers the humanist discourse of recovering antiquity to his medieval poetic heritage. The deconstructive notion of the supplement, I suggest, must be seen in relation to the humanist practice of supplementation, a crucial Renaissance context for Spenser’s imitative strategies, which complicates and enriches our view of The Faerie Queene’s relationship to its poetic predecessors. 

“The Polity’s Two Bodies: Kantorowicz and Collectivity in The Faerie Queene
Mark Sherman
Rhode Island School of Design
This paper considers the implications for Spenser of Ernst Kantorowicz’s account, in The King’s Two Bodies, of the shift in significance of the Pauline Corpus Christi from a social collective to the monarchial person, and argues that while concerns of common collectivity are typically suppressed by official discourses of monarchic ascension, they are, contrarily, enhanced in the focus of works like The Faerie Queene. It is proposed that Spenser’s treatment of the collected commons (ostensibly negative, in such figures as a rascal, rude or troublous rout) owes much to Chaucer’s treatment of political theology in Fragment VII of the Canterbury Tales, and particularly in the Nun’s Priest’s Tale, which deploys radically antithetical views of collectivity as it, ironically, provides “salvation” by way of a mob that facilitates the protagonist’s turn away from the threat posed by the fox. The manner in which the Nun’s Priest folds gender concerns into his tale suggest that his beast fable responds directly to the political vision of the Knight’s Tale, which had become prominent once more in Fragment VII. Spenser employs the Nun’s Priest’s gender and class politics to shape the conclusion of Britomart’s quest in The Faerie Queene’s central books, where the force of theologized politics converge on her body. Like Chaucer, Spenser allows a conflicting and subversive profile of the unruly rout of Radegonians to emerge that informs Britomart’s turn away from the conquered city, leaving behind an iconic empty throne that, for Giorgio Agamben, represents the vacuity of divinized monarchy, and the politico-theological ideology that had driven Britomart’s quest to that point.

The Squire’s Tale in Spenser and Stow”
Jeff Espie
University of Toronto
My paper examines Spenser’s place in the English literary tradition, paying particular attention to his reconstruction of The Squire’s Tale and to his intertextual relationship with Chaucer in Book IV of The Faerie Queene. To do so, I analyze the textual place in which Spenser most likely encountered The Squire’s Prologue and Tale; namely, Stow’s 1561 edition of Chaucer’s Works. I adopt this focus to supplement Jonathan Goldberg’s seminal study, Endlesse Worke: Spenser and the Structures of Discourse, a monograph that frames Faerie Queene IV in relation to an invigorating reading of The Squire’s Prologue as it appears in F.N. Robinson’s 1957 Riverside Chaucer. Thirty-three years have passed since the publication of Endlesse Worke and, in the interim, several critics, most notably Judith Anderson and Craig Berry, have productively refined the details of Goldberg’s argument. These critics have not, however, performed the more fundamental step of refining the body of evidence from which this argument is derived. My paper takes this step. I demonstrate that The Squire’s Prologue that Goldberg cites from Robinson’s edition is a radically different text from The Squire’s Prologue which Spenser likely read in Stow’s printed book. In the Stow-prologue, the Squire is not, as Goldberg suggests, a tale-teller who passively acquiesces to the demands of authority, but one who assertively dictates an interpretive program for his audience. Stow’s Squire, I argue, serves as an important precedent for Spenser and his own relationship to literary authority in Book IV. Rather than surrendering his voice entirely to Chaucer, Spenser actively dictates the terms in which Chaucer’s voice can be heard. In dictating these terms, Spenser outlines a framework to interpret his reconstruction of The Squire’s Tale, his representation of Chaucer’s literary career and his own place in literary history.

Spenser in Irish Writing

Chair: Anthony Roche
University College Dublin 

“Spenser’s View and the Nineteenth-century Irish Novel”
Clare O’Halloran
School of History, University College Cork
In 1805, Edward Ledwich proclaimed the importance, even uniqueness, of Edmund Spenser for understanding the Irish past: ‘“Civilisation having almost obliterated every vestige of our ancient manners, the remembrance of them is only to be found in Spenser; so that he may be considered, at this day, as an Irish antiquary”’ (Quoted in H.J. Todd, “Some Account of the Life of Spenser” in The Complete Works of Edmund Spenser, 8 vols (London, 1805), I,  cxxvi.) This may constitute the first attempt to claim Spenser for Ireland; a process that has accelerated in recent decades, not least in Spenser Studies. It is no accident that this first annexation came from the most combative of the conservative Protestant antiquaries of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, whose historical perspective owed most to the earlier colonial commentators. His reputation had been enhanced by the 1798 rebellion, and his Antiquities of Ireland came out in a new and extended edition in 1804. The work of scholars of a more liberal disposition, who had sought to present the Gaelic world in a more positive light, had been discredited by that rebellion, which had proved conclusively to Protestants that the Elizabethan project of reshaping Irish life and society on English lines had failed. Protestant writers, including novelists, turned again to the classic colonial works of that period for enlightenment. This paper builds on my recently published article “Recalling the View: Edmund Spenser and Ireland in the Eighteenth Century” (Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 2014) and explores the use of Spenser’s View by Maria Edgeworth, Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan) and Charles Maturin. It argues that Spenser’s ethnography of the Irish remained a compelling component of such writers’ attempts to explain the Irish problem to an English audience in the post-Union world.

“Salvaging Spenser in Contemporary Irish Poetry”
Jane Grogan
University College Dublin
There has been a marked return to Spenser in Irish poetry in the last decade, one that takes shape not so much in response to Spenser’s poetry as it does from ruins, fragment and salvage in the Irish landscape and seascape. Just as Spenser was fascinated by the material traces and cultural figures of ruin, so Irish poets have engaged him anew through a poetics of ruin in recent years. But more recently, such approaches have turned instead to paradigms and mechanisms of untimeliness, I argue. Building on my long essay on literary responses to Spenser by Irish writers in the twentieth century, this paper reviews the political and poetic diversity of new responses to and of Spenser by Irish poets in contemporary Irish poetry (specifically, in 2014 and 2015), and discusses poems by Sean Lysaght, Trevor Joyce, Moya Cannon and John McAuliffe. 

The Faerie Queene at Finnegans Wake
Brad Tuggle
The University of Alabama
Spenser and Joyce: two epicists, two exiles. These facts alone make it likely that Joyce immersed himself in Spenser, whether as an undergraduate or as a mature novelist. Though in some ways diametrically opposed (English and Irish, Early Modern and high modern), each has a similarly complicated attitude about Ireland as a place called “home.” Though Joyce’s interest in Renaissance English poetry is well documented, hardly any attention has been paid to Joyce’s remarkable debts to Spenser. In particular, I argue that Finnegans Wake takes The Faerie Queene as one of its many models and sources.

First, I will scrutinize the famous Anna Livia Plurabelle episode, a riverine chapter whose source is the Marriage of the Thames and the Medway. But I also want to suggest that the character of ALP (as matriarch, as constantly absent presence, as red-haired former beauty) pays remarkable homage to Spenser’s Gloriana. Both characters are based on real people (Livia Schmitz and Elizabeth I), and both characters are presented in highly ambivalent ways. ALP is both faithful wife and whore; Spenser sometimes seems to be kissing Elizabeth’s ass, while at other times he is obviously kicking it. Each figure thus provides a foundation for each writer’s anxieties about perspective, femininity, homeland, political authority, and patronage.

The second passage I will examine is a brief allusion to Spenser and Raleigh in FW: “sponsor to a squad of piercers, ally to a host of rawlies.” I will speculate on Joyce’s interest in these two Early Modern English planter-poets, and perform a close reading focusing on the multiple resonances of sponsor and hostsquad and ally. These words suggest a constellation of related ideas in Spenser and Joyce: political participation and partisanship, reliance on a patronage system, and literary belonging (otherwise known as the anxiety of influence). 

Spenserian Poetics: Its Places and Displacements

Chair: Graham Hammill
SUNY, Buffalo 

“Spenser auf Deutsch”
Nigel Smith
Princeton University
Abstract not available.

“Pythagoras and Mutabilitie: The Metamorphic Place of the Human”
Linda Gregerson
University of Michigan
Abstract not available.

“‘O pierlesse Poesye, where is then thy Place?’: Locating Patronage in Spenser”
Richard McCabe
Merton College, University of Oxford 
As Piers’ despairing question indicates, Spenser’s concern with patronage stretches beyond his paratexts to inform the topography of the verse through which he seeks it. As he proceeds from genre to genre, the geographical dislocation of his speakers figures the cultural displacement of his craft. In terms of the authorial careers he lived and fabricated—the distinct yet inextricably related careers of Edmund Spenser and Colin Clout—“place” is of crucial thematic significance to “authority,” whether it be Leicester House, Kilcolman Castle, Essex House, Mount Acidale or the “courts” of Cynthia and Mercilla (and it is arguable whether the former three are more or less “fictive” than the latter). Beginning with an analysis of the “place” of poetry in the pastoral landscape of The Shepheardes Calender, this paper will examine its various inflections in the epic, satiric, amorous and religious verse that followed, linking the search for appropriate patronage to the progressive alienation of a poetic persona increasingly located in a cultural “wilderness.” Relegated to the allegedly “salvage” terrain of the Gaelic bards, Spenser creates landscapes that both attest to and simultaneously resist the fear of assimilation to bardic status. “From another place” he insists, “I take my name / A house of ancient fame.” But the wish to live in fairyland, expressed in the proem to the sixth book of The Faerie Queene, concedes poetry’s inability to fashion a patronal culture worthy of heroic verse, and necessitates the adoption of an Ovidian poetics paradoxically centred on the displaced self.


Spenser and Drama

Chair: Maedhbh O’Halloran
University College Cork

“Oenone, Harpalus, and Colin: Pastoral Contaminatio in The Araygnment of Paris and Englands Helicon
Lindsay Ann Reid
NUI, Galway
The Shepheardes Calender was still a new work, not even yet publicly acknowledged by its author, when George Peele decided to co-opt its central character and represent Colin Clout onstage in The Araygnment of Paris. And I contend that Peele’s bold reanimation of a well-known Elizabethan literary persona may offer fresh insight into the early reception of Spenser’s pastoral work. I thus approach Peele’s play as a significant piece of contemporary commentary on the perceived literary genetics of Spenser’s Calender, particularly its plaintive eclogues. Whereas the general trend in our own time has been to emphasize the Vergilian—and, to a lesser extent, the Theocritean or continental Renaissance—precedents for the pastoralism of Spenser’s Calender, Peele’s sixteenth-century revivification of Colin directs our attention elsewhere, suggesting that Elizabethan audiences may also have sensed pastoral patterns and precedents for Colin in places as diverse as Ovid’s Heroides or Tottel’s Miscellany. I argue that Peele’s dramatic interpretation of Spenser’s Colin—an interpretation later echoed in Englands Helicon, a pastoral-themed miscellany of 1600—underscores the intertextual relationships this Spenserian shepherd to what is, perhaps, an unexpected set of pastoral precursors: namely, the literary characters Oenone and Harpalus.

