Abstracts from Spenser Studies

Volume XXXIII, 2019

Richard Z. Lee, Wary Boldness: Courtesy and Critical Aesthetics in The Faerie Queene

In Book VI of The Faerie Queene, Spenser figures courtesy as a uniquely self-divided virtue. Alternating between benign and malign manifestations with such ease and rapidity that these seeming opposites become indistinguishable from one another, Spenser’s courtesy is a means of utopian progress and dystopian catastrophe at one and the same time. Embodied as much by the Blatant Beast as the courteous knight who seeks to contain it, the virtue functions less as an instrument of ideological motivation than as an index of the way that historical crisis obscures the difference between culture and its barbarous Other. Book VI ultimately thematizes and trains readers not in a politics per se, but in the critical agency that Spenser describes as “wary boldness,” a proto-political faculty governed by the tension between aesthetic experience and social praxis. The essay concludes by arguing for the value of Adornian theory in thinking through this tension, as it exists in The Faerie Queene, early modern literature, and contemporary critical practice.

Judith H. Anderson, Mythic Still Movement and Parodic Myth in Spenser and Shakespeare

This essay argues for the essential importance of myth and parody to Renaissance writing and connects them with still movement, a punning paradox that both Spenser and Shakespeare engage. Still movement simultaneously opposes motion to stillness and conjoins them. Parody heightens the play of still movement, and Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis offers an exemplary instance of it that parodies Spenser’s many refractions of the same myth in his epic. Shakespeare’s epyllion also serves as a transition to a historicized treatment of parody that is inclusive enough to pertain to both Spenser and Shakespeare. Properly understood, the parodic still movement of myth broadens and deepens the Spenser-Shakespeare connection and significantly affects a reading of sacred, or biblical, myth at the end of King Lear and the myths operative at the end of The Winter’s Tale, which are variously biblical and classical and bear on the troubling death of Mamillius.

Anupam Basu and Joseph Loewenstein, Spenser’s Spell: Archaism and Historical Stylometrics

In the present essay, on Spenser’s orthography, we address the question of whether the orthography of Spenser’s texts, in early modern editions, is salient and therefore worth preserving in modern editions. Even when we face the bibliographic fact that Spenser’s texts seem not to have been regarded as so valuably idiosyncratic that early modern printers preserved them from adjustment, we may still seek to know whether the first editions of Spenser’s works are demonstrably and articulably idiosyncratic, whether orthographically, lexically, inflectionally, or syntactically. This essay formulates a method for statistically probing Spenser’s orthographic profile against what we demonstrate to be the variant, but coherent background of early printed English. We build a model of early modern orthographic change based on letter n-grams extracted from the 60,000 texts in the EEBO-TCP corpus. The n-grams yield some 30,000 features; we concentrate on a subset of the 200 most variant features, reducing the dimensionality of the data by means of principal component analysis (PCA). Situating Spenser’s texts against contemporary and near-contemporary texts, we demonstrate that, in general, Spenser’s corpus is not orthographically distinctive and propose that the impression of the linguistic distinctiveness of Spenser’s poetry is concentrated elsewhere. We conclude both with proposals for new tests that might enable us to isolate that distinctiveness and with a brief assessment of appropriate editorial responses to our investigations.

Maria Devlin McNair, The Faerie Queene as an Aristotelian Inquiry into Ethics

Spenser’s The Faerie Queene constitutes an Aristotelian inquiry into ethics because of its continual demand for judgment. For Aristotle, there is no single rule for what constitutes good action; similarly, in The Faerie Queene, there is no single rule for interpreting the poem’s allegories. The agent or reader must evaluate the unique circumstances of each case before she can act or interpret correctly. In The Faerie Queene, this is partly because the significance of individual characters, motifs, and actions changes radically from episode to episode. Spenser’s wide range of literary and philosophical sources likewise means that the poem has no single interpretive key. The variation and diversity of The Faerie Queene offer, not rules to follow or examples to imitate, but rather, case studies to analyze, whose narrative particularity both demands and develops judgment. I analyze key episodes from Books I, II, and V, and show that if we attempted to derive general ethical or interpretive rules from these episodes, these rules would lead us to misread other parts of the poem. To interpret the poem adequately, we must develop and apply an informed judgment to each individual case—the same process required of an Aristotelian ethical agent.

Jeff Espie, Spenser, Chaucer, and the Renaissance Squire’s Tale

This essay develops existing scholarship about Spenser’s reconstruction of Chaucer’s Squire’s Tale in Book IV of The Faerie Queene. I suggest, first, a new reason why Renaissance literary historians should study Spenser’s imitation of Chaucer in conjunction with the printed editions that transmitted his poetry to a Tudor audience: they present a prologue for The Squire’s Tale that differs radically from modern texts. The prologue, never before discussed in a Spenserian context, identifies the Squire as a paradoxical combination of deference and assertiveness, framing his tale as the product of an active, metafictional revision; Spenser adapts this posture and poetics as his own. I propose, second, a new reason why Spenserians might consider The Squire’s Tale alongside Anelida and Arcite and The Knight’s Tale: the poems collectively articulate a pattern of Chaucerian self-revision that Spenser appropriates to claim his place in a variously national and international tradition. Mediated by his Renaissance editions, following his own feet, Chaucer provides Spenser with poems to rewrite but also with a guide to accomplish his rewriting; Chaucer is the target of Spenser’s revision as well as the model for how to do it.

Jessica C. Beckman, Time, Reading, and the Material Text: Revising Spenser’s Shepheardes Calender

Studies of The Shepheardes Calender almost exclusively focus on its first edition, printed by Hugh Singleton in 1579. Yet in 1580, Singleton sold his publication rights to John Harrison II, who controlled its printing for the next twenty years. This essay traces how a series of printers enlisted by Harrison in the late sixteenth century made subtle changes to The Shepheardes Calender that de-emphasize its emblems and glosses. It argues that these changes reshape the central kineticism of the Calender that relies on the interplay between its eclogues and paratexts to vary how readers move through the work. By articulating how Spenser’s text connects serial reading with the passage of linear time, this essay calls new attention to the role played by mise-en-page in amplifying the Calender’s complex temporality.

Taylor Clement, The Persistence of Vision: Continuous Narrative and Spenser’s Illustrated Poetry

This article examines word-image relationships within A Theatre for Worldlings (1569) and The Shepheardes Calender (1579). Both printed texts contain illustrations with continuous narrative in which the implied three-dimensional space in the picture plane expresses temporality on a continuum that reaches back to the horizon. Spenser’s translations of Marot and Du Bellay in A Theatre reconnect the pictured scenes as a series of events, but the continuous narrative in A Theatre changes readers’ perceptions of narrative time and complicates deixis within the lyric poems. In the Calender, a different word-image relationship occurs. Spenser’s poetry, when paired with continuous-narrative designs, emphasizes the power of storytelling by illustrating imaginary or fable worlds on the landscape. Scholars often focus on how Spenser’s early translations influence his later poetry, but this essay argues that, in particular, the continuous narrative illustration techniques in A Theatre inform the ways in which visual images and narrative time operate in the Calender.

Elisabeth Chaghafi, Collaborative Spenser? Reading the “Spenser-Harvey Letters”

The so-called “Spenser-Harvey letters” (1580) are generally studied only for the biographical and bibliographical information they contain, though they are an unreliable source for both. This article proposes that instead of being treated as a corrupted version of Spenser’s personal correspondence with Harvey that found its way into print, the letters should be read as a collaboratively authored literary work that aims to give its readers a glimpse of the fictionalized (or fictional) collaborative relationship between two authors called “G.H.” and “Immerito.” The pseudonym “Immerito” in particular is highlighted in the book, suggesting that one of its goals was to supplement The Shepheardes Calender (which was due to be reprinted for the first time) and generate further interest in its author.

William N. West, Spenser, Ruskin, and the Victorian Culture of Medieval England

Victorian scholars of the Renaissance took the backward gaze of Spenser’s Faerie Queene at an imaginary chivalric England as a magic lantern by which the England of the 1590s could be projected back in time so that it preceded the Renaissance Italy of the 1490s, keeping the Elizabethan era innocent of the excesses of the Renaissance. For critics of the 1890s (including Ruskin as reframed by William Morris), Spenser offered a periodization that went backward. To some extent our current questions of periodization continue to stumble on this revisionist (maybe insufficiently revisionist) account of the relation of medieval and Renaissance.

Christopher Warley, The Pleasure of Hating the Renaissance

This essay reads Ruskin’s The Stones of Venice through the lens of Erich Auerbach and Jacques Rancière to argue that the nineteenth-century term “Renaissance” names a link, never secure, between art, history, and collectivity—which is to say, a continual rebirth of historical life. Reading Ruskin makes clear that since the nineteenth century Renaissance has never meant, despite the efforts of many from a variety of political positions to make it mean, an abstract concept of beauty manifesting itself as the informing spirit of works of art. It has never meant a majestic subject standing athwart from history and imposing his masculine will upon yielding, feminine materials. It has never meant a Eurocentric imposition of universal values upon the peripheral world. Instead, a Renaissance by definition violates epistemes by insisting upon a link between disparate times, places, and peoples. Thus the term that demarcates the cinquecento as a unique historical moment also is the term that demarcates a nineteenth-century aesthetic.

Katherine Eggert, Ruskin’s Taste in Spenserian Women: Not Looking at the Renaissance

John Ruskin’s The Stones of Venice (1851–53) is suffused with Spenser’s Faerie Queene. This essay proposes that Ruskin’s view of Spenser’s allegorical women repeats and intensifies an aesthetic experience that The Faerie Queene models: the view of a woman in which one looks at her but does not see. Since The Stones of Venice aligns active feminine sexuality with the Renaissance itself, Ruskin thus, by means of Spenser, offers a periodized aesthetics in which the medieval allows us not to see the Renaissance, no matter how much it comes into our view.

Joe Moshenska, “Whence had she all this wealth?”: Dryden’s Note on The Faerie Queene V.vii.24 and the Gifts of Literal Reading

This article discusses an annotation that John Dryden made in one of his copies of Spenser’s poems. In it, Dryden expressed surprise at the sudden emergence of the gifts that Britomart gives to the priests of Isis in Book V of The Faerie Queene. This annotation is used to explore the tendency of objects suddenly to emerge in Spenser’s poem, with varying degrees of explanation for their origins. This tendency is part of what grants the literal surface of the narrative its perennial capacity to surprise and delight.

Samuel V. Lemley, Glossing Spenser’s Griesly

Scholars often gloss Spenser’s adjective griesly with conventional synonyms: frightful, horrible, ghastly. While Spenser’s griesly is no doubt semantically linked with these words, it does more than merely denote the frightening and bizarre. This gleaning suggests that glossing Spenser’s griesly in these terms precludes a reading of its connotative range. When read across and through Spenser’s corpus, griesly conveys three linked thematic associations: the passage of time, liminality, and senescence/mutability.

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Volume XXXII, 2018

Richard McCabe, “O pierlesse Poesye, where is then thy place?”: Locating Patronage in Spenser

“O pierlesse Poesye, where is then thy place?”: As Piers’s despairing question indicates, Spenser’s concern with patronage stretches beyond the customary “topoi” of 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 any less fictive than the latter). Beginning with an analysis of the “place” of poetry in the pastoral landscape of The Shepheardes Calender, this article examines its various inflections through the genera that followed. Relegated to the allegedly “salvage” terrain of the Gaelic bards, Spenser creates landscapes that both attest to, and simultaneously resist, his fear of cultural assimilation. 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 centered on the displaced self and the “designer” wilderness it inhabits.

Yulia Ryzhik, Spenser and Donne Go Fishing

This article examines several of Donne’s allusions to Spenser in metaphors of fish and fishing, as applied to courtship and to courtly advancement, to illuminate Donne’s complex engagement with Spenser, by turns satirizing and rehabilitating elements of Spenser’s poetics. In two vastly different poems, “The Bait” and Metempsychosis, Donne’s superficial references to Spenser function as a form of diversion. In “The Bait,” these allusions soften Donne’s tone as he parodies an earlier lyric by Marlowe, while the decision to situate his piscatory eclogue on the banks of a river shows Donne’s perceptive reading of Spenser’s river poetry. In Metempsychosis, Donne’s borrowings from Spenser’s shorter works appear to be largely satirical and anti-Spenserian, but mask a deeper, structural level of engagement with Spenser’s allegorical methods. Donne’s careful splicing of Spenserian references in the piscine episodes of Metempsychosis reveals not only the poets’ shared view of the patronage system, but also the place of Spenser as both the target and model of Donne’s quasi-allegorical mock-epic.

