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Ardolino, Frank. “Thomas Watson, Shadow Poet Of Edmund Spenser.” Notes and Queries 61.2 (2014): 225-229. Web. 21 Apr. 2014.

The litany of contemporary praise for Thomas Watson is so markedly different from the modern view of Watson’s work that it raises the question of whether his Elizabethan acclaim resulted solely from the inevitable myopia of a contemporary perspective or whether there was another factor contributing to Watson’s esteem. I would argue that an important, but overlooked, aspect of Watson’s acclaim is the literary relationship he maintained with the vastly superior writer Edmund Spenser. Their similarities do not arise from Elizabethan writers sharing characteristic methods, motifs, and subject matter, but rather they result from a deliberate literary connection. In sum, Watson and Spenser celebrated the reign of Queen Elizabeth, championed Protestant national heroes like Sir Philip Sidney and Lord Admiral Charles Howard, and translated classical and European literary forms into English, thus bringing England into the larger world of literature and culture.   

Hadfield, Andrew. “Lying in Early Modern Culture.” Textual Practice 28.3 (2014): 339-363. Taylor & Francis Online. Web.

This essay explores the issue of lying in early modern English literature and culture and argues that we need a theory of lying to understand how truth was understood. It asks where we might find evidence of lies and why people might lie, as well as examining how writers explored the issue of lies and lying in their work. It concludes that religion was often the main reason why people lied, thought about lying and expected others to lie, given the serious punishments meted out to heretic. Thinking about lying should prompt us to rethink our understanding of early modern religious culture and we should certainly look more closely at religious groups that countenanced lying, such as Family of Love. Writers discussed include John Donne, Robert Greene, Sir Philip Sidney, and Edmund Spenser.

Hashhozheva, Galena. “The Christian Defense Against Classical Skepticism In Spenser’s Legend Of Holiness.” English Literary Renaissance 44.2 (2014): 193-220. Academic Search Complete. Web.

Book I of The Faerie Queene reflects Christianity’s foundational struggle against systematic doubt, a dominant intellectual strategy in late antiquity rediscovered by the sixteenth century. The various modalities of classical Skepticism—intolerance of error, passivity of the mind and will, suspicion, indecision, and the profession of a perverse ignorance—steal upon Redcrosse and erode his holiness, which cannot operate without an epistemic substratum comprising certainty, trust, and faith. This essay examines the harrowing consequences of Skepticism for the holy life, as well as for the overall health and vitality of human existence. Book I shares many of its insights about the deadening effects of doubt in common with such works as Augustine’s early dialogues against Academic Skepticism and Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, whose first two books contain Calvin’s epistemology of the Christian creed and his nuanced discussion of the twin Christian virtues fides and fiducia. Although doubt may appear as a justifiable safeguard against the impostures that lurk everywhere in Book I, Spenser places the dignity of trust above the consequences that may arise from its fallibility. Its defense lies, paradoxically, in its defenselessness, as Una’s exemplary behavior in the face of treachery shows.

Miller, David Lee. “A Neglected Source for the Mortdant and Amavia Episode in The Faerie Queene.” Notes and Queries 61.2 (2014): 229-231. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.

This note argues that the Pauline allegory in the Mortdant and Amavia episode (FQ II.i-ii) has its immediate source in Beza’s marginal notes to Romans 5-7 in the 1576 Geneva Bible, which explain why an allegory of flesh and the Mosaic Law should be personified as a dying husband and wife and their infant child. Full text available at

Robinson, Benedict. “Disgust c. 1600.” ELH 81.2 (2014). Project Muse. Web.

This article traces a history of disgust from the moment the word is first attested in English. It tracks the grammar of disgust and its relationship to an emerging socioaesthetics of taste in an urban scene. And it explores some of the literary texts that take disgust as their subject: Ben Jonson’s Poetaster and “On the Famous Voyage,” Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene, with reference to William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. The largest claim is that in the early modern period a rhetorical theory of the passions that treats them as situated social events decisively shaped the forms of literary production with results that are still with us today.

Wadoski, Andrew. “Spenser, Tasso, and the Ethics of Allegory.” Modern Philology 111.3 (2014): 365-383.  JSTOR. Web.

This essay considers how Edmund Spenser’s understanding of allegory was significantly shaped by his encounter with Torquato Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata. It focuses on the broad critical statement made by Spenser’s principle representation of this encounter in the Bower of Bliss, an extended quotation of Tasso’s garden of Armida. The Bower’s recreations of and pointed departures from Tasso’s garden reveal how the Liberata forced Spenser to think of allegory not merely as the means through which ethical ideals are projected into images, but as an ethical act caught up in the ambiguities that attend all social praxis. Read as a narrative account of allegory in action, Guyon’s laborious destruction of the Bower of Bliss opens a pointed inquiry into the ways allegory struggles against the unsettling possibilities of irony, ambiguity, and equivocation in its own procedures. In Spenser’s rewriting of Tasso, the allegory is just as corrosive as the error it struggles to correct, leaving not a reformed vision of Eden but a wasteland in its wake. Intervening in a poetics that elides internal difference in its drive to absorb all transgression into an ethical code, Spenser’s response to Tasso in the Bower suggests that the Liberata taught him the need for an allegory that seeks out the liberating possibilities of its messiness, recovering not only the ethical necessity but the conceptual force of disorder in representing our status as fallen beings in the mutable world.


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"Articles," Spenser Review 44.2.52 (Fall 2014). Accessed July 15th, 2024.
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