“Comic Resolution and Interior Transformation in Shakespeare and Spenser”
Patricia Wareh
Union College
This paper puts the Pœana episode in Book IV of The Faerie Queene into conversation with the presentation of Katherine in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, demonstrating a parallel between how these texts foreground the wonder that is created in onlooking characters by the transgressive woman’s transformation at the same time that they bring into question the authenticity of that transformation. I argue that the spectacle of the reformed woman in both Spenser and Shakespeare prompts readers and audiences to consider critically their own relationship to texts depicting moral instruction; as Shakespeare’s audiences must engage with multiple layers of performance, Spenser’s readers are similarly encouraged to be suspicious of an overly neat resolution to the problem of the untamed woman.

“Akrasia and Revenge Tragedy”
Emily Vasiliauskas
Princeton University
How did akrasia—“the state of tending to act against one’s better judgement”—a concept which Aristotle identified as un-tragic and whose very existence Socrates denied, become indispensable for Shakespeare and his contemporaries? This is too large a question for a conference paper to address, but I make a start by suggesting, first, that Spenser played an important role in this transformation and, second, that the generic competition between tragedy and romance in Book II of The Faerie Queene provided a new model for tragedy’s narrative form. Whereas Aristotelian tragedies link a momentary action in the past with a permanent condition of abjection, akratic tragedies feature protagonists who purposefully commit themselves to evil for the medium term, often in the expectation that they will ultimately forsake it. A strange passage in the history of evil, when it became more closely allied with behavior than with fate or identity: these Early Modern dramas depict wrongdoing as capable of being forgiven and redeemed, but also as undertaken knowingly, strategically, even dutifully.


Amazons, Scythians and Other Barbarians

Chair: Jim Ellis
University of Calgary

“Scythia, Herodotus, and the Place of History in Spenser’s Vewe
Marion Hollings
Middle Tennessee State University
Abstract not available.

“The Place of the Amazon(s) in Spenser’s Faerie Queene
Rhonda Lemke Sanford
Fairmont State University
Abstract not available. 

“‘Vnfitte through his rusticity for a better place’: The Place of Rhetoric in Spenser’s Conception of Courtesy”
Michelle Golden
Georgia State University
Abstract not available. 

Spenser in Books

Chair: Paul Hecht
Purdue University North Central

“‘O dolefull Ryme’: Recontextualising Clorinda’s Lay”
Elisabeth Chaghafi
Universitaet Tuebingen
For most Spenserians, the word “dolefull,” and particularly the phrase “dolefull lay” immediately conjure up one particular poem: the so-called “Dolefull Lay of Clorinda,” an elegy which directly connects to (and arguably even forms part of) Spenser’s much-neglected “Astrophel” and is written in the voice of Astrophel’s sister, a shepherdess called Clorinda. It is known mainly for two things: an authorship debate during which it was suggested that those sixteen stanzas might really have been written by the sister of “Astrophel”—that is, the Countess of Pembroke”—and the fact that it is generally credited with being a more successful elegy than “Astrophel,” which seems to fall rather short in this respect.

However, the exclusive association of the phrase “dolefull lay” with the stanzas written in Clorinda’s voice is problematic. For one thing, the title is a later addition, for another it is the result of an editing tradition that has placed a particular focus on those stanzas by removing them (along with “Astrophel”) from their original printed context.

This paper examines that original context of the poem, as part of a quarto volume containing not just “Astrophel,” but also “Colin Clouts Come Home Againe,” as well as five other elegies for Sidney by other poets—all of which are introduced as “dolefull lays.” It argues that the printed context of the original quarto is crucial (which is why it is regrettable that the remaining five elegies are nearly always omitted in modern editions) and proposes a reading for the volume as a whole.

“In mirrours more than one’: Edmund Spenser and the Collection as Form”
Craig Farrell
University of York
Abstract not available.

“‘Deepe rootes’: Digby, Jonson, and the Place of Spenser’s Style”
Andrew Miller
Princeton University
Abstract not available.

Political Contexts for the View

Chair: David J. Baker
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

“How Spenser’s View of the Present State of Ireland was Collected and Read: Folger Vb.214 and Yale, Osborn MS fa 12”
Clare Carroll
Abstract not available.

“State Theory, Godly Reform and a Reconsideration of Spenser’s View
Mark A. Hutchinson
Lichtenberg-Kolleg, University of Goettingen, Germany
Within Irish government correspondence a marked use of the term “the state” can be identified in the 1580s, which denoted an abstract and absolutist conception of sovereign authority. Such a notion, I would suggest, is central to Spenser’s solution to the Irish problem, with a View encapsulating the shifting use of the term, which denoted the state or condition of the island and the institution of “the state.” For Spenser the various claims made by Ireland’s lords to an independent sovereign jurisdiction allowed these lords to act in ways which de-stabilized “the state.” This was made worse by the physical absence of the person of the prince.

A View’s solution to such a dislocated sovereignty was to relocate such authority within the offices of state, as in the Irish lord deputyship; but more importantly, Spenser’s conception of “the state” was conditioned by a preceding religious reform discussion. A tendency within Irish historiography to downplay the frustrated evangelical motivation of Irish government has allowed the strength of Spenser’s references to this evangelical agenda to be sidestepped. Nevertheless, Spenser’s “state” sought to regulate political relationships through institutional controls, by breaking corrupt and customary bonds of unity with the removal of native noble leadership and by splitting communities into atomized units. This, I would suggest, was a response to a failure to make available God’s word, which meant government could not build a commonwealth linked together through the internal bonds of grace based friendship. After all, trial by jury depended upon the health of a juror’s conscience.

Here a View can be read as part of a wider statist reassessment of English society, where in England a godly commonwealth had also failed to emerge. The difference was one of extremes, with the severity of the Irish situation encouraging Spenser to adopt a conceptually advanced position. 

“Edmund Spenser and the Place of Colonial Government in Context”
Jane Wong Yeang Chui
Division of English, Nanyang Technological University
Within the context of colonial administration, Spenser is most well known as secretary to Lord Arthur Grey de Wilton. Lord Grey was allegedly disgraced and recalled from Ireland because of his extreme acts of brutality against the natives, more specifically at the Siege of Smerkwick (1580). Critics have associated these events with The Faerie Queene Book V, and many also consider the work to be a thinly veiled “apology” for Lord Grey. This interpretation implicitly aligns Spenser’s views of colonial administration with Lord Grey’s: lord deputies should be able to complete the conquest of Ireland without interference from England. My paper problematizes this seemingly unambiguous idea and argues that Spenser’s “proposal” (particularly in A View of the Present State of Ireland) to be problematic, even somewhat unrealistic. After Henry VIII’s reign, the overhaul of colonial administration from “passive” to military rule was aimed at consolidating royal authority in Ireland, but it is precisely this overhaul that further alienates Ireland from England. The hostility among the colonial government, the Old English, and the Irish natives is also accentuated by the exigencies apparent in the last decades of Elizabeth’s reign. Childless and ageing, the queen must consistently assert authority over her increasingly popular male military advisors and officials: how would Ireland perceive a purportedly merciful queen who struggles to control her “bloodthirsty” representatives and when royal authority is vested in a figure who is anything but royal? Where does royal authority break down in the so-called final conquest of Ireland? By juxtaposing Spenser’s writings with Holinshed’s Chronicles (1587) and Sir Henry Sidney’s memoir, my paper explores the implications of these questions. I hope to shed new insight on Spenser’s ideas of colonial government, and how historical and popular thought expose the problems of power struggle that are so entrenched within Elizabeth’s colonial government.

Spenser and the Human: A Conversation

Chair: Ayesha Ramachandran
Yale University

“Spenser’s Inhumanity”
Joseph Campana
Rice University
There seems to be no bear market in sight for what some call “animal studies” or, to include a larger swathe of creatures, the study of the “non-human.” Not only animals and insects and trees have been of interest but, more recently, a wide array of inanimate objects and substances. Scholars of Early Modernity have been no exception to this more general trend. It has been hard not to notice how large William Shakespeare looms in such conversations. But do the vagaries of literary celebrity explain the diminished presence of other figures? Why, that is, has Edmund Spenser not been a primary interlocutor in recent conversations about creaturely life in the Renaissance? And what might explain the relative dearth of conversation in Spenser studies itself? This seems especially remarkable given the way a variety of life forms run riot in The Shepheardes CalenderThe Faerie Queene, and elsewhere. This essay will suggest two primary reasons for this trend, both related to forms of captivating inhumanity central to both Spenser and the critical tradition. First, the incredible gravity instances of dehumanization have exercised on Spenser studies has made it difficult to see beasts as anything more than aspects of the bestialization of humans. Second, the inhumanity of allegorical reading and writing has made other forms of life hard to see in that certain allegorical reading strategies strip away creaturely life (human and non-human) to bare significance while allegorical writing has always been a complex and we might say inhuman mechanism of humanization and personation whose ultimate aim is to trap all life and all matter into some species of agentive, so-called humanity. Thus the task of reading Spenser is to consider to what extent his constitutive and signature inhumanity is a product of violence alone or an incitement to a greater range and vitality of life.

“Irish Non-humanness and English Inhumanity in A View of the Present State of Ireland
Kat Lecky
Arkansas State University
Abstract not available.

“‘Degendered’: Spenser’s Stonie Age of Man”
Tiffany Werth
Simon Fraser University
How might theoretical frameworks and vocabularies of posthumanism and new materialism—that may strike some as anachronistic or even irrelevant—offer us a new perspective on Edmund Spenser’s work? This paper explores the far reaches, perhaps the most extreme reach, of the post-humanist landscape: to where even seemingly nonliving matter—the mineral realm of stone and iron—might be an aspect of the human, vital, and “a quiver.” Beginning with Jane Bennett’s provocative statement that “we are walking talking minerals,” I argue that Spenser, following Ovid and Biblical commentary, anticipates Jane Bennett and the new materialists by about four hundred years with his walking, talking iron man, Talus. My study of Talus suggests that the human may not only be acted upon by the mineral, but that the human itself may be constituted from the mineral. A position, I conclude, that forces new ethical questions when we read Talus’ “resistlesse” threshing across Book 5.


Spenser’s Contemporary Political Contexts

Chair: Alzada Tipton
Elmhurst College

“Spenser’s Irish and Dutch Rebels”
Andrew Fleck
University of Texas at El Paso
Abstract not available.

“Juxtaposing Spenser and Lodowick Bryskett: the ‘framing’ or ‘fashioning’ of a Gentleman
Penny McCarthy
Independent Scholar
While the literary “conversation” between Ralegh and Spenser, and its bearing on the purposes of the latter’s Faerie Queene, have been much discussed, the conversation between Spenser and Bryskett has not received enough attention. Bryskett in his introduction to his Discourse of Civill Life (a translation of Cinthio’s Tre dialoghi della vita civilè) stages his own work as emerging in parallel with The Faerie Queene, in Ireland in 1582. Spenser addresses Bryskett in Amoretti 33 (1594/5) in connection with the progress of his epic.