Jean R. Brink, Spenser’s “Home”

The consensus of Spenser’s biographers is that Ireland never became his home. In this article, I question the assumptions that Spenser was banished to Ireland and that he viewed his years in Ireland as an exile. At critical junctures in Spenser’s life, 1579–80, 1582, 1588–91, and 1595–96, when he might have tried to make a career in England, he chose Ireland. I explore the reasons why Spenser decided to make his home in Ireland. In the process, I show that Ireland was less repressive than Whitgift’s England and argue that Ireland offered him independence from the uncertainties of the patronage system. In Ireland, Spenser could earn the means to support his family and to write the Faerie Queene.

Helen Cooper, Spenser’s Pastoral Places

Originally a plenary lecture given at the 2015 Spenser Conference in Dublin on “Spenser’s Places/The Place of Spenser,” this article explores the place of Spenser in the pastoral tradition, encompassing as it does Virgil, the Bible, and also the various other versions of pastoral that had emerged over the course of the Middle Ages. Spenser constantly sets these rich strands of inheritance in dialectical opposition to each other, principally in the Shepheardes Calender but also in the Faerie Queene; and he associates these different traditions with different kinds of places, of landscapes, which set up their own kinds of dialectic.

Gordon Braden, The Classical Background of Spenser’s View

Most references to classical literature in the View are brief and second-hand. 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 is the obvious example; but there are previously unnoted connections between Spenser’s dialogue and Tacitus’s Agricola. Agricola narrates Rome’s pacification of Britain, and raises the prospect of Ireland’s being Rome’s logical next conquest. It is not, however, a narrative of imperial success, but Tacitus’s biography of his father-in-law, the governor who brought Rome to the point of subduing all of Britain, only to be recalled by Domitian. Tacitus’s protest against the emperor’s action parallels Spenser’s protest against the recall of 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, nor does Spenser give voice to the kind of sarcastic skepticism about England’s imperial mission that Tacitus puts in the mouth of the resistance leader Calgacus. But the parallels can nevertheless be felt in surprising places.

Nicholas Canny, Irish Sources for Spenser’s <i>View</i>

The first section of the View is widely understood to be influenced by the twelfth-century texts of Gerald of Wales, as transmitted by Richard Stanyhurst in his Plain and Perfect Description of Ireland included in Holinshed (1577). These works describe the Norman intervention in Ireland as a civilizing process. Such an identification of sources is problematic, however, because the ultimate purpose of the View was to discredit Stanyhurst’s argument that Irish-born descendants of the Norman conquerors of Ireland (the so-called “Old English”) should complete that task. This case of problematic sourcing is resolved given that 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 own History of Ireland 1546–86, wherein Hooker attributes the disturbed condition of the country to the recalcitrance of Old English lords. This, for Hooker, and also for Spenser, proved that the Irish population of English descent was in greater need of reform than their Gaelic neighbors. Given that this was the novel argument of the View, and given close echoes between Hooker’s description of famine in Munster and similar passages in the View, Hooker’s contribution to the 1587 edition of Holinshed’s Chronicle is arguably the most potent influence on Spenser’s work.

Clare O’Halloran, From Antiquarian Text to Fiction’s Subtext: The Extended Afterlife of Spenser’s View of the Present State of Ireland

This article analyzes significant traces of the View of the Present State of Ireland in Irish novels published in the aftermath of the Act of Union of 1800. Written by Protestants, they aimed to explain the Irish problem to an English audience, and thereby foster more harmonious relations between the two islands. Spenser’s View, which had long been a resource for antiquaries, was taken up by these novelists in a variety of ways, ranging from plundering his hostile descriptions of Gaelic Irish mores to add color and an alleged authenticity to their characters and plots, to engaging with his politics and pointing to his complicity in the colonial project in Ireland. That some novelists employed both of these approaches simultaneously shows not only the continuing Protestant ambivalence toward the Gaelic Irish, and particularly the still-threatening peasantry, but also the centrality of Spenser’s View to fictive depictions of early nineteenth-century Ireland.

Stewart Mottram, “With guiltles blood oft stained”: Spenser’s Ruines of Time and the Saints of St. Albans

Alban is conspicuously absent from Spenser’s Ruines of Time. Although Camden writes that Verulamium was “famous for … bringing foorth Alban,” Spenser’s Verlame is silent on Alban and again departs from Camden to claim Verulamium had been built on the Thames. This article argues that the key to 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 errant Thames to “a corrupt place in Gildas,” whose account of Alban’s martyrdom recounts his miraculous transit through that river. The article explores Spenser’s borrowings from Gildas and other medieval lives, arguing that Spenser supplies a shadowy allusion to the “guiltles blood” of Alban and other saints of St. Albans that root his poem within the “protestant” traditions of Britain’s pre-Saxon church. Complicating this, however, are Spenser’s several departures from Foxe’s reformed account of Alban, for Foxe dismisses many of the “Monkish miracles” found in Gildas and the later Lyfe of John Lydgate to which Spenser significantly alludes. Spenser’s inclusion of these “Monkish” legends thus works both to affirm and deny his poem’s protestant foundations, in the process shedding new light on Spenser’s religious sensibilities.

Stuart Kinsella, Two Memorials to Arthur Grey de Wilton, Lord Deputy of Ireland (1580–82), in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin

Two memorials to Arthur Grey, fourteenth baron of Wilton, Lord Deputy of Ireland (1580–82) and employer of Edmund Spenser, survive in Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin. They have received little attention for over a century. Among the few early modern monuments to survive in Ireland, they consist of a heraldry-decorated stone mural tablet and a remarkable memorial in brass, the only such pre-Victorian example in the cathedral and one of only eight surviving pre-1700 brasses in Ireland. Embellished with a rich display of heraldic quarterings, this possibly locally-made brass includes traces of colored enamel as well as a rare record of the two sons of Grey’s second wife, who died during their time in Dublin. This article brings these monuments to wider notice and casts light on the wider cultural interests of an English Tudor governor of Ireland.

Maria Fahey, Transporting Florimell: The Place of Simile in Book III of The Faerie Queene

This article explores the places of Florimell and the place of simile in The Faerie Queene, with particular focus on the third book “Of Chastity.” Whereas the main narrative critically presents chaste/chased Florimell’s indiscriminate flight from all men, a series of epic similes, with extended narratives about alternate places, locate the logic of her motivation to flee and enlarge our understanding of Florimell and of chastity. Although simile and metaphor recently have been characterized as figures that contain the transformations they perform, The Faerie Queene suggests that the narrative transformations within an epic simile are not always cordoned off by the figure’s formal structure and can stake a place in the poem at large.

James Nohrnberg, Three Phases of Metaphor, and the Mythos of the Christian Religion: Dante, Spenser, Milton

This article proposes three different tenor-vehicle relations for a three-phase metaphorics of the Christian mythos in late medieval and early modern literature. Dante, Spenser, and Milton are the chosen examples (with animadversion to Langland). The phases are equated with three phases of language in Vico’s New Science. The first phase is participative, mythic, “tautogorical,” and “hieroglyphic”; the second is analogical, typological, and figurative; and the third allusive, ironic, antiphrastic, and prosaic-discursive. Christ’s death and resurrection, for example, are liturgically-calendrically and participatively present to the pilgrim in the incarnational-reincarnational poetics and transfigurative metaphorics of the Commedia; they are analogical to—and allegorized somatically in—Redcrosse’s strength or weakness of faith in Faerie Queene I; and are referred to allusively and ironically in Adam’s coming to consciousness and revival to the presence of Eve in Paradise Lost. Similarly instanced and modally differentiated are the poets’ treatments of the harrowing of hell, the sacrament of the eucharist, the symbol of Jacob’s ladder, the sacred ground of religiously consecrated sites, despair of salvation, and the seven capital sins (e.g., cosmic grades of confessional descent and ascent in Dante, threats to faith’s allegorical health in Spenser, and the devils’ Renaissance virtues in Milton).

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Volume XXXI, 2018

Syrithe Pugh, Orpheus and Eurydice in the Middle Books of The Faerie Queene

This article addresses Spenser’s curious preference for the lesser-known Greek version of the Orpheus myth, in which Orpheus successfully recovers Eurydice from the Underworld, over the tragic version promulgated by Virgil’s Georgics, exploring its significance in the middle books of The Faerie Queene and its implications for Spenser’s conception of his role as an “Orphic” poet. The rescue of Amoret from the House of Busirane and that of Florimell from Proteus’s cave both rework Eurydice’s release. Spenser’s chief concern is to differentiate between true and false love, which he identifies respectively with sympathy and with rapacious desire. Britomart’s capacity for sympathy and respect for Amoret’s freedom as a desiring subject enable her to perform the role of the liberating Orpheus, while Scudamour’s actions at the Temple of Venus are implicitly paralleled with Aristaeus’s attempted rape in Virgil’s account. In Book IV, Florimell’s lament brings out the connection of this sympathetic form of love with Orpheus’s traditional powers of poetic pathos, while the Orphic poet’s ability to promote a similar equity and “franchise” on the social and political level are evoked through allusion to Orpheus’s quelling of the Argonauts’s strife. Where Virgil’s fourth Georgic opposes political necessity to love and art, Spenser challenges this dichotomy. In assuming the role of the “Brittayne Orpheus,” and reasserting Orpheus’s victory over death, he dedicates his poetic powers to love conceived not as destructive madness but as the civilizing force on which society depends.

Brian Pietras, Erasing Evander’s Mother: Spenser, Virgil, and the Dangers of Vatic Authorship

Scholars have long argued that, in The Shepheardes Calender, Spenser lays audacious claim to the exalted Virgilian role of the poet-prophet, or vates. But these critics have overlooked a problem at the heart of vatic authorship, which is that Virgil’s own texts portray the vatic role as the result of external coercion—a coercion that has its most vivid depiction in the Aeneid, where divine inspiration becomes associated with rape, and the vates with violated female figures (including Cassandra and the Sibyl of Cumae). This essay argues that the Calender recognizes the unsettling classical links between the divinely inspired poet and the violated woman, and sets out to renovate the role for England’s “new Poete”: to transform the vates from helpless victim of the gods to potent ravisher of men’s minds. Ultimately, to accomplish this task, the Calender must suppress the vatic role’s vexed associations not only with women, but also with ancient female author-figures.

Kevin Chovanec, The Borders of Fairyland: Transnational Readings of Spenser in Stuart England

In this article, I discuss Thomas Dekker’s The Whore of Babylon and Ralph Knevet’s A Supplement of the Faerie Queen as readings of Spenser’s fairyland. Both writers appropriate Spenser’s fairy frame, but they then complicate the traditional relationship between England and fairyland. While the play and the poem are patriotic works, the allegorical “fairy” identity in both is aligned with Protestantism rather than—or sometimes in addition to—Englishness. This suggests, I argue, that English identity in the Stuart period was more open and incorporative than is generally admitted, capable of assuming Dutch, German, and even Swedish Protestants into the national—or “fairy”—community; and “foreigness” likewise remained open to negotiation. As these writers were near to Spenser both in time and in ideology, their seemingly radical reinterpretations of fairyland might also challenge our understanding of The Faerie Queene as an exclusively national work and open the poem itself to new transnational readings.

Kenneth Borris, (H)eroic Disarmament: Spenser’s Unarmed Cupid, Platonized Heroism, and The Faerie Queene’s Poetics

In The Faerie Queene’s first proem, which introduces the whole text as well as Book I, Spenser specifically invokes the creative assistance of unarmed Cupid, who also appears in the poem thereafter. Spenserians have much debated whether his disarmament means anything, and whether Platonism has any relevance. Yet previous studies have overlooked formerly well-known literary, iconographical, and hermeneutic precedents that show he thus signifies the heavenly love of virtue or amor virtutis in a Platonizing way. And they have missed the poet’s association of Cupid in this particular aspect with the Ideas. Whereas the most recent biography of Spenser calls his explicitly Christian Platonist Fowre Hymnes “anomalous” in his canon, his representation of unarmed Cupid in The Faerie Queene, we find, anticipates various features of them. As Plato had derived “hero” from “Eros” so that heroism became born of love, and attributed high accomplishments in valor, virtue, and intellect to this amorous inspiration that he especially defines in the Phaedrus and Symposium, so this poet broadly refashions heroic form by making it (h)eroic and relatively unwarlike. The Faerie Queene’s motif of the unarmed Cupid imagistically focuses these principles of Spenser’s poetics, and this study’s findings demonstrate Platonism’s importance, currently underappreciated, to the poet’s representations of love and heroism and to his whole creative enterprise.

Debapriya Sarkar, Dilated Materiality and Formal Restraint in The Faerie Queene

Scholars have long been interested in the materialistic theories and natural philosophies influencing Spenser’s poetry. This essay traces the philosophy of conserved matter that pervades The Faerie Queene—a philosophy in which indestructible matter refigures itself into different forms—to argue that the physics underlying the poem’s cosmology originates from its internal encounters with problems of formal excess, instead of from philosophical doctrines that precede narrative. This philosophy, which I term “dilated materiality,” is not merely the cosmological principle at the heart of Mutablitie’s judgment, or in scenes of cosmogony such as the Garden of Adonis. Instead, dilated materiality counteracts tendencies to narrative proliferation by balancing contravening impulses of prolixity and fixity within the various paradigms that constitute the poetic world: in domains of individual being, of political action, and of narrative closure. Mitigating the anxiety of excess pervading an “endlesse worke,” dilated materiality reclaims narrative dilatio from its own proliferating tendencies.

Angela D. Bullard, Tempering the Intemperate in Spenser’s Bower of Bliss

This essay asserts that “temperance” for Spenser is not an imagined state of self-sameness that must be learned by Guyon at the end of Book II of the Faerie Queene. Rather, Spenser dubs Guyon the “Knight of Temperance” because he tempers the overmoist, luxuriant Bower through an action he accomplishes rather than a trait he embodies. The Bower of Bliss was designed to alter the knights’ humoral complexions through their exchange with this garden, a garden that has more influence on the knights than the temptress Acrasia. To break the Bower’s force, Guyon moderates the improperly-mixed Bower by destroying the Italianate garden features and burning the Bower, a common early modern remedy for land that was too moist. Through this allegory on temperance, Spenser warns the English against over-cultivating their gardens and lands, lest the English also become over-refined like the Italians and French.

Sue P. Starke, Glauce’s “Foolhardy Wit” and the Revision of Romance in The Faerie Queene

Britomart’s old nurse Glauce is introduced in The Faerie Queene Book III as a stock figure who nonetheless transcends her low generic origins through comic improvisation and transformation. Initially a figure of fun who provokes Merlin to smile, the humble nurse becomes invested with the powers of a Sidneyan poet to teach and inspire; in her application of generic frames to the interpretation of experience, she is both a product and practitioner of genera mista. Britomart is motivated to pursue her chivalric career through Glauce’s pragmatic narrative interventions. Through a comparison of the earthy materialist Glauce with Britomart’s other primary mentor, the prophetic Merlin, we may see how Spenser’s comic impulse informs his revisionist treatment of the romance itself. Glauce is a low comic figure by definition, in all respects without learned or textual authority. Her literal adoption of chivalric identity as she steals Angela’s armor for Britomart exemplifies her violations of decorum with respect to class, gender, and even genre. As squire, Glauce achieves genuine heroic stature in Book IV, as her poetic interventions help to “upknit” the relationship of Artegall and Britomart.

George Moore, Fragmented Time in Spenser’s The Shepheardes Calender

If, as some critics have argued, Edmund Spenser’s The Shepheardes Calender calls attention to its own fragmentation, it is worth considering what such discontinuities suggest about temporality, one of the key concerns of this so-called “Calender for every yeare.” Following recent efforts to bring questions of temporality to studies of material culture, this essay highlights the polychronicity of Spenser’s “little booke” and the objects in its pastoral setting. Rather than occupying a single temporality, both the Oak of the Februarie eclogue and The Calender itself contain within them the traces of divergent temporalities and may therefore be regarded as “polychronic,” as the term is defined by philosopher Michel Serres. This article argues that Spenser emphasizes the polychronicity of these artifacts as a means of critiquing the reductive temporal schema that underwrites both iconoclasm and antipoetic detraction.

Jeff Espie, (Un)couth: Chaucer, The Shepheardes Calender, and the Forms of Mediation

This essay elucidates The Shepheardes Calender and its relationship to the Chaucerian past. I argue that the Calender constructs its Chaucer by engaging not only with the works in his corpus itself but also with various Medieval and Renaissance texts that mediated his legacy. In doing so, the Calender fashions an English literary tradition rooted both in a single, preeminent figure and in a multitude of interpretations about him. During the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries, the interpretations of Chaucer, which I call the “forms of mediation,” are diverse and variable in content. I concentrate here on a small but influential assortment of them: the Tudor editions that printed Chaucer’s works and the poems of Gower and Lydgate that depicted Chaucer’s authorial identity. The Calender incorporates ideas from them into the June eclogue and E. K.’s prefatory epistle. There, they shape the representation of Chaucer and his poetic legacy, and dictate the terms through which Colin and Spenser may succeed to Chaucer’s model. The Calender thus makes poetic succession proceed not according to a path of direct descent but through a circuitous route populated by intermediaries—intermediaries who, as Lydgate and E. K. suggest, themselves share a special characteristic with Chaucer.

David Adkins, Spenser’s March and Sixteenth-Century Philology

This essay argues that March’s reception of ancient pastoral is shaped by recent developments in Northern humanist philology. First of all, it imitates an idyll that received no scholarly attention until the mid-sixteenth century. The poem benefits, moreover, from Baïf’s reconstruction of a textual crux in Moschus 1. Finally, March also receives from Baïf its method of imitating Virgil, which reflects contemporary insight into Virgil’s reception of Hellenistic poetry. All of these developments arise from the practice of comparative exegesis, a philological method perfected by Parisian humanists. This essay thus aims to place March in the context of a particular cultural movement, namely sixteenth-century French Hellenism.

Kreg Segall, Mother Hubberd’s Intervention in Prosopopoia, or Mother Hubberds Tale

This essay examines Spenser’s Prosopopoia, or Mother Hubberds Tale through an analysis of Mother Hubberd’s taletelling voice in the poem and the effects of her tale on the narrator’s illness. The essay considers the architecture of the poem—its symmetries and echoes of itself—and its embodiment of the trope of prosopopoia, in arguing that Mother Hubberd’s tale offers an ungentle-but-necessary remediation to the narrator.

Ryan J. Croft, Embodying the Catholic <i>Ruines of Rome</i> in <i>Titus Andronicus:</i> du Bellay, Spenser, Peele, and Shakespeare

Titus Andronicus invokes Spenser’s Ruines of Rome, making the Andronici family tomb its main symbolic location and continual point of reference. Yet whereas Spenser’s ruins are architectural, the ruins of Shakespeare’s play are the mutilated bodies of its characters. Furthermore, against the Protestant emphases of Spenser and Shakespeare’s collaborator George Peele, Shakespeare’s emphasis is Catholic. His sections of the play associate Titus and Lavinia with the Catholic faith, and Aaron with iconoclastic Protestantism. In the aftermath of his daughter’s martyrdom, Titus is reduced to an icon of monastic ruin, yet the ending of the play looks away from civil war between faiths, as Marcus teaches the troubled Romans to “knit again / … These broken limbs again into one body.” The implicit Catholicism of the play places it in the tradition of Catholic writing that will run alongside the Protestant mainstream for the next centuries.

Margaret Christian, “The dragon is sin”: Spenser’s Book I as Evangelical Fantasy

The twentieth-century Christian fantasy writer Frank Peretti is less well known among Spenserians than J. R. R. Tolkien or C. S. Lewis, but Peretti’s 1995 novel The Oath has striking parallels with Book I of The Faerie Queene. The Oath features a contest between an allegorical dragon and Dr. Steve Benson, wildlife biologist and fallible protagonist. In his quest, the hero is seduced by Tracy, a more sympathetic version of Duessa, and is rescued and mentored, not by Prince Arthur, but by the born-again and socially awkward Levi (who supplies this article’s title). Various characters’ sins, like Redcrosse’s, produce physical symptoms, and the healing of Steve’s infected wound is part of his conversion and experience of grace. Spenser’s dragon is often interpreted as sin, death, and the devil; Peretti invokes the same cluster of meanings for his dragon. Although Peretti states in an interview that he has not read Spenser, he writes with a similar view of sin and a forthrightly evangelistic purpose. Many anonymous early annotators of The Faerie Queene experienced Book I as Christian fiction and noted its biblical affinities rather than its literary excellence. The parallels between Spenser’s and Peretti’s works serve as a reminder of the evangelistic undertones of Spenser’s purpose: “to fashion a gentleman or noble person in vertuous and gentle discipline,” which may well include encouraging us, his readers, to identify and fight our own sins.

Roger Kuin, Hands On: Marginalia in a 1611 Copy of Spenser’s Works

This article discusses the extensive 18th-century marginalia in a copy of Matthew Lownes’s 1611 composite edition of Spenser’s Works. It shows the printed source used by the copy’s owner and annotator, and situates both in the context of the early eighteenth-century Spenser revival that acted as a bridge between Milton’s generation and the late eighteenth-century Romantic admirers of the poet.

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Volume XXX, 2015

Ayesha Ramachandran, Humanism and its Discontents

A defining term for the Renaissance, “the human” is today a perilous term. But is it still a useful one—or is its intellectual history in early modernity too fraught, too deeply implicated in critiques of anthropocentrism? This essay argues for a reappraisal of “humanism” as a philosophical tradition and suggests how the history of “the human” in the early modern period already contains its postmodern and posthumanist unraveling. As a humanist’s humanist, Spenser plays a key, emblematic role in this history as his careful and sparing use of the term “human” in its various forms points to the idea of humanity as a boundary condition, a description of a limit. The essay concludes with a reflection on the continued importance of humanist modes of reading through an understanding of the text’s own agency.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXX, pp. 3-18

Copyright © 2015 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Melissa E. Sanchez, Posthumanist Spenser?

In the pages that follow, I outline some key insights of the various schools of posthumanist theory (animal studies, ecocriticism and environmental studies, cyborg theory, actor-network theory [ANT], speculative realism [SR], object-oriented ontology [OOO], vitalism, thing theory), drawing attention to their common themes as well as points of disagreement. I then discuss posthumanism’s implications for literary study, and particularly for debates around historicism, contextualization, and periodization. Finally, I briefly examine how Spenser—who might seem an unlikely figure to include in posthumanist studies—incorporates, complicates, and challenges many precepts that have been associated with Renaissance humanism and thereby offers a valuable contribution to contemporary challenges to human exceptionalism.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXX, pp. 19-34.

Copyright © 2015 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

William A. Oram, Human Limitation and Spenserian Laughter

The Faerie Queene explores the human through characters who attempt to transcend their humanity or who sink beneath it. Central to that exploration and the poem’s comedy is the body, which is untrustworthy in its impulses and vulnerable to external attack. Yet the body is not simply evil in Spenser’s poem: his comedy treats it with friendly laughter. If in the opening books of the poem the flesh is easily corrupted, in Book III bodies are essential to erotic love and hence to the working out of historical destiny. Treating Timias and Belphoebe in Book III, the comedy gently mocks Timias’s attempt to suppress his desire—“to be more than natural,” in C. L. Barber’s formulation. By contrast with Timias, Sans Loy in Book I and Malbecco in Book III become, in different ways, less than human, and Spenser shows them falling below the not-quite-human standard imaged in the simple bodily existence of his satyrs. These comic episodes all insist on the limits of human possibility, and its treatment of Spenser’s narrator further develops the poem’s concern with human limitation. While the narrator’s laughter at times calls attention to his godlike control of the poem, the later books often associate him with the historical Edmund Spenser, limited and frustrated by a resistant world. Spenser’s final satyr tale, in the Mutabilitie Cantos, provides a culminating account of human limitation, when in the hapless Faunus he mocks his own—or any—human attempt to know divine truth.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXX, pp. 35-56.

Copyright © 2015 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Tullia Giersberg, “The art of mightie words, that men can charme”: Language, Reason, and Humanity in The Faerie Queene

This essay investigates the vexed relationship between language, reason, and humanity in The Faerie Queene, tracing some of Spenser’s changing attitudes toward what Calidore in Book VI describes as “inhumanitie.” For Spenser, to be human is, partly, to be reasonable, eloquent, and well-mannered, to be “a gentleman or noble person [of] vertuous and gentle discipline,” as he states in the Letter to Raleigh. However, figures like Grylle, the Salvage Man, and Talus raise questions about the limits of what Spenser’s humanism—and humanism in general—can achieve. Reason and education, for instance—both central to Spenser’s understanding of humanity in some of the poem’s key episodes—are subjected to severe tests especially in Books II and V: what happens to humanity, Spenser asks here and throughout The Faerie Queene, when the humanist project fails?

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXX, pp. 57-74.