What has not been remarked on is Spenser’s parroting of Bryskett in the “Letter to Ralegh” (printed at the end of the 1590 Faerie Queene). His language (mis)describing his intentions for The Faerie Queene seems to parody that of Bryskett describing his intentions for the Discourse. Bryskett speaks of his aim to “frame a gentleman” (and does indeed follow that course). He covers the four cardinal virtues, supplemented by eight subsidiary ones—twelve in all. One of these, “magnificence,” receives extended treatment. He mentions his plan for a two-part publication, moral followed by “politic,” if the first part finds favour.

Spenser parrots the aims—“to fashion a Gentleman,” instantiate the twelve morall vertues, treat of magnificence as a prime virtue, follow a moral treatise with a political one. He pledges to treat of the moral and (perhaps subsequently) the political education of Arthur, but does not make good on this pledge or any other of his stated aims. Therefore he is not being serious, either in the Letter or in the work itself. We would be justified in reading his claim that his Letter is “for the better understanding” as a hint that it is for those with deeper insight into his true purposes.

Gabriel Harvey’s judgement, that the epic is a case of “Hobgoblin runne away with the garland from Apollo,” is therefore probably accurate. And Andrew Hadfield’s suspicion that Spenser may be opposing the real Queen while appearing to honour her is vindicated.

“Representing Spenser and Ralegh”
Vivienne Westbrook
National Taiwan University
Abstract not available.

Spenser and English Places

Chair: Colin Lahive
University College Dublin 

“‘The sacred noursery / Of Vertue’—and Violence: Plotting Spenser’s Locus Amoenus
Claire Eager
University of Virginia
Precise textual echoes show Spenser rewriting again and again a locus amoenus originally transported (via A Theatre for Worldlings) from Petrarch’s Canzone 323. These apocalyptic origins reveal how fragile such a “Paradise” can be; although the June eclogue showcases divine pleasures, the 1590 Faerie Queene shatters Spenser’s early vision. Characteristic elements appear piecewise in settings where pleasure is suspect.

Fragmentary echoes in the Wandering Wood and Fradubio’s grove warn of false shelters. Abodes of satyrs share similar elements, but Una must not remain there, and Hellenore’s apparent happiness is not a universally appealing solution. The Bower of Bliss reconstitutes June’s multisensory delights, perhaps explaining why Guyon’s Talus-like behavior remains unsatisfying as the pleasant place is once again destroyed. Other partial echoes appear in Complaints and subsequent laments as the muses’ inspiration turns to grief.

In the 1596 epic, however, reconstitutions of the locus amoenus are more generative and whole. The island of Venus features many of its attributes, without negative consequences, although (as in the Garden of Adonis, which uses different poetic language to build its “Paradise”) these are largely inaccessible to the characters. Finally, the pleasant place of June returns, re-collected and amplified, on Mount Acidale. The Mutabilite Cantos transform it further; presenting pleasance not as setting but as the effect Dame Nature has on her surroundings.

This paper traces Spenser’s loci amoeni over the course of his career. The literary landscapes appear alongside landscape architecture Spenser and his contemporaries would have experienced, with examples drawn from 2014 fieldwork visiting sites such as the reconstruction of Ralegh’s garden for Elizabeth at Kenilworth and the remains of Thomas Tresham’s garden at Lyveden New Bield. The poetic constructions of the (seemingly) pleasant sites, the actions possible within them, and the ladies at their hearts, who compete for pride of place, together offer new evidence towards problems of genre and narrative, earthly and spiritual ambition, and social and poetic inclusion in Spenser’s work.

“‘Though from another place I take my name / An house of auncient fame’: The Mutability of Name, Place, and Fame in Prothalamion
John Staines
John Jay College, City University of New York
Abstract not available. 

“Fountains in English Renaissance Gardens and Spenser’s The Faerie Queene
Anne Llewellyn
University of Virginia
Abstract not available.

Language and Space in A View

Chair: Jill Buttery
Oxford Brookes University

“The Words of A View
Craig Berry
Independent Scholar
Scholars have long noted the eccentric vocabulary of Spenser’s A View of the Present State of Ireland, primarily with an eye toward glossing words unfamiliar outside of a contemporary Irish context. But until now it has not been possible to study systematically the diction of the View or compare it in any comprehensive fashion with the diction of Spenser’s poetry. Digital analysis now makes it possible to answer old questions with more precision as well as to ask some new ones. The talk describes briefly the process of preparing and loading the text of the View into WordHoard, an electronic database providing a number of different analysis and concordance-like features before moving on to a demonstration of those features. WordHoard is hosted by Northwestern University ( and already contains the texts of The Faerie Queene and The Shorter Poems. While WordHoard provides various search capabilities, the talk emphasizes its statistical analysis features and what they can tell us about the View and especially the View in relation to Spenser’s poetry. What words are unique to the View? Is the vocabulary of Eudoxus similar to or notably different from the vocabulary of Irenius? What words in the View are most likely (or least likely) to occur in Spenser’s poetry? What parts of Spenser’s poetic corpus have the greatest (or least) affinity, vocabulary-wise, with the View? These and other questions receive tentative answers and pointers to further exploration, which all may participate in when Spenser’s prose becomes available on the public WordHoard site, expected in late 2015 or early 2016.

“On ‘The Cuttinge of[f of] all that nacion with the sworde’: Reading Spenser Reading the Bible in A View of the Present State of Ireland
Mark Stephenson
Western University
Spenser’s biblical allusions in A View of the Present State of Ireland are thought to be few, and to have little to no bearing upon its argument in favour of the suppression of the native Irish. This paper shows that such allusions are more extensive and more crucial to the text’s argument than has been thought. When Irenaeus says that the “reformacion” (Variorum Edition, 44) of Ireland needs to be brought about by use of “the sword” (148), he couches his introduction of this idea in images of husbandry (148), imagery which appears to come out of nowhere in the text. Examining an earlier, unmistakable reference to Matthew 12:34 (also a possible reference to Luke 6:45) during a discussion of the Irish midwifing of English children, however, reveals the source of Irenaues’ use of this husbandry imagery in Matthew, Luke, and, quite possibly also, John, as found and glossed in the Geneva Bible. The frequent use of the term “Cuttinge of[f]” (148) in Irenaeus and Eudoxus’s immediately subsequent conversation upholds the husbandry imagery’s biblical source. This use of the phrase aligns significantly with its use throughout the Hebrew Scriptures as a part of the use of husbandry imagery, there, which often conveys a call for the absolute destruction of those who abjure the will of Yahweh. Thus it appears Spenser wrote the View with the Geneva Bible at his elbow, and that furthermore, a typological understanding of the relationship between the Christian and Hebrew scriptures informs his casting of the Irish, at the crucial moment of the introduction of the policy of the sword, as effectively “stiff-necked” Hebrews who resist Yahweh’s will in the Hebrew Scriptures, and/or as “the Jews” (as seen most extensively in the Gospel of John) in relation to the word of Christ.

“Space, Place and Politics: A Post-Structuralist Approach to A View of the Present State of Ireland
Dimitra Koutla
Aristotle University, Thessaloniki
The paper offers an analysis of certain measures Edmund Spenser proposes in the View and argues that they are in effect disciplines, whose goal is to transform the Irish space into a conceptualized and objectified abstraction. Through the application of these measures, it is argued that space can be measured, divided, mapped, and, eventually, dominated. As it is further claimed, the desired outcome will be not only the transformation of the lived-in Irish space into abstract space, and the physical domination over nature, but also the discipline and submission of the Irish population. The theoretical framework is comprised by the combination of three post-structuralist theories: Henri Lefebvre’s formulation of space as a social product in The Production of Space (1974), Michel Foucault’s theory of disciplines in his essay on Panopticism (1975), and Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s dialectical relationship between striated State space, and smooth nomad space in A Thousand Plateaus (1980).

The View, the paper argues, has a pronounced spatial framework and Spenser indicates a preoccupation with space, both as absolute and as abstract, in the Lefebvrian sense, further intensified by the recurring georgic imagery. The first measure discussed is the introduction of enclosures, as its imposition on the Irish landscape will produce a space suitable for the flourishing of the agrarian capitalism the English planters favoured, and will further produce the sedentary, striated space that eliminates the conditions necessary for the survival of outlaws and Irish rebels. Highly significant is also the administrative reformation and shiring Irenius proposes, modelled upon King Aldred’s measures in Saxon England. This process of tything, as the paper claims, combines brilliantly the disciplinary techniques of partitioning, organizing space and distributing individuals in it, with the Panoptic modality of power and the principal goal of discipline, that of breaking the resistance of the organized multiplicity. The measures Irenius suggests aim to secure the continuous subjection of the Irish subjects and, as it is argued, it is the application of these disciplinary measures that will objectify the Irish and transform them into pieces of information that can be measured, classified and dominated.

Local and Global Orders

Chair: Stephen O’Neill
Maynooth University

“Spenser’s Global Romance: Imagining a World-Wide Web of War and Empire in The Faerie Queene
Daniel Vitkus
University of California, San Diego
The paper discusses Spenser’s Faerie Queene as a “global” text in the sense that Spenser, though he is often identified as a national English poet, wrote The Faerie Queene in a transnational, globalizing mode that linked local places and events to a larger, permanent struggle taking place throughout a global network. Spenser’s poem measures English empire on a global scale that includes Europe, the New World and the Islamic world in Fairyland. Not only is the struggle between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism depicted allegorically as a transnational conflict, but the text extends the threads of its romance quest and imaginary vision beyond a fractured Christendom to envision an emerging world system that was defined by war and empire. Specific references to the poem include brief analyses of the Saracen knights in Book I, the Proem and Bower of Bliss cantos in Book II, the Souldan and Irish episodes in Book V, and the Brigants in Book VI. The paper shows how Spenser’s post-epic constructs an imaginary space in which the local can be suddenly invaded by global forces, where local entities can be thrust onto the world stage, where empire is both in the making and in decline, and where endless warfare constantly threatens to turn civility or courtesy into savagery (and vice versa). In Spenser’s poem, violent empire is neither glorious nor despicable; rather, it is an “endlesse worke” that demands a restless mobility and circulation of persons and commodities.

“‘Full hard it is […] to read aright / The course of heauenly cause’: Local and Global Order in Spenser’s Faerie Queene’”
Erin Kelly
Rutgers University
Abstract not available.

“‘Obaying natures first beheast’: Natural Law and Spenser’s Theological Home(s)”
Brian Lockey
St. John’s University
In this paper, I show that, despite his self-styled identity as England’s national poet, Spenser imbues The Faerie Queene with a traditional conception of the Christian commonwealth, a conception that was not dissimilar to that of the English crown’s Catholic enemies. Moreover, I show that Spenser’s conception of the juridical and ethical regime that regulated this transnational realm was based on a conception of natural law that had more in common with medieval Scholastic theology than more recent Protestant notions of natural law. As I have noted in my previous work on this subject, Spenser’s own investment in natural law was extensive but contradictory in that the universal and transnational aspect of traditional natural law doctrine conflicted with Spenser’s otherwise Erastian investment in the Elizabethan Settlement. In this paper, I show that Spenser’s portrayal in the Mutabilitie Cantoes of a crisis of legitimacy draws inspiration from a traditional Roman Catholic conception of the Christian commonwealth. The role assumed by Dame Nature as the overseer of a conflict between two sovereign claims has no analogue within the works of Protestant monarchomachs. As I show, Dame Nature ironically plays the role that Aquinas (in his De regimine principum) and later Francisco de Vitoria in De Indis imagined for the transnational papal monarchy.