Copyright © 2015 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Matthew Zarnowiecki, Spenser’s Angels: Salvation, Retractation, and Superhuman Poiesis in Fowre Hymnes

Spenser claims that Fowre Hymnes, one of his last published poems, is a reformed and retractated work. But Spenser neither renounces nor excises the first two poems, on earthly love and beauty, in favor of the second two, on heavenly love and beauty. This essay argues that retractation is essential to the poem because it is an action that defines the human for Spenser. Retractation is an action angels cannot perform, since their salvation was determined once and for all after an initial moment of choosing. Humans, however, must persevere in a state of unassured ignorance of their salvific status. Spenser’s poem points up the paradoxical superiority of humans to angels: Humans are corporeal, they are further from God than angels, and they follow angels temporally, yet they also are superior to angels, since they are the form in which God chooses to become a hybridized being. From critical animal theory and post-humanity studies, Derrida’s semantic nexus of being / following exposes the temporal and hierarchical paradoxes of Spenser’s interest in what humans become. Spenser accents human superiority to angels through what I am calling “superhuman poiesis.” This poetic method treats retractation as a striving toward the divine component of humanity, all the while continually returning to a lower, prior, even creaturely component. Superhuman poiesis even affects our understanding of the material state of Fowre Hymnes, first printed in 1596 along with the elegy Daphnaïda, which was first printed in 1591. When read together, these poems demonstrate that Fowre Hymnes cannot be read as pointing straightforwardly from earthly to heavenly. Rather, the volume’s complex chronological relationships show that what humans become, both textually and salvifically, is a hybrid of past and present states, and of both human and divine.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXX, pp. 75-104.

Copyright © 2015 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

James Ross Macdonald, The Redcrosse Knight and the Limits of Human Holiness

This essay examines the anthropology of sanctity within Book I of The Faerie Queene. An analysis of Spenser’s use and transformation of the conventions of early modern hagiography shows that the Redcrosse Knight represents the rejection of a traditional, Pelagian-inflected conception of the saint as an autonomous miracle-worker, even as Spenser affirms the value of human spiritual effort against doctrines of absolute depravity. Finally, the essay suggests that Spenser’s recuperation of sainthood comes to play an important role in his rhetoric of royal praise, bolstering Elizabeth’s authority against the destabilizing political claims implicit in Calvinist understandings of human nature.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXX, pp. 113-132.

Copyright © 2015 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Katarzyna Lecky, Irish Nonhumanness and English Inhumanity in A Vewe of the Present State of Ireland

In Spenser’s Vewe, the Irish are fragmented, in flux, contingent: they are “barbarous” “relickes” or “scumme” who break upon the English “like a sudden tempest”; they deny hereditary rights to land and leadership; and their culture is a heterogeneous pastiche of multiple origins with no common birthright or ethnicity. Their communities are mobile; their rulers are situational; and their most recognizable trait is their shared opposition to colonialism. The Irish categorically reject Elizabethan governmentality, and the Vewe justifies England’s right to subjugate them by stripping them of their humanity. However, the text contrasts the nonhuman Irish with problematic accounts of the English as “obedient,” “cyvill,” “degenerate” subjects who have shouldered the Norman yoke and now impose it upon their colonized others, and whose inhumanity reveals itself in their willingness to commit atrocities. As it explores the intractable corporality of the Irish, the Vewe disrupts the machinery of colonial biopolitics by spotlighting the physical body as the privileged site of resistance against state-sanctioned ideals. Spenser’s text rends apart inhumane fictions fueling English hostilities in Ireland to view the raw life buried under theories of population, and to expose how the ideologies of violent empire dehumanize colonizers and colonized alike.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXX, pp. 133-150.

Copyright © 2015 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

John Walters, Human, All Too Human: Spenser and the Dangers of Irish Civilization

In A View of the State of Ireland, cattle are a major topic of the discussion Irenius and Eudoxus hold. The speakers’ inability to stop talking about these animals, and natural factors more broadly, indicates that in A View Spenser anxiously confronts the question of how human culture interacts with nature. In particular, the dialogue forces readers to consider the threatening possibility that nature holds immense powers to alter human culture, powers human beings have little ability to resist. The power of nonhuman, natural factors threatens to undo any plans would-be colonial rulers like Irenius and Eudoxus might make, regardless of how carefully-laid such plans appear to human minds. The speakers attempt to counter this threat by asserting an anthropocentric ideal of the sovereignty of human culture over nature. To them, being human involves the imposition of civilized values upon natural environments. However, the speakers never fully convince the dialogue’s audience that such a conquest is possible. Instead, Spenser leaves open the possibility that Ireland’s natural environment perpetually threatens to draw English settlers away from their own ideas of civility.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXX, pp. 151-166.

Copyright © 2015 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Anthony Welch, Anthropology and Anthropophagy in The Faerie Queene

The foundations of modern cultural anthropology were laid in the sixteenth century, when European scholars began to shape older forms of comparative ethnology into a new theory of world history. For many of Spenser’s contemporaries, to study cultural difference across geographical space was to journey back through time; ‘savage’ populations both at home and abroad were thought to mirror the earliest stages of European civilization. Such claims forced a radical rethinking of Europe’s cultural past. Humanist scholars began to reject old legends of national origin in favor of evolutionary models of history, positing the growth of all human societies from primitive and violent roots. Book VI of The Faerie Queene grapples with this ethnological revolution, as Spenser’s cannibals and shepherds reflect two competing visions of early human social life: a golden age of pastoral innocence and a nightmare of archaic barbarism. Through a network of verbal and thematic parallels—especially motifs of eating and consumption—these episodes measure the impact of a new world history that threatens the boundaries between self and other, civility and savagery, the present and the past.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXX, pp. 167-192.

Copyright © 2015 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Russ Leo, The Species-Life of Worldlings

Marx famously derided Edmund Spenser as “Elizabeths Arschkissende Poet,” identifying Spenser as a steward of property at an integral stage in the genealogy of capital. Taking Marx’s comments on labor and species-being as points of departure, this essay examines Spenser’s poetic investigations of work as well as the distinctions among kinds of labor in a world before classes as we know (or knew) them, the class structures proper to capitalist modernity. In Book II of The Faerie Queene, for instance, Spenser imagined the Cave of Mammon as a mine, and the fiends as laborers. Drawing upon early modern mining and metallurgical writing—particularly Georgius Agricola’s monumental De Re Metallica (1556)—with an eye to later Marxist determinations of human labor—this essay demonstrates that Spenser’s depictions of Mammon’s hoard, together with the sites and processes proper to gold mining, are also detailed treatments of labor. Humanistic studies of mining and metallurgy like Agrippa’s confirm that these laborers are less demonic than they are proletarian, or whatever passes for “proletarian” in an early modern lexicon. Guyon employs the term “worldlings” for the laborers and those who are subject to their labor, an appellation that suggests that they all lack reflexive capacities and that reinscribes their productivity into a moral economy with which Guyon is familiar. It is with this that Guyon establishes anew the relevance of temperance, and Spenser tests terms for life and labor at the “fountaine of the worldes good.” Lastly, the piece assesses the continued relevance of this term “worldling” and demonstrates how Spenser uses it to question the limits and ends of the human in a scene of economic accumulation, production, and emergent horrors of the new economy at the end of the sixteenth century.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXX, pp. 201-228.

Copyright © 2015 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Steven Swarbrick, The Life Aquatic: Liquid Poetics and the Discourse of Friendship in The Faerie Queene

From Michel de Montaigne’s essay “Of Friendship” to Jacques Derrida’s rearticulation of the former in The Politics of Friendship, scholars both early modern and modern have sought ways to address the fluid co-mixture of bodies from which the discourse of friendship can and does emerge. More recently still, new materialist thinkers of ontology have begun to shift our attention to the ways both human and nonhuman bodies inter-animate in the making of political, interpersonal, and artistic life worlds. Together with these investigations, I argue that an aquacentric account of relation is necessary to think the subject of friendship in Spenser’s epic. Beginning with Spenser’s queer address to Ralegh in Book III of The Faerie Queene and continuing through Book IV, I argue that Spenser reimagines the discourse of friendship in terms of a liquid, transcorporeal poetics, one that not only takes to its logical extreme humoral descriptions of bodies as conduits for liquids and passions but also importantly reworks human-exceptionalist readings of ontology in Spenser’s epic.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXX, pp. 229-254.

Copyright © 2015 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Andrew Wallace, Spenser’s Dead

The posthumanist critique of the conviction that “the human” can be regarded as representing a distinct and privileged ontological category has had far-reaching implications in a number of disciplines. My goal here, however, is not to pursue and elaborate these implications but rather to explore and comment upon some instincts and problems that predate and even motivate the posthumanist critique, and to propose that we can discern their stirring in Spenser’s Faerie Queene. I propose that posthumanist scholarship reprises a move that Stanley Cavell sees as impelling “the motive to philosophy.” To read Spenser, and indeed posthumanist scholarship, in this light is not to see them as cooperatively engaged in a critique of humanity’s blind spots concerning its place in the world. Rather, it is to see each as living with and also working through the instincts that both constitute the human and spawn the philosophical enterprise.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXX, pp. 255-270.

Copyright © 2015 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Joseph Campana, Spenser’s Inhumanity

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 “nonhuman.” 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 Calender, The 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 that 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 nonhuman) 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.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXX, pp. 277-300.

Copyright © 2015 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sean Henry, Getting Spenser’s Goat: Calepine, Spenser’s Goats, and the Problem of Meaning

Spenser describes Calepine fleeing “like a wilde goat” from Turpine at FQ IV.iii.49.3. No editor glosses this simile, so how is Calepine like a goat? Modern readers might be tempted to ignore the simile, or dismiss it as a stock comparison. Yet Spenser rarely uses animals as simple one-to-one comparisons based on a single shared attribute. Spenser’s animals repeatedly pose questions about interpretation, and in posing those questions, the animals also present solutions to their meaning through the cumulative hermeneutics the poet employs. Calepine’s simile must be set against the context of the meaning of goats in early modern English and in the rest of Spenser’s poem in order to fill what initially seems like an empty simile and to see the blurred lines between human and animal that mark Spenser’s use of animal imagery.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXX, pp. 301-316.

Copyright © 2015 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bradley Tuggle, “Man is not like an Ape”: Facing Life in PROSOPOPOIA. / Or / Mother Hubberds Tale

Throughout his oeuvre, Spenser shows a distinct interest in varieties of life. Often found in indistinguishable heaps, these congeries present grounds for deeper thinking about how humans categorize themselves and others. In both the title page and the poem proper of Mother Hubberds Tale, this concern is brilliantly displayed for readers to ponder. The title page takes what might have been a comforting hierarchy of being and upsets it in several ways. The poem then develops this anxiety through its investment in discourses of taxonomy and a thematic emphasis on the face as a locus of acknowledgment. Thus, the poem and its paratext need to be seen for what they are: radical statements about the contestability and uncertainty of the early modern project to draw boundaries between life-forms.

Rachel Eisendrath, Going Outside: Human Subjectivity and the Aesthetic Object, The Faerie Queene, Book III

Thing-oriented posthumanist thinkers attempt to go “outside” the subject-object divide by focusing on things. However, in focusing on things like computers and trash and prosthetics, such posthumanist thinkers often neglect the one kind of object that may actually challenge this divide—namely, the fully complex humanist art object, in this case, The Faerie Queene. In this article, I plot a paradoxical trajectory from posthumanist “quasi-object” back to humanist art object. Drawing on the aesthetics of Theodor W. Adorno, I argue that such art objects uniquely challenge their own status as things by virtue of the inner dynamics of their form, which draw into question the poem’s own ideologies, ultimately rendering it “nonidentical” with itself. Looking at a sequence of images of going outside in Book III, I explore how this poem endlessly postpones its own closure, providing a dynamic model of self-reflective human subjectivity.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXX, pp. 343-368.

Copyright © 2015 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Michael West, Wonder, Artifacts, and the Human in The Faerie Queene

This essay attends to Artegall’s and Britomart’s peculiar relationships to wonder in order to argue that Spenser understands the human in part as that creature capable of responding to and learning about artifacts with wonder and curiosity. It focuses on two key encounters with artifacts: Artegall’s viewing of the False Florimell in V.iii, and Britomart’s viewing of the tapestries and the masque of Cupid in the House of Busirane in III.xi–xii. Taking up the question of the human by means of wonder illuminates Spenser’s impossible desire for a particular relationship between knowledge and action, one in which action need not be grounded in prior knowledge and knowledge need not be learned at all, but simply known. The conclusion proposes Artegall and Britomart as two models of readerly response to The Faerie Queene.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXX, pp. 369-392.

Copyright © 2015 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Tiffany Jo Werth, “Degendered”: Spenser’s “yron man” in a “stonie” age

In The Arte of English Poesie, Puttenham defines “prosopopoeia” as a rhetorical term that attributes “any humane quality, as reason or speech to dombe creatures or other insensible things.” Spenser exploits this trope by providing foxes, apes, and a Blatant Beast with biting tongues that can speak what a man may not. But he also applies this trope on a larger scale; mankind, Spenser (following Ovid) laments, lives in an Iron Age, an age full of “wicked maladie,” a “stonie one” (Prosopopoia or Mother Hubberd’s Tale 8; Faerie Queene V.Proem.2). Here, Spenser ascribes an insensible thing, an “age,” with ethical and moral—but in- and non-human—characteristics. In this “age,” men of “flesh and bone” risk being “degendered,” “transformed into hardest stone” (V.Proem.2). What, we might ask, can Iron or stone say to us (or about us) that otherwise might remain mute? This paper quarries Spenser’s “degendering” of Iron and man, human and stone, to put pressure on the distinction between what Jane Bennett terms “dull” and “vibrant” categories of matter. Spenser’s prosopopoeia, I argue, presents us with an indistinct vision of the human and invites reflection on what it means to inhabit a world both indifferent and intimately continuous with us.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXX, pp. 393-414.

Copyright © 2015 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Volume XXIX, 2014

David Lee Miller, The Chastity of Allegory [The Kathleen Williams Lecture, 2014]

for Esther

Building on Quilligan’s discussion of the female perspective in Book III of The Faerie Queene, Berger’s emphasis on “conspicuous allusion,” and De Laurretis’s notion of “technologies of gender,” this talk focuses on “technologies of desire” in Spenser’s Legend of Chastity. These include discourses but also other media—representational apparatuses of all sorts that evoke erotic feeling and shape it as experience and as expression.  Spenser’s concern with such technologies surfaces immediately in the proem, as it mirrors (and foreshadows) the Busyrane episode, and later in an allegory that seeks to represent representation along with the damage it can do, as images, objects, creatures, and characters disappear from the narrated action, quite literally absorbed into discourse. Against the pervasive harm of unchaste discourse, Spenser poses on the one hand a utopian fantasy of untrammeled freedom in erotic address, and on the other a visionary quest for the ungesehenmachen (“making-unhappened”) of the amorous discourses dominant in Elizabethan literature, staged as a re-virgination of the culture’s erotic imagination. These concerns re-emerge in Amoretti and Epithalamion and carry over into the 1596 installment of The Faerie Queene, where Scudamore appears as a failed counterpart to the poet-speaker of Spenser’s sonnet sequence and marriage poem. The Dance of the Graces in canto x of Book VI offers a culminating version of the utopian fantasy of unconstrained erotic celebration, located now in the intimacy of the nuptial relation.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXIX.

Copyright © 2014 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

David J. Baker, Britain Redux

This essay traces the development, around the turn of the twenty-first century, of the “New British History,” a non-Anglo-centric critical approach that takes into account the historical and literary interactions of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland in the early modern period. What, it asks, was the influence of that approach on Spenser studies? It argues that, while the “New British History” made possible many advances in our understanding of Spenser as an English poet in Irish exile, it eventually ran into problems in both its organizing ideas and its methods. The difficulties of “translation” in early modern Ireland—both in the sense of literal translation and of intercultural exchange—led to a “conceptual stopping place.” The essay is meant to analyze this impasse and to open a discussion of the way forward. 

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXIX.

Copyright © 2014 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Talya Meyers, Saracens in Faeryland

The Saracens of The Faerie Queene have largely been treated in criticism in allegorical or referential contexts. This article takes a different approach, focusing instead on the literary heritage that informs Spenser’s Saracens and the role that these figures play in the text’s narrative, a role that is far more prominent than appears at first glance. It examines echoes of Turnus’s death in the Aeneid in a number of Saracen episodes, the death of the Souldan, and the promised but absent détente between faery queen and Muslim king. The Muslim presence offers the possibility of another, linear narrative toward which the text repeatedly gestures but which is finally absent from the poem; nonetheless, this absent narrative offers another potential way of viewing the narrative organization of The Faerie Queene. 

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXIX.

Copyright © 2014 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Robert Lanier Reid, Sansloy’s Double Meaning and the Mystic Design of Spenser’s Legend of Holiness

Why are the Sans-brothers limited to the first half of the Legend of Holiness: in the final half, as their common mistress Duessa takes apocalyptic reign on Orgoglio’s many-headed beast and aids the final shaming of Redcrosse, why is the Sans-trio remnant abandoned? What is the doctrinal import of foy-loy-joy (then again loy), and why the different targets of their wrath? Two Saracens seem clear:  Sansfoy mirrors Redcrosse’s faithless desertion, Sansjoy his joyless glory-quest at the house of Pride ending in a hellish living-death. More puzzling is Sansloy, who kills Una’s lion and tries to rape her, is deflected by satyrs/fauns and fights to a standstill the reformed Satyrane, yet remains active. Decoding “Sansloy” will show why attacking Una so centrally obstructs the holy couple, why this sin is remedied by the house of Holinesse’s Charissa, why foy-loy-joy perfectly fits Spenser’s Christian-Platonic allegory (its stages of sin and of salvation), and why Sansloy’s atrocities never end. 

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXIX.

Copyright © 2014 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Katharine Cleland, English National Identity and the Reformation Problem of Clandestine Marriage in Spenser’s Faerie Queene, Book I

This essay calls attention to the neglected Reformation discourse on clandestine marriage in Spenser’s Faerie Queene, Book I. To do so, it first establishes how medieval Roman canon law’s allowance for clandestine marriage conflicted with the English Reformation’s attempt to create a national identity through a public uniform marriage service. It then turns to how Spenser portrays clandestine marriage as a deceptive practice associated with Catholicism through the Redcrosse Knight’s alliance with Duessa. In canto xii, Spenser rejects the validity of marriages that bypass the proper rituals when dismissing Redcrosse’s irregular union and allowing the knight’s public betrothal to Una to move forward. Spenser thus proposes that England must eliminate the Roman canon law that condoned religious deviance within the marriage ritual if it is to become the early modern world’s bastion of Protestantism. In a final section, the essay explores how Spenser’s negative depiction of clandestine marriage in Book I contradicts his romanticized portrayal of the practice in later books.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXIX.

Copyright © 2014 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Russ Leo, Medievalism without Nostalgia: Guyon’s Swoon and the English Reformation Descensus ad Inferos 

The Cave of Mammon episode in Edmund Spenser’s work The Faerie Queene mirrors Christ’s descent into hell, following his death on the cross—the descensus Christi ad inferos of the Apostles’ Creed, also known as the Harrowing of Hell. By 1590, the descensus had long been the subject of intense controversy, a difficult and divisive theological issue. In traditional determinations of the descensus, Christ’s is a literal descent, a glorious and triumphant event. But many English Protestants interpreted the descensus as a measure Christ’s suffering and humiliation—not a glorious descent but, rather, an expression of the agony of Christus patiens. This essay offers a thorough survey of English theological approaches to the descensus, from the 1550s to the early 1590s, followed by a treatment of Spenser’s innovative interpretation and his critical retrieval of key medieval approaches. Spenser’s is a theological and poetic experiment, testing the limits of human temperance against overwhelming guile. Moreover, his is duly an instructive use of medieval materials—not a reparative or nostalgic longing for the English Middle Ages but rather a recovery of native English poetic resources to focus attention on being in the world, to reshape the contours of Protestant theological debate gone awry. 

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXIX.

Copyright © 2014 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Jerrod Rosenbaum, Spenser’s Merlin Rehabilitated

In Memory of Darryl Gless

The details provided in Book III, canto iii of The Faerie Queene seem to suggest that Spenser’s Merlin is simultaneously a demonic sorcerer and agent of divine Providence. Accordingly, previous studies of Merlin have at times become preoccupied with attempts to accommodate this problematic duality in a single figure. But demonic sorcery and Christian prophecy are irreconcilable pursuits. The preoccupation described results from the assumption that all details regarding Merlin set forth in this canto are meant to be read as authoritative and true. Yet the “demonic” details are confined to stanzas 7–13, and belong not to Spenser’s narrator, but to the late-medieval Merlin narratives with which Spenser’s readers were familiar. The content and implications of these texts brought Merlin under considerable moral and doctrinal scrutiny during the sixteenth century, and Spenser was therefore obliged to counteract Merlin’s unfavorable connotations if he wished this figure to appear in his poem. Therefore, the demonic details should be read as a description of all the things that Spenser’s Merlin is not. This essay will argue that Spenser sought to rehabilitate his Merlin to conform to Protestant doctrines so that this figure may facilitate uninhibited the genealogical encomium and celebration of Elizabeth as godly magistrate. To do so, Spenser needed to distance his Merlin from the demonic and implicitly Roman Catholic details of the late-medieval texts.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXIX.

Copyright © 2014 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Kelly Lehtonen, The Abjection of Malbecco: Forgotten Identity in Spenser’s Legend of Chastity 

This essay argues that the transformation of Malbecco into the abstract concept of Gelosy can profitably be read in terms of the Kristevan abject. A psychoanalytic principle of identity crisis, abjection is a subject’s response of repulsion and overwhelming fear upon sensing a threat to its once-stable sense of self. Applying principles of abjection to the episode, we find that, in Malbecco’s act of “forgetting” his humanity, Spenser maps the particular horrors of a complex model of identity: a self-centered identity marked by jealous possession, which perverts the open, outward-directed model presented by Spenser’s figures of Chastity. In the end, Spenser represents jealous possession as a vicious, horrifying pathology of Chastity that ruthlessly erodes its sufferer’s humanity, yet sustains its sufferer in a hellish state of self-absorption. As a complex model of possessive Gelosy, moreover, Malbecco is a figure central to the Legend of Chastity, enabling a fuller reading of Spenser’s representation of married love.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXIX.

Copyright © 2014 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Robert W. Tate, Haunted by Beautified Beauty: Tracking the Images of Spenser’s Florimell(s) 

This essay surveys the entanglements between True and False Florimell in order to map an ethics of beauty within the pedagogy of The Faerie Queene. The first step of this undertaking is to contextualize the Florimells’ loci among the poem’s “figures of semblance”––the makers of false images in the poem and the chimeras that those enchanters (re)produce. At root, the fabrication of False Florimell in III.viii extends an inquiry that begins with the conjuration of False Una in I.i: how do fictions mediate, or even constitute our perception of truth? Must they? To push this inquiry forward, this essay foregrounds the singularity of Florimell. For few other characters in the poem so powerfully demonstrate the social consequences of seeing truth––and seeing true beauty––through the refractions of fiction. Drawing upon Wittgenstein’s concept of “seeing aspects,” or “seeing something as something,” this reading of the Florimells explores the conditions for one’s ability to see a person as genuinely beautiful or derivatively beautified. Indeed, it probes the extent to which it is possible to discern any manifestation of “heauenly beautie” as a true or a false one. In this light, the creation of False Florimell mirrors and deepens the problems of True Florimell’s construction as a character––namely, as a female character who represents the fraught coexistence of beauty and chastity. Recasting a term from Jung, I regard False Florimell as an “anima-ideal,” a social construct of femininity that men project from within their unconscious upon women. This culturally-fashioned spectre haunts Florimell both before it is conjured and after it vanishes. In turn, the Florimells haunt readers of The Faerie Queene in a way that hits all too close to home: hiding in plain sight amid a play of aspects, there are individuals, beloveds, selves and others, whom we have failed to see and acknowledge.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXIX.

Copyright © 2014 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Jeffrey B. Griswold, Allegorical Consent: The Faerie Queene and the Politics of Erotic Subjection

This essay examines The Faerie Queene’s use of erotic subjection as a political metaphor for theorizing the relationship between conquest and consent. In the Radigund episode of Book V, Spenser explores the gender dynamics of this trope, as the subjected body is male and the monarch, female. These scenes act as a powerful counter-narrative to the poem’s earlier representations of erotic subjection by showing that external obedience cannot be equated with consent. Radigund forces Artegall to wear women’s clothing and to do women’s work, but this submission constitutes nothing more than slavery. The narrative blends political domination with sexual conquest to demonstrate that compliance is not loyalty and violence cannot elicit love.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXIX.

Copyright © 2014 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Matthew Harrison, The Rude Poet Presents Himself: Breton, Spenser, and Bad Poetry

This essay explores how Elizabethan poets transform conventional gestures of self-deprecation to negotiate the competing demands of rhetoric, the classics, social status, and ethics. To concede (or at least defer) the question of evaluation opens up space for experiment, for what Breton and Spenser both refer to as newness. Because the terms of such self-criticism blur distinctions between shortcomings of style and of substance, they become a vocabulary for close-reading poetry’s action in the world. Thus Spenser uses terms like “rude,” “baseness,” “rough,” and “dischorde” to wrestle with style but also poetic identity and purpose: tracing relationships among his archaic diction and colloquial forms, his interpretive difficulty, his plainspoken didacticism, and his sense of the value of poetry. 

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXIX.