Close Reading

Chair: Patrick Cheney
Pennsylvania State University

“Close Reading: Theory, Assumption, Practice”
Judith Anderson
Indiana University
Theory, as a technical term, implies a significant degree of abstract, systematic conceptualization. But understood as “awareness,” a translation of Greek theoria, a kind of seeing, theory more readily extends to practice, as it conspicuously did in the lives of Renaissance artists, philosophers, and scientists. As “awareness,” it emphasizes the interaction of theory with practice rather than opposing them in some version of abstraction and embodiment, or idea and hands-on. My own awareness focuses on language and process, or, with respect to literature, on poetic narrative, whether in epic, drama, lyric, or prose. My basic assumptions are, first, that language, grammar, and rhetoric shape thought and that they therefore invite careful attention; and second, that reading, like writing, is a temporal process. A related assumption is that judgment is comparative, a fine adjustment of similarities and differences. These are theoretically informed assumptions that interrelate with experience, and they imply the practice of close reading. Language and the practices that derive from it, moreover, are embedded in culture, and culture in history, being at once inseparable from, and absolutely fundamental to, them.

“Did Early Modern Readers Do Close Readings?”
Roland Greene
Stanford University
Abstract not available.

“Historical Stylistics and the Question of Close Reading”
David Miller

University of South Carolina
In speaking of “historical stylistics” I refer to an emerging critical position, articulated primarily by David Wilson-Okamura and J. B. Lethbridge, that takes aim at the critical assumptions presumed to underpin the critical practice of close reading certain Early Modern literary texts. It isn’t clear from the arguments so far presented how far this challenge might be taken: The Faerie Queene has been the locus of the discussion, but the arguments that surface in discussions of Spenser’s style have implicitly a much broader range of application, since they assert that the assumptions underlying close reading are historically anachronistic when applied to Early Modern texts. In this paper I focus on three leading instances of this “new historical stylistics”: 1. Wilson-Okamura, David Scott. Spenser’s International Style. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2013. 2. Wilson-Okamura. “Belphoebe and Gloriana.” ELR 39 (2009): 47-73. 3. Lethbridge, J. B. “The Bondage of Rhyme in The Faerie Queene: Moderate ‘this Ornament of Rhyme.’” In Richard Danson Brown and J. B. Lethbridge, eds., A Concordance to the Rhymes of The Faerie Queene: With Two Studies of Spenser’s Rhymes. The Manchester Spenser. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2013, 76-180. I  scrutinize the claims put forward, the evidence offered in support of those claims, and the assumptions underlying the arguments developed on the basis of this evidence. 

Witches and Giants

Chair: Marianne Micros
University of Guelph

“Spenser and the Place of Witchcraft”
Laura Levine
Tisch School of the Arts, NYU
Abstract not available.

“Reading Duessa’s Rape: Reformation Hermeneutics and Poetic Instruction in Books I & II of The Faerie Queene
Stephanie Bahr
University of California, Berkeley
Abstract not available.

“Vanquishing I Wot Not Giants: Topography and Myth in The Faerie Queene V.ii”
Emily Mayne
St. Hilda’s College, University of Oxford
This paper examines the relation between topography and myth in Book V of The Faerie Queene. It suggests that the high coastal setting in which Artegall encounters the Giant with the Scales in the second half of canto ii further aligns Artegall with Hercules, the classical hero with whom he is most consistently linked in Book V. In Greek terms Herakles was worshipped as a hero and demigod in symbolically “high” spaces, and immolated himself on Mount Oeta. As a celebrated slayer of giants, Hercules is also a useful prototype for Artegall in canto ii, and the geographical setting of the canto functions to introduce a mythic frame for the events it narrates. But the picture is complicated by the fact that “high” and cliff-top spaces are favourite haunts of giants themselves both in The Faerie Queene (e.g. II. x. 9ff) and in texts dealing with the “British History” such as Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia regum Britanniae. The mythic distance between giant and giant-killer turns out to be as precarious as the “higher ground” (V.ii. 49) from which this Giant plies his balances. The topography of this section of canto ii thus introduces allusions to several different strands of mythic material that raise not only exemplary but also ethical possibilities for its characters. The episode not only points to Spenser’s synthetic use of myth but also demonstrates the important role that place and topographical description can play in Spenser’s handling of complex mythological allusions.

Ruins of Rome

Chair: Margaret Christian
Pennsylvania State University

“The Place of the Church in Spenser: The Ruines of Time, Confession, and the Typus Ecclesiae”
Joel Dodson
Southern Connecticut State University
Abstract not available.

“Spenser and the Ruins of Rome
Luke Taylor
Baylor University
Although Spenser never visited Rome, the ruins of the city haunt his work. Its physical remains uncover a powerful tension at the heart of his humanist, nationalist and Protestant project. Should he follow Du Bellay and Petrarch in lamenting the fallen mother of European civilization? Or should he follow Luther and rejoice at the overthrow of the Roman whore? Spenser tries out both attitudes in the Calendar and the Complaints, and his ambivalence continues into The Faerie Queene. Anti-Roman nationalism shows in his stripping of the Roman Duessa and redirection of Virgil’s imperial destiny to Troynovant. Yet the House of Pride and Orgoglio’s Castle ultimately betray a wider, Augustinian melancholy. If Rome fell, then London will too. Finally, Spenser implies, only a distantly glimpsed City of God escapes universal ruination.

Spenser and the Sea

Chair: Andrew Fleck
University of Texas at El Paso

“‘Vntill another tide’: Spenser, Ralegh and the Space of the Tideline”
Tamsin Badcoe
University of Bristol, United Kingdom
This paper focuses on Book IV of The Faerie Queene and Walter Ralegh’s “21th: and last booke of the Ocean to Scinthia,” identifying within the works of both authors a shared interest in the poetics of the tideline. The final stanzas of the sixth and seventh cantos of “The Legend of Friendship,” in which Spenser writes of anticipating “another tyde” (, suggest that it was conceived as a tidal book, in which social bonds are shown to be as changeable as the motions of the sea, but similarly enduring. At the end of canto six, Britomart and Scudamour are left searching for Amoret, waiting to hear “tydings […] of her estate” (; for Spenser, the ebb and flow of water becomes the medium of the message. In the formal echo found in the subsequent canto, Timias is met but not recognised by Arthur in a state where nothing can “ease or mitigate his paine, […] / Till time for him should remedy prouide”: a resolution that is deferred “vntill another tide” (IV.vii.47). Aspects of Spenser’s Timias have been frequently identified as created in response to Ralegh, and the work of the two poets is famously interconnected. I read their poetry alongside works of hydrography and navigation written in the period, arguing that both poets invested the processes governing the tideline with the capacity to fashion a response to Elizabeth I; the terraqueous landscape inhabited by Spenser’s Timias and Belphoebe finds an elegiac echo in Ralegh’s vision of sterile “brinish sand” (l.24), as if Ralegh inhabits the same tidal imaginary as Spenser but can admit none of the temperate renewal that shapes the work of his fellow poet.

“‘A world of waters heaped up on hie’: Spenser’s Place and the Irish Sea”
Lee Morrissey
Clemson University
At the Fifth International Spenser Society Conference, which took place in Ireland and has its the title “The Place of Spenser/Spenser’s Places,” I focus on the central, multivalent pastoral image of “Colin Clouts Come Home Againe,” and read the poem as representing inter-island tensions over the poor state of the (English and Church of Ireland) Reformation Church and the rise of the (Irish and Continental) Counter-Reformation in Ireland. Although it is often read biographically as a poem about Spenser’s visit to England, and his return to Ireland, Colin Clouts could also be Spenser’s patronizing representation of an Irish shepherd. Spenser treats Colin as a clueless ejiot, one who, like his shepherd friends, had never been in a boat. Colin, having visited another island across the sea, agrees it is much better than his native island, but finds that he is just not fit for such a high quality of life. Colin Clouts has visited England: it is quieter, safer, and more hopeful than Ireland; with neither wolves nor outlaws, the arts flourish there. However, our protagonist cannot stand England—it is all too much for a simple Irish shepherd, who has returned to Munster instead of living with all that Renaissance England might offer. Or, as Colin puts it, “rather chose back to my sheep to tourne, / Whose vtmost hardnesse I before had tryde.” Willy Maley and Andrew Hadfield see “Colin Clouts” as offering “the possibility of Ireland as an ‘English’ alternative; a choice or an option which can be taken by exiles and immigrants.”[1] In that reading, Colin is an exile from England, and an immigrant to Ireland. However, Colin is returning to his home; for Colin, it is England that has been a temporary alternative, one he dislikes, as he tells his fellow shepherds. Spenser’s poem does more than posit an alternative England; it constructs an English-language representation of the Irish male, as wild, incapable of civilization, and in retreat on a boggy noisy island: undisciplined, in a word.

In A View, Spenser focuses on the inability of the ministers from the established church in Ireland to reach and reform those who Irish were so backward. In a development that flies in the face of that narrative about the Protestant Reformation in general and in England and Scotland in particular, the Counter Reformation made it to Ireland. To a degree not achieved (and not possible to achieve) in England, Irish Roman Catholicism had become more disciplined than the Lutheran-Calvinist combination embodied in the Church of Ireland. This frustration is a new feature of the English experience in Ireland, a problem that Spenser, with nearly two decades on the island, is well-positioned to recognize. Maybe clueless “Colin Clouts,” English-speaking shepherd in Ireland, represents the established church, unable to do much in pastoral care. In that sense, we are left wondering how to read the title of the poem. Is it a declarative? Colin Clouts [has] come home again? Or, is it an imperative: Colin Clouts—come home again. In either case, despite the history that reads it as autobiographical, the poem points toward Spenser’s View, soon to be completed.


Digital Spenser

Chair: Joe Loewenstein
Washington University in St. Louis

Centering Spenser: a Digital Resource for Kilcolman Castle: Reception and New Directions in Research”
Thomas Herron
East Carolina University
Centering Spenser: A Digital Resource for Kilcolman Castle is an interdisciplinary website that highlights the poet and polemicist Edmund Spenser’s role as a colonist in a late-medieval tower house in north Co. Cork, at the “center” of the Munster Plantation: Munster/index.html

The website offers samples and surveys in essay-format of literary, biographical, geographical and archaeological data, including historic maps and illustrations, as well as an interactive 3-D computerized reconstruction with modeled objects and fly-throughs of the tower house. Objects and places are linked to literary passages, and vice-versa, in accompanying analyses. This paper by the website’s author presents detailed aspects and summarizes the site’s scholarly reception so far, as a means of ascertaining and promoting future directions for the site within the larger field of digital humanities.