Copyright © 2014 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ruth Kaplan, The Problem of Pity in Spenser’s Ruines of Time and Amoretti

Spenser’s Ruines of Time and Amoretti freight pity with moral and hermeneutic significance. In so doing, these works draw upon a long literary and philosophical tradition that established tragic pity as the test case for debates over the moral and civic value of affective responses to fiction. “The Problem of Pity” delineates the conflict between a Platonic tradition that cast a pitiful response to tragedy as the revolt of the body against the rule of reason and the Renaissance interpretation of Aristotle (via de casibus tragedy), which imagined pity as a positive effect of tragedy, an emotion that reminded audiences of their mortality and humanity. I argue that the Ruines of Time and the Amoretti stage that conflict over pity, though they emphasize different problems. The Ruines of Time explores whether pity helps readers learn moral lessons. The poem ultimately distinguishes between modes of piteousness that occasion reflexive, bodily responses and those that allow for cooler, more reasoned ones. I read the notorious descriptions of the beloved’s cruelty and tyranny in the Amoretti as a de casibus tragedy staged by the sonneteer to humble his mistress—a method countered by her insistence on a Platonic view of the passions in which resistance to emotion is the sign of moral spectatorship.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXIX.

Copyright © 2014 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Jean R. Brink, Publishing Spenser’s View of the Present State of Ireland: From Matthew Lownes and Thomas Man (1598) to James Ware (1633) 

The View of the Present State of Ireland was entered in the Stationers’ Register on 14 April 1598 to Matthew Lownes. In the early seventeenth century, Matthew and Humphrey Lownes printed and distributed folio editions of Spenser’s Faerie Queene (1609) and Works (1611, 1613, and 1617), but they did not include the humanist dialogue between Eudoxus and Irenius in these folios. The recovery of William Scott’s Model of Poesy (1599), which contains an allusion to Spenser as author of the View, has confirmed Spenser’s authorship of this prose dialogue. The View, however, was not printed until 1633, nearly thirty-five years after it was first entered in the Stationers’ Register. How do we account for the hiatus between the 1598 entry to Matthew Lownes and the belated publication in 1633 by the Irish antiquary, James Ware? A note in MS Bodleian Rawlinson B.478 links this manuscript to the entry in the Stationers’ Register. It is suggested below that this manuscript belonged to Thomas Man—who was, for a time, Lownes’ father-in-law—and remained in the Man family’s possession until it was given to Ware. If so, then Lownes may never have owned a manuscript of the View, and its omission from early seventeenth-century folios is explained.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXIX.

Copyright © 2014 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Gillian Hubbard, The Folly of Proverbs and the Mammon of Book II of The Faerie Queene

In Book III of the Confessions Augustine associates himself with the young man of Proverbs 9:13–18, enticed by the foolish woman at the door of her house, to eat secret bread and drink stolen water, remaining ignorant of “that which truly is.” Spenser makes Mammon, sitting at the door to his secret chambers, recall this Folly, and Guyon the foolish young man who enters her house. In Proverbs 9 Folly is opposed to Wisdom, just as Mammon and Acrasia in Faerie Queene II represent alternative antitheses to Alma. This discussion suggests how the Christian allegorization of Folly in Proverbs 9 deepens the theological dimensions of the Mammon episode.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXIX.

Copyright © 2014 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Volume XXVIII, 2013

Jane Grogan, Spenser’s Lost Children

For Irish writers, Spenser has become a nettle to be grasped, a stinging symbol of a fractured Irish history and a fractured literary tradition. But there is opportunity in the grasping. Thus Spenser’s life, as much as his poetry, exerts a significant influence on Irish writers, and not just poets. In Frank McGuinness’s play Mutabilitie (1997), John Montague’s The Rough Field (1972), or in poems by Seamus Heaney, Ciaran Carson, and Brendan Kennelly, certain conspicuously Spenserian topoi dominate: the shocking description of the Munster famine from the View; his poetic professions of loyalty to Elizabeth, the “faerie queene”; the burning of Kilcolman castle. But less conspicuous Spenserian motifs and concerns resurface in unexpected ways in modern Irish writing, often at moments of literary or political crisis, enacting different kinds of concerns. Spenser’s rivers—“Mulla,” “Molanna” and even the “Sweet Thames” of “Prothalamion”—course through Irish writing, sometimes only half-consciously. The apocryphal story of a child of Spenser’s lost while Kilcolman castle burned is another powerful figure to which Irish writers have been drawn, not only as a figure of loss but also of an entente that may already have happened, a hidden history of Anglo-Irish relations that remains to be told. This essay maps Spenser’s influence on modern Irish poetry, novels, and drama through these figures. It uncovers the literary and political work that direct engagements with Spenser seek to perform, and re-orients Spenser’s place in Irish literary tradition as, paradoxically, a touchstone, even perhaps the “created conscience” of Irish literature.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVIII, pp. 1-54

Copyright © 2013 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

William Blissett, “Who Knows Not Colin Clout?”: Spenser and the Poets of the Mid-Twentieth Century

In 1954 Professor William Blissett sent out letters to a hundred living poets, mostly those represented in the Faber Book of Modern Verse and its sequel, the Faber Book of Twentieth Century Verse, asking if they still read Spenser and regarded the Spenserian tradition as a living one.  He received forty replies, which suggested the following: (1) Spenser was well above the horizon for many poets, modern as well as traditional, at a time when he seemed to be at the nadir.  (2) He was more read and admired by poets unconnected with universities than by academic poets.  (3) The Spenser that was read was “sweet Spenser” not “our sage and serious Spenser.”  (4) Most were not influenced to the point of imitation by the most characteristic qualities of Spenser—his allegory or his extended regular verse form.  His article discusses more fully the responses of Walter de la Mare, Robert Penn Warren and Marianne Moore.

This article originally appeared in English Now: Selected Papers from the 20th IAUPE Conference in Lund, 2007, Lund Studies in English 112, ed. Marianne Thormählen, (Lund: Lund University Press, 2008).  Spenser Studies thanks Professor Blissett and Professor Thormählen, the editor of this volume of Lund Studies in English, for their permission to reprint the article.'''

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVIII, pp. 55-64

Copyright © 2013 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Joseph F. Loewenstein, The Poets’ Poet’s Poet: James Merrill’s Spenser Lectures

To the challenging question, “What did X learn from Spenser?,” this essay responds, “let X equal James Merrill,” and continues, in part, in a mathematical vein, investigating how Spenser’s interest in number informs Merrill’s conspicuous engagements with prosodic measure, how Spenser’s encyclopedism manifests itself in Merrill as explicitly summative, and, generally, how insistently Merrill works to make imagined cosmogony count across The Changing Light at Sandover, the epic to which Merrill devoted his attention for more than half his career. The essay takes up other, non-mathematical Spenserianisms in Merrill as well: the relation between Merrill’s color-sense and Spenser’s, their shared commitment to making a larger social sense of the intimacies of friendship, Merrill’s special interest in the somewhat lubricious myth of renewal in the Garden of Adonis, and the urbane Spenserian-Stevensian hybrid of his reimagining of the Two Cantos of Mutabilitie at the conclusion of The Book of Ephraim, the first installment of Sandover.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVIII, pp. 65-82

Copyright © 2013 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Andrew Sisson, After Rome; or, Why Spenser Was Not a Republican

This essay raises some objections to the emerging critical consensus that Spenser’s political values were, at least in certain significant ways, aligned with Renaissance republicanism. Noting Spenser’s tendency to downplay the Roman state’s own institutional history in favor of its relations to predecessors and successors, I argue that he belongs, rather, to an Augustinian metahistorical tradition for which “the republic” features as a dubious, problematic category. Spenser responds to republican discourse primarily as raising a set of moral arguments about time, action, and the politically structured society. But whereas the Venetian theorist Gasparo Contarini exemplifies the republican tendency to maximize the definitional relations among virtue, permanence, and constitutional design, Spenser in both The Ruines of Time and his commendatory sonnet for Contarini’s English translation pointedly disassociates himself from that republican nexus. The time-bound society, I show in concluding, looks most like something fitted to Spenser’s ethical imagination the less it resembles the kind of balanced, stable ordering of parts that is the object of republican political analysis.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVIII, pp. 83-118

Copyright © 2013 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Peter Remien, Silvan Matters: Error and Instrumentality in Book I of The Faerie Queene

This article considers the significance of two competing versions of matter represented in the opening canto of The Faerie Queene. The first, given shape in the tree catalogue (I.i.8–9), introduces the perspective of instrumental materialism (associated with the Greek hyle): the idea that matter comprises a vast storehouse of resources for human use. The second, dramatized by the Redcrosse Knight’s ensuing battle with the monster Errour (I.i.14–26), embodies chaotic matter (associated with the Latin materia), which subverts the instrumental by highlighting matter’s resistance to fixed form, along with the human subject’s entanglement in the material world. Taken together, these episodes demonstrate how the failure of instrumentality reconfigures humankind’s relationship with the material world; the economic tenor of the tree catalogue gives way to the grotesque ecology of Errour. I argue that Spenser utilizes these two versions of matter to embody the problem of literary production at this opening juncture of his epic. While one version offers a link to the literary past (even as it threatens sterile imitation), the other embodies the promise of creating something new, while highlighting the danger of chaotic formlessness.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVIII, pp. 119-143

Copyright © 2013 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Chris Barrett, Cetaceous Sin and Dragon Death: The Faerie Queene, Natural Philosophy, and the Limits of Allegory

In this essay, I investigate the curious persistence of the carcass of the final dragon in Book I of The Faerie Queene. Well after the dragon has been vanquished by Red Cross, the corpse continues to dominate the poem, drawing spectators who examine and measure the creature’s hulking but lifeless expanse. I suggest that the poem describes the corpse of Book I’s final dragon using the techniques of natural philosophy, deploying representational conventions common to contemporary visual and textual accounts of whale strandings. This interpolation of natural philosophical discourse temporarily suspends the allegorical program of the poem, drawing attention to the interpretive protocols of Renaissance allegory and to the challenge posed by the dead body to modern theories of allegorization. This article adds to a small but growing body of critical work suggesting that Spenser’s preoccupation with contemporary scientific inquiry is visible in The Faerie Queene, and suggests that the poem’s allegorical program incorporates multiple discursive practices—including natural philosophy—in order to supplement the representation of events and states resistant to a “dark conceit.”

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVIII, pp. 145-164

Copyright © 2013 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Stephanie Elsky, “Wonne with Custome”: Conquest and Etymology in the Spenser-Harvey Letters and A View of the Present State of Ireland

This essay argues for a connection between two texts that are usually considered unrelated, Edmund Spenser’s A View of the Present State of Ireland and his correspondence with Gabriel Harvey that preceded it by nearly twenty years. Both texts negotiate the problem of implementing foreign rule, whether poetic or political, by appealing to a major intellectual and political reference point of the period: the concept of custom. In the Letters both Spenser and Harvey treat custom as the mechanism that makes the foreign familiar, drawing upon a widespread classical and early modern understanding of custom. At the same time, however, they appeal to and subvert the sixteenth-century English legal discourse of custom as it was developed in the realm of common law, wherein custom is figured as a form of resistance to foreign imposition, especially in the context of the Norman Conquest. This self-conscious probing of the complex and at times contradictory logic of legal custom provides a heuristic framework for Spenser’s approach to custom’s thorny role in the conquest of Ireland in A View. As a result of his exchange with Harvey, Spenser foregrounds the difficulty, even futility, of deploying language, with its vexed and layered etymologies, in the service of a political project.''

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVIII, pp. 165-192

Copyright © 2013 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Mark Stephenson, Poets in the House of Pride: Of “Noble Personage[s],” the Sonnet to Ormond, and The Faerie Queene’s “many Bardes”

Spenser’s dedicatory sonnet addressed to the Earl of Ormond has become an important touchstone in studies of The Faerie Queene’s relationship with its Irish context. In his A View of the Present State of Ireland, Spenser indicates that Ormond and Spenser’s patron, Lord Grey, were political enemies, but he also seems to indicate that a reconciliation occurred between the two. Speculating on a working relationship between Ormond and Spenser, Christopher Highley has argued that the sonnet to Ormond was intended by Spenser to “exploit” Ormond’s “reputation as a patron of bards.” However, I offer evidence that Spenser’s attitude toward Ormond in the View is more antagonistic than is usually thought. I also argue that this antagonism complicates the immediately positive elements of the dedicatory sonnet—they can be read as a cover for an attack upon Ormond’s Gaelicized households at Kilkenny and Carrick in The Faerie Queene’s House of Pride episode. The attack is signaled in the episode chiefly by Spenser’s reference to the House of Pride’s “many Bardes” (I.iv.3.6).

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVIII, pp. 193-218

Copyright © 2013 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Thomas Herron, Outfoxed? Mother Hubberds Tale, Adam Loftus, and Lord Burleigh in Irish Context

Against recent criticism by Bruce Danner, this article defends a previous identification of the Fox in MHT as figuring (primarily) Adam Loftus, Archbishop of Dublin and Lord Chancellor of Ireland, and not only (secondarily) Lord Burleigh. It does so by emphasizing Burleigh’s ties to Ireland, including those mysteriously figured in the Bregog digression of Colin Clouts Come Home Againe. It provides further context for beast fables involving English-Irish ecclesiastical politics, including a new (possible) identification of Loftus in Nicholas Baxter’s The Countess of Pembroke’s Ourania that directly echoes Spenser’s MHT.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVIII, pp. 221-232

Copyright © 2013 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Volume XXVII, 2012

Carol Kaske, Chivalric Idealism versus Pragmatism in Spenser and Malory: Taking up Arms in a Wrongful Quarrel (The Kathleen Williams Lecture, 2010)

Spenser and Malory both tell stories in which admirable people contradict themselves, acting in ways that they condemn elsewhere"—not because of human weakness, but because of a necessary pragmatism. Particular situations force them to descend from their earlier idealistic pronouncements about chivalric conduct in order to deal with the actual world. After Malory has his Arthur require in the Pentecostal Oath that his knights fight only in just quarrels, he puts him in a position that forces him to break his own rule. Spenser, too, puts his Arthur in a position in which, speaking to Sir Turpine, he contradicts his earlier prescription against fighting in wrongful quarrels in stating that fighting in a wrongful quarrel is less bad than cowardly behavior (VI.vi.35). In a related case, Spenser's Artegall harangues the turncoat Sir Burbon (V.xi) that to relinquish the shield bearing his personal device as he has done is unjustifiable under any circumstances; this tenacity illustrates another chivalric rule: "come home either with your shield or on it." But then Artegall abandons his own shield for a good strategic reason and the poet applauds him for it. Artegall further silently helps the turncoat to win the Lady Flourdelis, giving aid to the man whose lack of secure principle he has criticized"—an action based on a necessary pragmatism in late sixteenth-century religious politics. All three heroes must accommodate their ideals to the demands of the actual world.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVII, pp. 1–23

Copyright © 2012 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Jonathan E. Lux, "Th'eternal Brood of Glorie Excellent": Infants and the Battle for the Future in The Faerie Queene

Given the prominence of infants in The Faerie Queene"—both literal children and questing "infant" scions of distinguished families"— disappointingly little criticism has had anything to say about them. Even more disconcerting, most scholarship on the subject has focused almost exclusively on readings of separation anxiety and alienation; more extreme examples paint generation and reproduction themselves with broad brush strokes the color of disdain. Childhood becomes a tragicomic parallel to Hobbes's memorable specter of the chaotic condition of humanity before establishing a government: "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and [of course] short." It is now high time for a balanced reading of reproduction and children in The Faerie Queene. While Spenser's infants may suffer from alienation and what contemporary psychoanalysis calls separation anxiety, those developmental struggles are crucial steps in the transformative process of the quest. The next generation is born into grave conflict, but generation itself is a good and necessary thing that imbues progeny with the power of their ancestors and recalls the necessity of future (re)generation in the constant imperative of dynastic renaissance. Spenser's foundling children and infant knights are avatars of "th'eternal brood of glorie excellent" that will continue the allegorical struggle for the triumph of virtue when the current generation is dead and gone.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVII, pp. 23–45

Copyright © 2012 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sean Henry, Hot and Bothered: The Lions of Amoretti 20 and The Faerie Queene

This essay analyzes the lions of Amoretti 20 and the first book of The Faerie Queene. The sonnet depends upon the comparison the speaker makes between the behavior of his beloved and that of the lion, according to the received natural history of Spenser's time. The first simile of Spenser's epic compares Redcrosse to a lion and thereby introduces a series of lions and leonine characters running throughout Book I and embodying different attributes and associations of lions"—and, by extension, different attributes of Redcrosse, Una's proper companion, for whom the other characters stand in, whether Una wants them to or not. Spenser expects his readers to interpret the significance of the animals in a cumulative, multifaceted manner, rather than as a simple one-to-one correlation based upon a single trait at a local moment in the poem.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVII, pp. 47–76

Copyright © 2012 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Michael Ullyot, Spenser and the Matter of Poetry

Edmund Spenser resisted two forms of material constraints on poets: their reliance on historical circumstance for poetic subjects (or "matter"), and their reliance on patrons for material support. This article uses three poems that comment on these constraints to argue that Spenser used the mode of complaint to address the generic decorum of occasional texts, or poets' choices of genres to suit their social and historical circumstances: "The Tears of the Muses," "The Ruins of Time," and the October eclogue from The Shepheardes Calender.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVII, pp. 77–96

Copyright © 2012 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Judith H. Anderson, Milton's Compressed Memory in Areopagitica of Spenser's Cave of Mammon

Milton suffers, or at least seems to suffer, a lapse in memory regarding the plot of The Faerie Queene, Book II, when he refers to Spenser in Areopagitica. He seems to think that the Palmer accompanies Guyon, the Knight of Temperance, into the Cave of Mammon. Quite to the contrary, Guyon has been separated from the Palmer through the intervention of Phaedria in the preceding canto. Milton's apparent mis-remembrance is hardly inconsequential: it has encouraged erroneous suppositions about the distinctive character of Spenser's romance epic, about Milton's relation to his acknowledged Spenserian "Original," and about his reading of allegory. In brief, my argument will be that Milton's memory of Guyon's foray into the Cave is best understood as mnemonic compression or appropriation, and not as mnemonic weakness or error. Its major basis will be an interpretation of this foray itself.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVII, pp. 97–106

Copyright © 2012 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Gillian Hubbard, "Send your angel": Augustinian Nests and Guyon's Faint

When the Palmer covers the pulse of Guyon in Faerie Queene II.viii, the action evokes the covering wings of the mother hen of Matthew 18:10 and God's protective wings in the Psalms. These images come together in the writings of Augustine, in particular his Confessions and his commentary on Psalm 91. In the Confessions Augustine conveys carnal understanding and rejection of the redemptive simplicity of the Scriptures by the metaphor of a fall out of the nest of faith. An angel's prayer for the rescue of an unfledged chicken in Book XII of the Confessions is strongly echoed in the passage of Guyon's faint. This metaphorical fall appears in the Palmer and Guyon's combination of presumptuous overconfidence in ethical precepts and despair over mortality in the opening of Faerie Queene II, which betrays a regressive carnality opposed to Pauline spiritual renewal. In Augustinian terms, the Word of God and sufficient ecclesiastical support for the "little one" in the faith provide the proper path to self-control through hope in the promise of eternity. In both Augustine's early theology, and Book II of The Faerie Queene, conversion and temperance are equated in a neo-Platonic return to God.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVII, pp. 107–132

Copyright © 2012 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Rachel Eisendrath, Art and Objectivity in the House of Busirane

This essay analyzes a sequence of descriptions of art objects near the end of the 1590 edition of The Faerie Queene. In the first room of the House of Busirane, Britomart encounters a tapestry that, as the romance's longest ekphrasis, provides an immersive experience of art. The second room, however, treats art differently: No longer animated by the viewer's imaginative involvement, these objects appear to be mere objects, antiquarian refuse from a dead past. I argue that this progression from immersion to detachment parallels a larger historical development in the period toward epistemological objectivity. By embodying imaginative forms in antiquarian objects, Spenser distances his readers from what he perceives as the imagination's dangers. But he is ambivalent about the resulting detachment, as an analysis of his final metaphor of the Roman hermaphrodite statue shows. In the end, his highly imaginative poetry depends on the very same interfusion of subject and object that his poetry also seeks to reject.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVII, pp. 133–161

Copyright © 2012 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Patricia Wareh, Competitions in Nobility and Courtesy: Nennio and the Reader's Judgment in Book VI of The Faerie Queene

This paper brings into conversation two texts that have not yet been explored in detail together: The Faerie Queene, Book VI, and Nennio, or a Treatise on Nobility, originally written in Italian in 1542 and published in English translation in 1595, with a commendatory sonnet by Spenser.1 Nennio's debate between nobility of blood and nobility of mind concludes with a relatively straightforward victory for nobility of mind, cemented by the generosity of the lower-born Fabricio; Calidore's competitions with Meliboe and Coridon in Canto ix of Book VI have differing outcomes and have encouraged a variety of critical responses to his character. I argue that in contrast both to Nennio and to his own commendatory sonnet, Spenser's concern throughout Book VI is not to direct his readers toward a particular view of nobility, but to train their judgments in understanding the complexity of courtesy in action. By navigating interrelated examples, Spenser's readers revisit and revise their interpretations and come to understand the shifting relations between nobility and courtesy, and between inner character and outward show.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVII, pp. 162–191

Copyright © 2012 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Van Gurney, Spenser's "May" Eclogue and Charitable Admonition

This essay places Spenser's "May" eclogue in the context of the Admonition controversy, which dominated much of the religious conversation in England during the 1570s. Rather than aligning Spenser with a particular ecclesial camp, however, this article suggests that he used the pastoral dialogue of "May" to dramatize the challenges of conducting religious discourse in a contentious atmosphere. Piers and Palinode articulate differing contemporary attitudes to the role of charitable admonition in building and sustaining a reformed community, and, in voicing the principles underlying their respective positions (including their limitations), Spenser purposefully replicates many of the rhetorical failures of the Admonition controversy. Ultimately the eclogue offers few answers to the dilemma"—indeed, it participates in the failure"— but by subjecting both perspectives to close ironic scrutiny "May" achieves its own kind of charitable success.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVII, pp. 193–219

Copyright © 2012 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Lauren Silberman, Aesopian Prosopopoia: Making Faces and Playing Chicken in Mother Hubberds Tale

Mother Hubberds Tale locates the political engagements of the poem within a very complex Aesopian tradition. In reflecting and reflecting on this tradition, the poem registers political resentments and hostility under the cover of Aesopian deniability: generic beast fable figures can seem to conceal specific human targets while making the conclusive identification of those targets impossible. At the same time, the poem's meta-level examination of its own rhetorical tools is revealed as potentially one more defensive strategy: just as an attack on Burleigh or a critique of Elizabeth can masquerade as a fable about a fox or a lion, so sedition can purport to be discourse about sedition. Just how much Spenser might have been committed to the more radical implications of the Aesopian fictions put in play throughout Mother Hubberds Tale and how much he puts them in play for rhetorical effect is impossible to know for certain since Aesopian political deniability is part of the subject of the poem and cultivating political indeterminacy is an important strategy. At the same time, the way Mother Hubberds Tale adapts and revises its myriad subtexts hints that the political intentions of an individual poet, even if knowable, do not account for all of the political consequences of a particular poem.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVII, pp. 221–247

Copyright © 2012 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Debra Rienstra, "Disorder Best Fit": Henry Lok and Holy Disorder in Devotional Lyric

Henry Lok's devotional sonnets, printed in 1593 and 1597, combine the emerging patterns of English Petrarchism with postures, emotive contours, and readerly habits associated with the Psalms, creating a coherent blend of Calvinist-inflected devotion and artful lyric sequence. Lok's figuring of disorder in particular presents workable solutions to problems that will occupy later English devotional poets. In the first century of sonnets, Lok problematizes sincerity through disordered speech, transposing the Petrarchan drama of unfulfilled desire into a devotional mode. Subsuming the speaker into biblical personae reflects the layering of speakers associated with the Psalms, while the "parabolic puzzle" of each poem involves the reader in constructing a redeemed subjectivity. In the second century, Lok explores the aesthetics of praise, creating a pleasing lack of resolution and proposing a role for grace in poetic style. For Lok, the performed/disordered speech in a given poem, along with sequential disorder, enables a vital exchange wherein the reader displaces the speaker/author and the Holy Spirit activates disorder toward a devotionally edifying result.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVII, pp. 249–287

Copyright © 2012 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Rachel E. Hile, Spenserianism and Satire before and after the Bishops' Ban: Evidence from Thomas Middleton