“Endlesse Network: Placing Plot in The Faerie Queene
Nicholas Hoffmann
SUNY Buffalo
Abstract not available. 

Time, Space and Place

Chair: Daniel Lochman
Texas State University

“Queering Place in The Faerie Queene
Lauren Shohet
Villanova University
Abstract not available. 

“Surfeit Reading: The Rhetoric of Simultaneity in Book II of The Faerie Queene
Elizabeth Weckhurst
Harvard University
Abstract not available. 

Spenser’s Rivers

Chair: Rebecca Totaro
Florida Gulf Coast University

“‘With guitles blood oft stained’: The Ruines of Time, the River Thames, and Spenser’s Moniment to St Alban”
Stewart Mottram

University of Hull
St Alban is conspicuous by his absence from The Ruines of Time. Camden writes that Verulamium was “famous for nothing so much as for bringing foorth Alban,” but although acknowledging her indebtedness to Camden, Verlame is silent on Alban’s significance for her city’s past. Verlame again departs from Camden when claiming that Verulamium had been originally built “beside the shore / Of silver streaming Thamesis,” despite Camden’s insistence otherwise. Critics have struggled to read any unifying coherence in these two departures from Camden. For Huw Griffiths, Alban’s absence implies Spenser’s lack of commitment to the translatio imperii from Rome to protestant England, but Lawrence Manley argues the opposite in his explanation for why Verlame locates Verulamium on the Thames. This paper offers a new interpretation, arguing that the key to unlock Spenser’s puzzling approach to Alban and the Thames lies in Verlame’s description of the Thames’s “pure streames with guiltles blood oft stained.” Camden attributes the legend of the Thames having flowed past Verulamium to “a corrupt place in Gildas,” whose account in De excidio Britonum of Alban’s martyrdom at Verulamium opens by recounting Alban’s miraculous crossing of the Thames. Critics have overlooked Gildas as a source for Spenser’s Ruines, but this paper argues that the poem borrows from Gildas’ account of Alban’s Thames miracle and bloody martyrdom in order to supply a shadowy allusion to the ‘guiltles blood’ of St Alban beneath its insistence that Verulamium had indeed been built on the banks of the Thames. Critics see Verlame as the embodiment of pagan, even papal Rome, but this paper offers a new appreciation of Spenser’s attitude towards Verlame. As the site of Alban’s martyrdom, I argue, Verlame’s Roman ruins also offer the spiritual foundations upon which Spenser builds his poem’s closing ‘moniment’ to Sidney as a protestant saint.

“‘Time and the Tide wait for no Man’: Rivers, Refrains and Poetic Eloquence in Spenser’s Works”
Florence Hazrat
University of St Andrews
Abstract not available.

Imagined Space in Edmund Spenser’s The Ruines of Time
David Roy
University College Cork
Throughout Complaints, Edmund Spenser juxtaposes rivers and architectural ruins to highlight the effects of mutability. An example of this occurs in the opening poem of the volume: The Ruines of Time. In Ruines, the genius loci of the ancient Roman city of Verulamium is portrayed as “[a] Woman sitting sorrowfullie wailing” on the banks of the Thames (l. 9). As such, she has far more in common with the genius loci of classical literature than those that occur in medieval literature. Both Camden and Holinshed refute the myth begun by Gildas that Verulamium was once located on the Thames. Spenser’s use of the Gildas myth, along with his referencing of the work of Camden and Holinshed, creates a new myth of place that interrogates the social, political and religious implications of imagining Verulamium on the Thames. The movement of the narrator’s gaze “to the other side … loe adowne the Lee” is examined with reference to both the River Lee in Cork and the River Lea that flows into the Thames (ll. 587, 603). The paper concludes by offering examples of ruins located beside rivers that may have acted as sources for Spenser. These include literary juxtapositions found most notably in the works of Joachim Du Bellay, as well as those found either on the lands that Spenser owned in Munster or in close proximity to them. Within Ruines, the use of imaginative space (Verulamium on the Thames and the narrator on the Lee) enables the construction of new myths of place. These myths stretch from the court, across the Irish Sea, and into the heart of Munster, to create a new lineage of civil descent.

States of Feeling

Chair: Galena Hashhozheva
Ludwigs-Maximilian Universitaet, Munich

“Bitter Memories in Spenser’s View
Chris Ivic
Bath Spa University
Benedict Anderson has drawn attention to the signal role that remembering/forgetting performs in the origin and spread of nationalism. A prime example, for Anderson, is the need to forget “ancient” fratricidal wars—between, say, thirteen-century Frenchmen or nineteenth-century Americans—in order to create a strong unifying bond among, say, nineteenth-century Frenchmen or twentieth-century Americans. Anderson’s reflections on nationalism can inform our readings of select Early Modern texts: Shakespeare’s history plays, with their tales of “civil butchery,” come to mind. But Anderson’s model offers little to readers of Spenser’s View.

A host of literary historians—Richard Helgerson, Andrew Hadfield, Willy Maley, Vince Carey, Thomas Herron, Andrew Escobedo—have examined Spenser’s contribution to the construction of nationalist discourse in the Early Modern period. Memory’s place—not just cultural or social memory but mnemonic culture—within this discourse has yet to be fully explored. Spenser’s View is an invaluable text because it posits an alternative, less upbeat, model of the nation as an imagined, fraternal community. Spenser’s prose dialogue forges a collective identity out of shared hatred and, most importantly, bitter, traumatic, and vivid memories of past bloodshed and violence. This paper will explore the various ways in which Spenser’s View appropriates the past not in order to forget past violence but rather in order to remember, indeed memorialise, it.

“The Self-Betrayal of Thought in The Faerie Queene Book II”
Grant Williams
Carleton University
Abstract not available.
“‘Ylike to me was libertee and lyfe’: Intimations of Amorality in the December Eclogue”
Judith Owens
University of Manitoba
By following the echoes between Spenser’s December eclogue and certain passages in William Wordsworth and Clement Marot, and by comparing the rural ramblings of the boy Colin with the rural occupations of an older Colin, I am able to make several interrelated claims about the moral imagination of the shepherd-singer Colin. Striking parallels between Spenser’s few short verses on boyhood pastimes and Wordsworth’s far more expansive meditation on similar themes in the Prelude highlight the amorality that characterizes Colin’s boyhood pastimes while underlining the fact that, for Spenser, the moral imagination does not develop in nature. Parallels between Spenser’s eclogue and Clement Marot’s “Eglogue au Roi” highlight the fact that Spenser presents a developmental model of the shepherd-singer’s growth in moral education. The older Colin’s rural activities are unlike the boy Colin’s in being learned, in being purposeful and instrumental, and in reflecting clearly envisioned and understood moral imperatives; the careful Colin understands capacities to hurt and to be wounded in ways the younger Colin categorically did not, which is to say that the older Colin understands vulnerability—one measure of a moral imagination.

In making the case that “December” is at least as interested in Colin’s moral imagination as it is in Colin’s failures in love and career, I propose an entirely new reading of the opening lines of the eclogue: I argue that the “gentle shepheard” whom we meet at the start in “secreate shade alone” by a “springe” is sitting, not beside a spring of water but next to a “springe,” that is, a snare for catching small game or birds. As someone occupied in setting or checking snares, Colin’s withdrawal into this shade does not seem quite as solipsistic and self-defeated as it is sometimes made out to be. And, while lovelorn Colin may well hang up his pipe and stop singing, at least for a time, we should imagine that he will not abandon his springe, that he will continue to shoulder his rural responsibilities

Seventeenth-Century Spensers

Chair: Matthew Woodcock
University of East Anglia

“Spenser ‘Restored’?”
Gillian Wright
University of Birmingham
To date, though the reception of Spenser’s poetry in the eighteenth and later centuries has been extensively studied, his reputation during the Restoration has received much less critical attention (his influence on Milton excepted). In this paper I will provide an initial overview of Spenser’s reputation during the period 1660-1688, as witnessed by such publications as the 1679 edition of his Works, John Oldham’s “A Satyr” (1683), and Edward Howard’s Spencer Redivivus (1687). The 1679 Works represents an important consolidation and extension of the Spenser canon, including for the first time the View of the State of Ireland and bringing “Mother Hubberds Tale” to new prominence. It also promulgated a biographical account of Spenser which helped to define his poetic identity for a generation. It is this view of Spenser, in part, to which the Oldham “Satyr” responds, thrusting the sixteenth-century poet incongruously into a quasi-Rochesterian world of coarseness and invective, as well as capitalising on his (by then well-established) reputation as one of the founding fathers of English poetry. Comparably, Edward Howard’s Spencer Redivivus—a rendering of The Faerie Queene book into heroic couplets - also evinces an ambivalent, though very different, view of Spenser. Though Howard was avowedly willing to accept Spenser’s eminence among English poets, the project of Spencer Redivivus speaks to a profound dissatisfaction with, as well as misunderstanding of, Spenser’s poetic choices in The Faerie Queene.

In conclusion, I will discuss John Dryden’s responses to Spenser’s works, as evidenced by his annotations to the 1679 Works.

“Hearing and Doing in Ralph Knevet’s A Supplement of the Faery Queene
Cian O’Mahony
University College Cork
At the heart of Ralph Knevet’s A Supplement of the Faery Queene (c.1635) lie the events of The Faerie Queene itself. This statement may seem tautological in relation to a work that seeks to append itself to Spenser’s epic in the form of three additional books, wherein the poet strives to emulate Spenserian structures, language and intent to the best of his ability. However, it is the very appearance and oral recounting of elements of The Faerie Queene—namely Redcrosse’s defeat of the dragon– at a key juncture in the structure of Knevet’s work that this paper is concerned with (Supplement, Book 8, Canto 3). Spenser and the analogue text are effectively subsumed as both a cultural reference point and a crucial narrative stimulant toward action in relation to contemporary socio-political developments on the Continent. The paper highlights the previously unacknowledged triangular relationship between Knevet’s three books as an example of the need to reassess Knevet’s significance for the reception and critical heritage of Spenser, particularly in light of the new edition of his work (Zurcher and Burlinson (eds.), Manchester Spenser Series, 2015). More widely, the paper will examine Knevet’s employment of Spenser as an internationally-focused pedagogical tool for the righteous education of Protestants in the 1630s.

“Reading Spenser with John Shrimpton in Verulamium: Place, History, and Memory”
Meredith Donaldson Clark
University of Toronto
Around the year 1630, a resident of St. Albans named John Shrimpton, fuelled by curiosity about his own backyard and a distaste for the “envious times” in which he lived, compiled a local history of his hometown entitled The Antiquities of Verulam and St. Albans. Combining paraphrases of other authors, observations on the condition of the Roman remains of Verulamium, anecdotes from his life in St. Albans, and knowledge of local topography, Shrimpton’s study is a typical Early Modern antiquarian text. But The Antiquities is remarkable for Shrimpton’s creative and poetic approach to his subject. He includes what seems to be an original river marriage poem in imitation of Camden and Spenser, and he prefaces the entire work with a meditation and verse echoing Spenser’s Ruines of Time, a poem written about Verulamium that Shrimpton elsewhere quotes directly.
The aim of my paper, most generally, is to introduce Shrimpton and his little-known manuscript (it remained unpublished until 1966) as an important source for the study of the reception of Spenser’s poetry in the decades immediately following his death. Building on my forthcoming article which traces Shrimpton’s sources, this paper will examine Shrimpton’s direct Spenserian borrowings. Furthermore, I will contextualize Shrimpton’s manuscript within a broader antiquarian response to Spenser’s Ruines of Time which includes John Selden’s commentary accompanying Drayton’s Poly-olbion, and John Weever’s Ancient Funeral Monuments as well as his earlier elegy for Spenser. Finally, I will argue that reading Spenser alongside Shrimpton brings elements of Spenser’s sense of place, particularly present in The Ruines of Time, into sharper focus: the desire to recover and restore what has been lost, the allure of archaeological discoveries and remains, the ruin as a powerful symbol of history and mutability, and the capacity of poetry’s imaginative engagement with history to preserve the past.

Re-Reading Book VI

Chair: Michelle Golden
Georgia State University

“Placing Essex in Ireland: Spenser’s Use of Pastoral Space in Book VI of The Faerie Queene
Alzada Tipton
Elmhurst College
Abstract not available.

“Pastoral Allegory and the Place of Politics in The Faerie Queene
Stephanie Hunt
Rutgers University
The Proem to Book 5 of The Faerie Queene describes not only an ethical and political crisis, but a cosmological one; Spenser allegorically connects moral degeneration with erratic planetary motion to show how the failures of institutional justice mirror natural disorder. The allegory suggests that political problems are not confined to particular institutions—the royal court, the court of law—but also imply nature. The problems here also erupt in other places throughout the Faerie Queene. This paper examines the scene on Mount Acidale to show how pastoral allegory generates poetic ways of thinking about the place of politics in the natural world.

We have been accustomed to think of pastoral in terms of topical reference; pastoral’s allegory indirectly positions current events within fictional frames to offer covert commentary. However, this paper argues that pastoral offers new literary ways of thinking politically. Calidore places himself into voluntary exile to pursue an idea of courtesy apart from its institutional procedures. Colin Clout’s emblem, which coordinates universal ideals within the setting of phenomenal nature, supplies the possibility of discovering the “skill” which “men call Ciuility” that Calidore seeks (VI.x.23). But the fragility of Colin’s emblem, which fractures under Calidore’s disruption of its physical space, reminds us of our dislodgement from harmonious living in nature and our distance from political ideals. Nevertheless, Calidore’s simultaneous displacement from his own romance narrative and from the pastoral idealism he seeks to inhabit provides an allegory for the generation of political knowledge from its intersections with nature: his “resoluing” to understand the allegory of the emblem, to know what pastoral and nature are, and, finally, to understand “what it [is] to know” (6.10.17) suggest a place for literature’s political epistemologies as an extension of allegorical form.

“Calidore, Courtesy and the Elizabethan Progress”
James Ellis
University of Calgary
Abstract not available. 

Sources and Reception

Chair: Richard A. McCabe
Merton College, Oxford

“Spenser Criticism in the Eighteenth Century”
Kyungran Park
SUNY, Buffalo
Abstract not available.

“Reading the Human in Spenser and Dante”
Giulio Pertile
Claremont McKenna College
Abstract not available.

“Iconoclasm and Child’s Play: The Place of Seriousness in The Faerie Queene and its Critical Reception”
Joe Moshenska
Trinity College, University of Cambridge
Abstract not available.

Spenser and the Classics

Chair: Lindsay Ann Reid
NUI, Galway

“How (Not) to Read: Educating the Reader through Homeric Allusion and Allegory in The Faerie Queene, Books 2 and 3”
Sarah Van Der Laan
Indiana University
Abstract not available. 

“Spenser’s Epic Recusatio: The Faerie Queene I.xi-xii as Callimachean Aetion
David Adkins
University of Toronto
Abstract not available.

“Overtaking Virgil: Astrophel and Spenser’s ‘Virgilian cursus’”
Syrithe Pugh
Raphael Falco has shown that “Astrophel” is about Spenser’s literary authority and immortality rather than Sidney’s, criticizing Sidney for undervaluing poetry as a “toy” and preferring the vita activa. But Falco was wrong to see the poem as contrasting Astrophel’s poetic failure with “Spenser’s disciplined fulfillment of the Virgilian formula, his repudiation of ‘Shepheards weeds’ (which, ironically, he dons again in the elegy) to perform the ‘vnfitter taske’ of completing The Faerie Queene.” What Falco calls ‘ironic’ is in fact the whole point of the 1595 volume, Spenser’s return to pastoral after ascending to epic. The real target of “Astrophel” is not Sidney but Virgil: its fundamental purpose is to overturn the generic and ethical hierarchy implied in the Virgilian cursus, installing pastoral and love at the top.

Spenser’s elegy, and the volume which contains it, pick the genre up again exactly where Virgil left off. His treatment of Astrophel evokes Virgil’s treatment of Gallus in Eclogue 10, the poem where Virgil bids farewell to pastoral. Like Astrophel, Virgil’s Gallus is presented as squandering his poetic vocation (as depicted in the Hediodic scene of his initiation by the Muses in Eclogue 6) because of an “unhealthy love” (insanus amor); the eclogue promotes Virgil himself as the Muses’ poet. Spenser’s elegy, even more critical than Virgil’s, replaces the imitation of the deceased poet usual in elegy for a fellow poet (including Virgil’s tenth eclogue) with intratextual imitation of his own earlier poems, implicitly consigning Sidney’s merely recreative poetry to oblivion and claiming immortality for his own, socially beneficial work instead. But where Virgil’s superiority to Gallus depends on his determination to rise to higher genres, abandoning amatory subject-matter, Spenser’s superiority to Sidney is predicated on his role as Love’s Priest, articulated by reviving the Adonic symbolism integral to Greek pastoral elegy. Assuming this role in his mature pastoral, Spenser goes beyond the heights reached by Virgil in epic, closer to the well-springs of divine inspiration.

Authority and the Queen

Chair: Brad Tuggle
University of Alabama

“The White Wand of Equity and Justice”
William O’Neil
University School
Abstract not available. 

“‘Courts inconstant mutabilitie’: Spenser and the Elizabethan Succession Debate”
Sarah Case
Princeton University
This paper explores the place of Spenser’s poetry in the Elizabethan succession debate through a reading of Prosopopoia, Or Mother Hubberds Tale. It takes the accepted reading of Mother Hubberd as a commentary upon the French marriage question as a starting point to consider its context within the political climate of the 1590s. In addition to the pointed topical satires against corruption in, for example, the clergy and the court, the poem as a whole is a searing indictment of the uncertain succession imagined as a problem in rhetoric. The first word of the full title, Prosopopoia, is an important mark of its focus on the dangers of rhetoric to distort, and delay, reality. Spenser emphasizes, not only the danger of Elizabeth’s use of prosopopoia to consolidate her power as sovereign (and distract from her lack of a successor), but the disadvantage for poets who were denied the right, by legislation such as the 1571 Treasons Act, to use these modes to provide counsel and receive patronage.

The threat as presented in Spenser’s poem may not be Elizabeth’s advisors or foreign claimants to the throne, but the upending of sovereign authority implied by Spenser’s rhetoric. The Elizabethan authorities who called in the Complaints may well have been wary of Spenser’s poem, not just for any specific topical allusion to Burghley’s abuse of power, but as it unraveled the rhetorical project of Elizabeth’s sovereignty. Prosopopoia is about the dangerous reality of mutability in the face of a regime that depended upon a collective fiction of timelessness. My paper concludes by considering how reading Spenser’s poetry in relation to the politics of the succession debate may shape both how we think about Spenser’s conception of mutability and, indeed, our understanding of how the succession crisis was debated in poetry.

“The Structure of Praise: The Faerie Queene in the Convention of Praise Poetry”
Kayoko Adachi
Kyoto University
 The Faerie Queene is not a simple encomium for Queen Elizabeth I, yet it is to be understood that Spenser enterprises it as a praise poem for her as a great Princess ( He follows the conventions of praise poetry, but he has some difficulties. One of them is that Elizabeth was a reigning queen. Torquato Tasso, for example, citing Aristotle, advises the poet not to choose the subject of praise from the present or too recent past, saying that praising a living, mighty person deprives a poet of the freedom to invent. Moreover, it tends to be flattery, and also, if the monarch is displeased with the praise, it might be fatal for the poet. In addition to allegory and prophecy by which Spenser praises her indirectly, he contrives a double structure consisting of the inside and the outside of the narrative. Instead of allowing the Queen to appear and praising her achievements and virtues directly in the poem, Spenser locates her outside the narrative as an imaginary listener, whom he could directly address and praise. Another difficulty is that while the conventional theory of praise poetry identifies praise with counsel, and recommends the poet to praise the Queen by way of great examples of the past, it was not easy to find a flawless example of an ideal female sovereign. Those described in Boccaccio’s Famous Women, Chaucer’s Legend of Good Women, Sir Thomas Elyot’s Defence of Good Women, and other discourses in praise of female monarchs, are generally honored more for their female virtues than their princely abilities. Therefore, Spenser renders Elizabeth her own example in the poem. Because the princely virtues granted for a female ruler are limited in the patriarchal value systems dominant then, the Queen herself chooses them with careful consideration. Following her self-chosen princely virtues such as temperance, chastity, and justice, Spenser takes up the six virtues that suit a female sovereign, and constructs the image of the Queen. Like a cube-shaped mirror, the poem reflects her as the paragon of each virtue. With these contrivances, Spenser produces a fit structure of praise for Elizabeth. Consequently, The Faerie Queene occupies a special position as the first authentic praise poem for a reigning female sovereign, which gave her equal status to the powerful Princes with whom she had to compete.


Memory and Unforgetting

Chair: Rebeca Helfer
University of California, Irvine

“Spenser’s Places of Memory: Revisiting the Double Threshold in Cebes’s ‘Tabula’”
William Engel
Sewanee: The University of the South
This paper makes a case for Spenser’s fully informed use of “places of memory,” or loci, associated with the ars memorativa. This understanding of places, and the larger mnemonic backdrops within which they are situated, was discussed by Spenser’s schoolmaster, Richard Mulcaster (Positions, 1581, sig.Aa2v). From his instructional manuals, grounded in years of classroom experience, Mulcaster promoted using the intense visualisation exercises associated with the memory arts, as well as instruction in draughtsmanship. Another important element in the training up of young minds at Merchant Taylors’ was the mnemonically organized Cebes’s Tabula, a principal Reniassance textbook for learning Greek and Latin (Milton commends it in “Of Education”). It shows “how mortal creatures, blinded by ignorance, wander in this world and cannot attain to true felicity because they are misled by false opinions” (Pontz, 1531); and it was considered “a true emblem of human life” (Warren, 1699). Its imitation in Spenser’s work long ago was noted by H.J. Todd (1805); James Nohrnberg (1976) observed a parallel with respect to “the educator’s idea of a convertible analogy between the thresholds crossed by the internal characters and those crossed by the reader”; and David Hill Radcliffe (1996) found in the Tabula authority for Spenser’s use of allegory.

My paper fleshes out details of the Cebes connection, presenting the main affinities between Spenser’s use of visually evocative mnemonic places and Cebes’s Tabula, with special reference to the threshold—where viewers enter a parallel world of allegorical encounters. Indeed, something about Cebes’s Tabula especially evokes the idea of thresholds, as can be seen by Holbein’s using it for the entryway to a number of folios he illustrated, including the much-used Lexicon Graeco Latinum—available at Cambridge when Spenser studied there. The main example covered in this paper concerns the entrance to the principal memory device of Cebes’s Tabula, structured overall as a Memory Palace, which bears comparison to Spenser’s description of entering another cordoned-off set-piece, one that makes ample use of mnemotechnic architecture: namely, the outer precincts and threshold of Alma’s House (The Faerie Queene II.ix.23-25).

“Memory, Ethics and Energeia in Spenser’s Faerie Queene
Darragh Greene
University College Dublin
In Book One of the Faerie Queene, why, in the description of the procession of the personified Seven Deadly Sins, is “Idlenesse” termed “the nourse of sin” (I.iv.18) and, moreover, placed first in the procession, acting as guide to all the others? In this paper, I examine the implications of the leading role given to idleness in Spenser’s overall theory of sin, by exploring the counter-intuitive notion that sin originates in purposeless inaction. In connection with this, I argue that this unusual aspect of Spenser’s representation of the capital sins is grounded in a creative reading of Aristotle’s ethics, which is the theoretical framework privileged in the Author’s Letter to Raleigh. Aristotle’s conception of virtue is expressly built on the principle of energeia, which is the working or actualisation of some potential. Thus, when looked at through an Aristotelian lens, idleness, conceived as the privation of activity, is antithetical to virtue as a whole. In addition, when Spenser declares in the Letter to Raleigh that the “generall end … of all the booke is to fashion a gentleman or noble person in vertuous and gentle discipline,” it seems that the energeia of reading the poem should be understood as the interrelated activities of unwrapping its cloudy “ensamples,” remembering its moral lessons, and practicing them in life. Furthermore, if one conceives the reader as storing these “ensamples” in a mappable memory bank, then the spatial dimension and disposition of the procession of the personified sins serves this project. However, there is a problem with this ethical poetic, for Spenser’s conception of human agency turns out to be deeply pessimistic. To my mind, the major puzzle of Book One is that it undoes its ethical project when in Canto X it is asserted, contrary to Aristotelian virtue ethics, that human beings only have power to do ill. In this paper, I delve deeper into this puzzle and the contradictions and tensions it entails for the poem’s ethical project as a whole.

“The Place of Forgetting in Spenser’s Faerie Queene
Andrew Wadoski
Oklahoma State University
While readers of Spenser’s Faerie Queene tend to regard its representations of forgetting as memory’s unseemly or morally suspect antithesis, the poem seeks to broaden our sense of forgetting beyond its most evident status as a form of moral lapse. Spenser’s moral vision has at its core a positive mode of forgetting grounded in the therapeutic imperatives of Hellenistic and Roman moral philosophy. In a moral imaginary shaped eclectically among the writings of figures like Cicero, Lucretius, Seneca, and Lipsius, the ethical is less concerned with according subjects to normativizing principles than it is with allowing them to move from a condition of misery to one defined by a relatively greater—if never perfect—measure of flourishing in the mutable world. A carefully regulated and directed mode of forgetting is central to this task. In its positive form, Spenserian forgetting has two principle manifestations. The first is its often-implicit role as offering a corrective to the obsessive forms of memory persistently entrapping Spenser’s characters. The second form of productive forgetfulness offers a more profound, more fundamental kind of effacement. It is a form of spiritual amputation by which errant passions, the seeds of those false beliefs leading us into errant modes of inhabiting the order of mutability, are erased from our psyches and we are thereby enabled to fashion spaces of personal and collective flourishing fully within and accommodated to the mutable world.

Spenser and the Sources of Imagination

Chair: William Engel
Sewanee: University of the South

“Unplighted, Unplaced: Florimell’s Plight and Flight”
James Nohrnberg
University of Virginia
Abstract not available. 

“‘Elisian fieldes so free’: The Place of Poetry in Spenser”
Patrick Cheney
Pennsylvania State University
Despite being left in the dark by modern criticism, Elysium is a special place in poetry. From Homer to Heaney, Elysium is that divine place of repose bearing the residue of time, an immortalizing space at once in this world and out of it. In this the West’s originary green world, time and eternity meet. There’s a story here, and a history. Homer inaugurates it (Odyssey 4); Virgil centralizes it (Aeneid 6); Dante Christianizes it (Inferno 4, Paradiso 15); and the Ovidian Chaucer eroticizes it (Troilus and Criseyde 4). Mythographers like Conti mythologize it; artists like Sebastien Franck paint it; William Cavendish built it at Little Castle, Derbyshire. Elysium becomes the go-to green place for working out questions of identity and destiny: eschatological questions about life and death; political questions about land and nation; relationship questions about gender and sexuality; and professional questions about authorship and intertextuality. Elysium is an afterlife, a landscape, an empire, a consciousness, an emotion, an archetype. But in Spenser Elysium becomes the ultimate green place of Spenserian poetry itself. The evidence comes from November and E.K’s Glosse, The Ruines of Time, Virgil’s Gnat, Axiochus, and Faerie Queene 4.10. Indeed, Spenser’s Elysium forms one of the dominant myths of the Renaissance: England is the New Elizium, presided over by Queen Eliza. Spenser’s contemporaries understood this myth (Harvey; Blenerhasset; Peele; Weever; Dekker; Copley; Nixon; Peacham; Cowley), and used it to memorialize his invention of a new British myth about the poet’s leadership-place in eternizing poetry through a political eschatology of desire. As Drayton says in The Muses Elyzium, “The Poets’ Paradise this is, … / The Muses only bower of blis, / Their Dear Elyzium.”

“Spenser’s Cupid in Flight: Ancient and Renaissance Sources”
John Mulryan
St Bonaventure University
The story of Cupid’s flight from his mother Venus (Faerie Queene 3.6 ff.) is found in two ancient sources: Moschus’s Greek “Love the Runaway” (2nd century BC) and Ausonius’s Latin “Cupid Crucified” (4th century A.D.)

“E. K.” testifies to the influence of Moschus’s poem on the Faerie Queene; he even asserts that Spenser translated the poem into English, although no copy is extant. “E. K.” also cites Angelo Politian’s Latin translation of the poem, later retranslated into Italian by Luigi Alamanni. Alamanni’s translation does not exist as an independent entity, but appears in 33 editions of Vincenzo Cartari’s Imagini (1556, etc.), a work well known to Spenser.

Ausonius completes the tale of Cupid’s flight and his near-crucifixion by the ghosts of disaffected female lovers victimized by Cupid. Spenser does not deal with the subject directly, but alludes to the work in references to bondage, capture, and dismemberment in the Faerie Queene (3.6.24; 12.41). These images of a crucified Cupid also appear frequently in the emblem books.

Among Renaissance sources, much of the content of Moschus’s “Love the Runaway” is echoed or repeated in Tasso’s pastoral Aminta (1573). The poem contains a first-person narrative by Cupid, who claims that he is abandoning rather than fleeing Venus, because she is an insufferable busybody! There is also in this edition of Tasso’s pastoral an epilogue by Venus, in which she defends her concern for her wayward son; however, some scholars think it spurious. Thus Tasso humanizes the tale, presenting a complex narrative that almost renders the original version superfluous.

In sum, Spenser’s Cupid in Flight has been enriched by a combination of Greek, Latin, and Italian sources, producing an artistic vision that is immeasurably greater than the sum of its parts.

Envy and Evil

Chair: Katherine Eggert
University of Colorado 

“Envy at the End of The Faerie Queene, Book V”
Heather James
University of Southern California
Abstract not available.

Abraham Stoll
University of San Diego
This paper argues that Iago is an echo, a rhymed and compressed descendent, of Archimago. Like Spenser’s enchanter, Shakespeare’s villain is a figure of hypocrisy and a deceiver of “credulous fools… And many worthy and chaste dames.” Iago’s plot against Othello particularly resembles Archimago’s complex deception when he splits Redcrosse from Una. Both employ a double strategy of dream and visual proof, moving from the fluid space of dream work to the seeming certainty of ocular proof in order to secure the jealousies that break apart their respective knights and dames. Iago works “by wit, and not by witchcraft,” unlike the magician Archimago. But critics (e.g. Spivack, Shakespeare and the Allegory of Evil) have recognized that Iago seems to retain elements of the supernatural and the allegorical—in addition to the morality play Vice, we can turn to Archimago as an influence. Iago nearly tells us as much when he declares it is “the fiend’s arch mock, / To lip a wanton in a secure couch, / And to suppose her chaste.” Recognizing this genealogy may be most interesting for the light it can shed on Archimago, who is surprisingly under-read by Spenser critics (with the exception of Harry Berger). Iago has received endless attention, for his ambivalent supernaturalism, his psychological depth, and the scope of his frightening and sublime evil; we would do well to let some of this sublimity rub off on Archimago.

“The Stuff of Envy and the Matter of the Past”
David Landreth
University of California, Berkeley
In this paper, I analyze the workings of Enuie in The Faerie Queene from a literal and materialist perspective, one that construes envy as an affect. I coordinate contemporary affect theory with Early Modern geohumoral theory, each of which is concerned to trace channels of feeling among individuals through their immediate environment. Like the passions, which they exploit, sinful inclinations are not wholly internal to the individual experiencing them; rather, they are interpersonal, flowing across social bonds, inhering in particular places, wafting through a local atmosphere.

Spenser’s representations of envy well exemplify the interpersonal, affective model of sinfulness that I am interested in: envy has a characteristic location, the court, yet is also contagious across all social relations, and it manifests itself in the world as a specifically material, chemical process, that of corrosion. But envy is also singled out by Spenser among the deadly sins: it is the sin antithetical to poetry in general and to a self-professed “poet historicall” in particular.

Just as Envy is the doppelganger of laureate fame, I argue, Envy’s acidic poison is a version of discourse—the internal monologue that eats its own heart out, as much as the outwardly corrosive utterances of calumny. The Enuie of Book 5 hates deeds “doen prayse-worthily”: the act of encomium, memorializing achievement in verse, provokes Enuie and Detraction to corrode that praise into slander, perverting the commemoration of worthiness into oblivion, or worse.

In the “letter to Ralegh,” Spenser claims that he’s chosen Arthur as a subject for a positive reason, “for the excellency of his person,” but also for a negative, defensive one: “as … furthest from the daunger of enuy, and suspition of present time.” Historical distance, he claims, will inoculate his poem from calumnious misprision. Yet the matter handled by The Faerie Queene is never wholly past, and it’s in the moment closest to the present—in which the poet strives to shape the recent deeds of Lord Grey in Ireland into a historical achievement—that Enuie erupts into the poem as an irreversable disaster, loosing the uncontainable Blatant Beast into the poem’s world from ours. I hope to demonstrate how attending closely to the negating, anti-menmonic and anti-poetic matter of envy may enrich our positive understanding of what a “poem historicall” is made of—how the poem conceives its own shaping relationship to the matters of the distant and the recent past.


Spenser Among the Metaphysicals

Chair: Susannah Monta
University of Notre Dame

“Spenser and Donne Go Fishing: Courtship and Courtliness”
Yulia Ryzhik
Princeton University
This paper is part of the panel “Spenser Among the Metaphysicals” (with Richard Danson Brown and Dorothy Stephens), which considers what place Spenser has among seventeenth-century “metaphysical” poets, not only tracing pathways of influence, but also elucidating Spenser’s significance in the imagination of poets such as Donne, Herbert, and Marvell. In the literary-historical tradition, beginning with the earliest commentators, Spenser and Donne have been viewed in terms of contrasts. I argue, however, that while Donne’s engagement with Spenser is largely satirical, Donne also, to an unusual extent, rehabilitates elements of Spenser’s poetics. In this paper I offer one example of this argument by focusing on Spenser’s and Donne’s metaphors of fish and fishing as applied to courtship and to courtly advancement. In the case of courtship, a comparison between Spenser’s Amoretti 47 and Donne’s “The Bait” reveals a surprising crossover between the two in terms of figurative decorum. In the case of courtliness, Donne’s account of the lives of fish in Metempsychosis contains several allusions to Spenser’s shorter works, establishing not only the two poets’ shared view of the patronage system, but also the place of Spenser as both the target and model for Donne’s satirical, quasi-allegorical mock-epic. 

“Unfree Lines: Resetraint in Spenser and Herbert”
Richard Danson Brown
The Open University
To what extent was Herbert influenced by Spenser stylistically? That Herbert was an enthusiastic student of Spenser is uncontroversial: Coburn Freer’s magisterial entry to The Spenser Encyclopedia details the filiations between them in terms of places, patronage networks and assumptions about the writing of poetry. Nevertheless, the received wisdom remains that Herbert inclines more to the precedent of Donne than to that of Spenser.

This paper provides an alternative slant by exploring the extent to which Spenser maybe overheard in Herbert. I suggest three connected locations for poetic eavesdropping: at the level of phrase, didactic theology, and verse form. Building on suggestions in Louis MacNeice’s Varieties of Parable (1965), I begin by exploring similarities of diction between The Faerie Queene and what MacNeice labels Herbert’s “out-and-out allegorical” poems. This leads to more extended discussion of the two poets’ didactic poetics. I compare ‘The Holdfast’ with the House of Holinesse canto to suggest that both the catechizing form and Calvinist theology of Herbert’s poem take some of their impetus from the Redcrosse Knight’s dialogue with Contemplation (I.x.46-67). In the final section, I examine the architecture of Herbert’s inventive stanza forms in the light of Spenser’s work. I suggest that there is a strong resemblance between “The Flower” and the lay for Dido in the “November” eclogue of The Shepheardes Calender. Though the two stanza forms are different, they are united by being based around a standard Abab quatrain, their juxtaposition of long lines with curt dimeter lines towards the end of each stanza, as well as shared thematic concerns with the passage of time and human transience. This comparison suggests that Herbert’s lyric overgoes Spenser’s magnificent yet less intensely felt rhetorical tour de force. 

“Interpenetration and the Politics of Topology in Spenser and Marvell”
Dorothy Stephens
University of Arkansas
This essay, which forms part of a panel on “Spenser Among the Metaphysicals,” proceeds from a scientific debate about how to define “place” with respect to solid bodies. Was place a thing? Was it relative or absolute? Could two bodies occupy the same place at the same time? Although the debate was lively among the ancient Greek atomists and continued among Medieval philosophers, it had a revival in the seventeenth century. Marvell refers to it more than once—for example, with a joke about interpenetrating bodies on Flecknoe’s staircase.

Yet Marvell’s questions about the nature of place also draw deeply from Spenser. Both poets are intrigued by the placement of human, inanimate, and geopolitical bodies. Both poets enjoy imagining physical impossibilities: bodies interpenetrating, a body meeting itself walking from another direction, self-intersecting bodies without a binary distinction between outer and inner surfaces, and a body occupying more than one place at once.

Both Spenser and Marvell thought of the scientific debates about bodies in space when they considered the place of nations. In particular, both poets construct impossible bodies in order to propose and justify English occupations of the Netherlands. Spenser uses Belge to advance the cause of Protestants in the Low Countries, partly through sleights-of-hand in which Belge’s body folds back into itself topologically or occupies two locations at once. Marvell’s “Character of Holland” asks us to imagine Dutch women in church placing their “Western end[s]” on stoves full of smoldering Dutch turf which is simultaneously English turf, the heat from which disperses the women’s bodies throughout the room in the form of a choking vapor that nonetheless resists political sublimation. For Marvell and Spenser, “place” is inseparable from motion and is inevitably bound up with impossibility—which raises problems for their dreams of political occupation.


Spenser and Irish Archaeology

Chair: Con Manning
National Monuments Service

“Raleigh in Youghal, Spenser in Kilcolman”
Tadhg O’Keeffe
University College Dublin
Walter Raleigh and Edmund Spenser, perhaps the most famous new settlers in the Elizabethan and Jacobean plantations of Ireland, lived in old residences in Youghal and Kilcolman respectively. Recent research by the author, independently (in the case of the latter) and in collaboration with David Kelly (in the case of the former), has added to our knowledge of these residences.

Myrtle Grove, a still-occupied, two-storeyed house beside St Mary’s Church, has long been identified as the place where Walter Raleigh lived during the short periods that he spent in Youghal. The architecture of the house indicates that it of the right date: originally built in the late middle ages, it was substantially refurbished around 1600. However, examination of the deeds pertaining to property around the church, as well as of pre-1840 cartographic material, indicates that the house was in ruins when Raleigh was in the town, and was not restored until the second decade of the seventeenth century. The association with Raleigh is an invention, then, probably of the early nineteenth century. Although the evidence is somewhat circumstantial, Raleigh probably occupied the original house of the college of priests that was founded in the late fifteenth century. Long demolished, its site is at the corner of Church Street and Emmet Place, immediately outside the gates to the parish church.

By contrast, Spenser’s residence is known with cast-iron certainty. He lived in a castle that had been built in the fifteenth century, and he made some alterations to it. The original castle had a tower-house and a hall, the former a multi-storey building containing “private” residential spaces and the latter a single-storey rectangular room for more “public” activities, such as dining. Alterations made to the castle in the sixteenth century—a new stair turret was added to the tower-house and a garderobe (toilet) was added to the hall, for example—suggest that the castle’s household of the period was, like other contemporary castle households, changing its social practices, moving into the tower-house some of the activities (especially prandial activities) that hitherto were restricted to the hall. Spenser took up residence in a sixteenth-century castle that was contained within a fifteenth-century shell. It had been modernised to a degree. His own alteration to Kilcolman’s fabric—the building of a parlour between the tower and hall—was actually very modest, and was insufficient to make the castle appear “modern” by Elizabethan standards.

“Thomas Harriot’s Irish Home: Molana Abbey in the Elizabethan Age”
Eric Klingelhofer
Mercer University
Carter Hudgins
Clemson University
Thomas Harriot is one of the best-known figures of the English Renaissance, known to have made important advances in abstract mathematics and in the natural sciences. In the 1580s he  joined Raleigh’s staff at Durham House, leading scientific investigations during the first Roanoke Colony (1585-6). He later joined the household of Henry Percy, the ‘Wizard Earl’ of Northumberland, at Sion House, where he carried out astronomical sightings similar to those of Galileo.

Less known is his ten-year ownership (1587-1597) of a house and manor on the Blackwater River is south Munster. Although more modest than the Raleigh and Percy homes, Molana Abby also shared in the secularization of Church properties by the Tudor dynasty. Preserved in the nineteenth-century as a romantic ruin and now a listed state monument, yet little is known about it, both before after the Dissolution. The 1589 survey lists the property as the residence as the residence of Thomas Harriot and family. Twentieth-century observers could see no evidence that Harriot had ever lived there. Recently, an Irish-American team has examined the standing remains there. This paper summarizes that research and presents a case for how architectural clue reveal how Harriot converted Molana from a medieval Irish monastery to a New English manor house. Comparisons to other conversions of Irish religious buildings, and to homes of neighboring “planters.” In conclusion, computer modelling depicts a conjectural reconstruction of Thomas Harriot’s Molana, based on current archaeological knowledge of the site.

“Spenser and the Native Elites in Munster, an Archaeological Perspective”
James Lyttleton
Independent Scholar
Edmund Spenser’s status as government official and landowner in Ireland was a consequence of English efforts to reassert control over Ireland in the late sixteenth century. The implementation of the Munster Plantation in 1585, following the earl of Desmond’s rebellion, saw the confiscation of native held land and the allocation of the same to loyal English Protestant landowners like Spenser. An elaborate scheme for the settlement of English colonists was put forward as the best means to reform the perceived ills of Irish society. It was against this milieu that Spenser composed works such as Colin Clouts Come Home Againe (1595) and The Faerie Queene (published posthumously in 1609), as well as a policy tract A View of the Present State of Ireland (written c.1596) that denigrated Irish culture in order to justify further conquest, confiscation and settlement.

However Spenser and his Irish neighbours such as the Barrys, Roches, MacCarthys and O’Callaghans were by no means passive participants in a colonial process underpinned, as has traditionally been argued, solely by paradigms of domination and resistance. There was a negotiation of power and identity that resulted in a degree of cultural hybridisation. By re-appraising the various castles and manor houses to be found surrounding Spenser’s estate in Kilcolman, Co. Cork one can go beyond morphological concerns and explore the extent to which the physical and mental worlds of both Spenser and his Irish neighbours were, indeed, challenged and transformed under the new resurgent English colonial order.


English Memories

Chair: Stewart Mottram
University of Hull

“‘Eterne’ in Memory: The Place of Reminiscence in Spenser’s Exemplars of Chastity”
Jenny Rallens
University of Oxford
Abstract not available.

“Place and Poetics in Prothalamion
Rebeca Helfer
University of California, Irvine
Abstract not available.

“Duessa as Devotional Satire”
Beth Quitslund
Ohio University
Abstract not available.

[1] Andrew Hadfield and Willy Maley, “Introduction: Irish Representations and English alternatives,” in Representing Ireland: Literature and the Origins of Conflict, 1534-1660, Brendan Bradshaw, Andrew Hadfield, and Willy Maley, eds. (New York: Cambridge UP, 1993), 1-23: 11.


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Cite as:

"Spenser in Dublin Abstracts," Spenser Review (Fall 2015). Accessed April 15th, 2024.
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