This article examines the "Spenserianism" of two early satires of Thomas Middleton to make the argument that two incidents of censorship in the 1590s"—the 1592 censoring of Spenser's Complaints (which included Mother Hubberds Tale) and the 1599 "Bishops' Ban" on satire"—affected the reception of Edmund Spenser as a satirist and his influence on satires written during this time period. I find debts to Spenser in both Middleton's Micro-Cynicon (1599), which was named in the text of the Bishops' Ban and burned on June 4, 1599, and his Father Hubburds Tales (1604), although the form of Micro-Cynicon"— Juvenalian verse satire"—makes it appear un-Spenserian. Middleton's allusions to Spenser's methods of satirizing William and Robert Cecil served to teach contemporary readers how to understand the satire by suggesting that Middleton shared the political and religious ideas associated in the public mind with Spenser. Five years later, Middleton blunts the force of the satire of Father Hubburds Tales by making it quite different in form from the verse satires of the 1590s and by creating extremely general satiric targets. At the same time, though, he calls attention to the presence of a satirical message by repeated references and allusions to Spenser. Identifying the Spenserianism in these early satires of Middleton is important for what it tells us about Middleton's politics and also for what it tells us about Spenserianism as a tool for satirical meaning-making during this period of harsh and often capricious censorship. I argue that writers in the 1590s saw Spenser's Mother Hubberds Tale as an unsafe stylistic model for satire, but that the Bishops' Ban, by censoring primarily works modeled on Juvenal, made Spenser seem a more acceptable model for satires written afterward.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVII, pp. 289–311

Copyright © 2012 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Joe Moshenska, "Spencerus isthic conditur": Kenelm Digby's Transcription of William Alabaster

Kenelm Digby, perhaps the most significant early critic of The Faerie Queene, copied a four-line Latin epigram by William Alabaster onto the flyleaf of his own copy of Spenser's work. In this article I place his decision to do so in context, and suggest that Digby's choice of these verses may have been informed by his uncertainty surrounding his own confessional identity. Alabaster had converted to Catholicism in 1597, before rejoining the English church in 1611: Digby, born into a disgraced Catholic family, sought to understand his own religious allegiance in the late 1620s, and his reading of Spenser and broader engagement with Renaissance romance was one dimension of this attempt. I therefore suggest that a surprising strand of the afterlife of Spenser's poem was located amidst the complications of English Catholic conversion and reconversion.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVII, pp. 315–328

Copyright © 2012 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Andrew Hadfield, A Mortgage Agreement of Hugolin Spenser, Edmund Spenser's Grandson

This gleaning presents and interprets the mortgage agreement between Edmund Spenser's grandson, Hugolin Spenser, and Pierce Power on 9 August 1673, conveying a number of lands in Renny, County Cork, to Pierce Power, after Hugolin's daughter, Dorothy, had married Pierce in 1673. The lands may constitute Dorothy's dowry.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVII, pp. 329–335

Copyright © 2012 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Volume XXVI, 2011

David Scott Wilson-Okamura, Problems in the Virgilian Career

Who was Spenser's classical model? Was he studying to be a statesman, like Cicero; a celebrant, like Virgil; or an outrider, like Ovid? The Elizabethans welcomed Spenser as a "modern Maro," but problems remain. This essay considers four of them. The first is a question about biography: did poetry make Spenser rich, the way it famously made Virgil? Second, why did Spenser propose to write a long epic when Virgil"—noted for brevity"—wrote a short one? Third, what was the status of same-sex love in Virgil's notorious second eclogue; and when Spenser echoed that poem, what was his readers' reaction? Finally, how did someone who supposedly modeled his career on Virgil forget to write an equivalent of Virgil's middle poem,the Georgics?

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVI, pp 1–30

Copyright 2011 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Lee Piepho, Edmund Spenser and Continental Humanism: The St. George Legend in The Faerie Queene, Book I, and Mantuan's Georgius

This article contends that in his treatment of the St. George legend Edmund Spenser utilized a heightened sense of historical perspective that developed in Italy among Quattrocento humanists like Mantuan (Baptista Mantuanus). A commonly held assumption that humanist poets could not have taken the legend seriously has obscured the fact that Mantuan and Alexander Barclay composed poems using the material and that Spenser, who modeled his Shepheardes Calender partly on Mantuan's eclogues, would almost certainly have known the Georgius, Mantuan's hagiographic epic on St. George.

In comparison to Jacobus de Voragine's Legenda aurea, Spenser's most commonly accepted source, the Quattrocento Italian poet forged a new, humanist relationship between truth and fiction in his Georgius, transposing Alcyone's lament and the fen with its dragon into a poetic mode of discourse which, following the implications of Anne Moss's Latin language turn, resists categorization as being either "true" or "false." In representing his Christian saint as converting the pagan citizenry and reorienting the Graeco-Roman gods within a changed, New Testament world, Mantuan gave Spenser a model when he envisioned the Red Cross's struggle with the dragon as the concluding, climactic event within Judeo-Christian history. The Georgius would thus seem to supply the missing term between de Voragine's version and Spenser's visionary reimagining of the story, encouraging the English poet to go beyond the contempt of sixteenth-century Reformers for saints' lives and use the material to shape "an

empire nowhere," a transcendent spiritual and material potentiality rooted, like Mantuan's hagiographic epic, within a humanist treatment of Judeo-Christian time.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVI, pp 31–43

Copyright 2011 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Kathryn Walls, The "Cupid and Psyche" Fable of Apuleius and Guyon's Underworld Adventure in The Faerie Queene II. vii.3–viii.8

Apuleius's tale of Cupid and Psyche appears in his Metamorphoses, which was translated into English by William Adlington in 1566. Spenser alludes explicitly to Apuleius's story in his Muipotmos (1590), as well as in The Faerie Queene III. vi. Previously unnoticed, however, is a veritable web of implicit allusions in II.vii–viii"—from Guyon's meeting with Mammon through to his rescue by the angel. First, Spenser's description of the angel draws upon Apuleius's two descriptions of Cupid. Second, Guyon's journey underground frequently coincides with the fourth and final task set for Psyche by Venus, which entails a journey into the underworld. Third, both Psyche and Guyon fall into a deadly sleep on their emergence from the underworld. Finally, both receive supernatural assistance"—Psyche from Cupid, and Guyon from the angel. The relevance of Psyche's story lies in the fact that Psyche's fault is, supposedly, "curiosity"—of which Guyon, too, is guilty. Significantly, however, Psyche's curiosity (and, as I argue, Guyon's) is curiosity of a very specific kind. It seeks to penetrate divine mysteries. But while the pagan gods are real for Psyche (and while the forgiving Cupid, in particular, is comparable with Christ), Guyon's pagan world seems to be a product of his own superstitious fear"—the result and emblem of a misconceived faith in his own merits. Guyon ignores the grace that will nevertheless, in time, save him. The apotheosis of Psyche prefigures the elect Guyon's own immortalization through union with Christ.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVI, pp 45–73

Copyright 2011 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Vaughn Stewart, Friends, Rivals, and Revisions: Chaucer's Squire's Tale and Amis and Amiloun in The Faerie Queene, Book IV

In Book IV of The Faerie Queene, Spenser transforms former foes into friends, creating concord out of discord. To demonstrate this action, Spenser creates two focal tetrads in Cantos iii and ix: Cambell, Triamond, Canacee, and Cambina form the first, and Amyas, Placidas, Aemylia, and Poeana form the second. For each of these tetrads, Spenser has used a Middle English romance (Chaucer's Squire's Tale and Amis and Amiloun, respectively) as the primary source. But Spenser does not simply appropriate certain aspects of his sources; rather, he revises the source material in a way that embodies his theory of friendship as developed in Book IV. Spenser reveals how he seeks both to pay homage to and to define his place within his native literary traditions. Simultaneously friend and rival, Spenser revises these romances to advance both his own literary merit and that of his sources.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVI, pp 75–109

Copyright 2011 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

James Kearney, Reformed Ventriloquism: The Shepheardes Calenderand the Craft of Commentary

This essay reads the strange performance of E. K. in The Shepheardes Calender as a commentary on the authority of the humanist edition and a gloss on the uncertain standing of the gloss in post-Reformation England. My claim is that E. K.'s practice should be read not only in relation to literary antecedents but also in relation to the scriptural tradition of glossing. More specifically, I read E. K.'s glossing practice in relation to the different editions of the Geneva Bible produced in the 1570s. Turning to the Geneva Bibles helps illuminate the role that the material text and its interpretive apparatus played in both the institutionalization of Reformed doctrine and the inevitable doubt that emerges when one has multiple and competing glosses on scripture. And it helps illustrate the ways in which E. K.'s strange exegetical dance asks his readers to consider the vexed issues of interpretation and consensus in early modern England.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVI, pp 111–151

Copyright 2011 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Richard E. Lynn, Ewe/Who?: Recreating Spenser's March Eclogue

This is a radical rereading of Spenser's "March" eclogue, one of the three termed "recreational" in "The generall argument." Scholars have worked to identify persons and issues allegorized in the twelve monthly eclogues. "March" alone has been disesteemed as trivial, void of politics and personages. Spenser planted clues which the dust of centuries has obscured. The name "Thomalin" is an allusion to the Scots ballad "Tam Lin." Its love/power triangle of the fairy queen, Tam Lin, and Janet, fits perfectly the 1579 triangle of Elizabeth, Leicester, and Lettice Knollys, who we now positively identify as the injured "Ewe." Spenser abusively blames Lettice for trapping Leicester into the marriage that has so angered the queen, and credits Leicester with regretting it.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVI, pp 153–178

Copyright 2011 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Megan L. Cook, Making and Managing the Past: Lexical Commentary in Spenser's Shepheardes Calender (1579) and Chaucer's Works(1598/1602)

Traditional accounts of the relationship between Spenser's Shepheardes Calender and the writings of Geoffrey Chaucer foreground the influence of the medieval poet on the work of his sixteenth-century successor. By examining how E. K.'s commentary in the Calender shapes the presentation of Chaucer's works, this essay considers instead how the Calender influenced the reception and presentation of Chaucer in the late Tudor period. In particular I argue that the editorial apparatus in Thomas Speght's edition of Chaucer's Works (1598, rev. 1602) takes from E. K.'s commentary two of its most significant preoccupations: its perception of Chaucer as a figure embodying both classical and vernacular poetic traditions, and of Chaucer's language as archaic and potentially difficult for readers. E. K.'s epistle to Gabriel Harvey contains some of the longest discussions of Chaucer's English before the publication of Speght's Works, which at times quotes it directly. Like the Calender, Speght's Works includes substantive discussion of Chaucer's language and, like the Calender, it cites lexicographic forms to illustrate differences between contemporary language and the verse that it presents. In both works the introduction of a lexicon makes newly visible the peculiarities of Chaucerian language, framing it as temporally distant while insisting upon its relevance to contemporary poetic enterprise.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVI, pp 179–222

Copyright 2011 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Mary L. Dudy, "Fool…Look in Thy Heart and Write": W.B. Yeats's Return to English Renaissance Poetry in "The Circus Animals' Desertion"

Since its publication the dominant critical interpretation of Yeats's "The Circus Animals' Desertion" has been tendentiously autobiographical. The circus animals have deserted Yeats; that is, he is bereft of poetic inspiration. But biographical readings overlook the irony contained in Yeats's choice of vehicle for his statement about the Muses' purported desertion"— a skilled and beautiful poem. The scholarly biographers have overlooked a singular biographical fact about the poet, his intellectual heritage from the English Renaissance. "The Circus Animals' Desertion" is a profound reworking of Sir Philip Sidney's first sonnet in Astrophil and Stella, where Sidney rids himself of the encumbrance of an earlier poetic tradition even as he skillfully exploits it. Just so, Yeats "looks in his heart and writes." Yeats also gains secondary support from other English Renaissance writers such as Sir Thomas Wyatt and Sir John Davies, and, more significantly, from the Renaissance acceptance of the Delphic injunction, "know thyself." In imitation of his Renaissance predecessors, Yeats demonstrates his poetic virtuosity even as he pretends to lament his lack of poetic talent.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVI, pp 223–240

Copyright 2011 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

David Lee Miller, Laughing at Spenser's Daphnaida

How could Spenser have written a poem as inexplicably bad as Daphnaida, and why did he publish it? Having done so once, in 1591, why did he then republish the poem, unrevised, in 1596? And having published it the first time solus, why in 1596 did he republish it as a companion piece to the highly accomplished Fowre Hymnes? This essay proposes speculative answers to all three questions. Daphnaida is deliberately bad and indeed advertises itself as such, explicitly banishing the Horatian pair utile et dulce in its opening stanzas. This may be the form Spenser's resistance took if he was prevailed upon by Sir Walter Ralegh to write an elegy proclaiming Arthur Gorges's inconsolable grief for his young wife as part of a campaign to gain control over her estate. This explanation holds for the republication in 1596, when Ralegh had been rehabilitated at court and Gorges was pursuing the wardship of his daughter Ambrosia, but it fails to explain the pairing of Daphnaidai with Fowre Hymnes. That is explained by reading Fowre Hymnes as a revisionary take on Petrarch's Trionfi: a generalized work of mourning for all created things, but one from which the motivating event of Laura's death has been elided. Daphnaida, written in the same stanza as the Hymnes, offers their precise reverse: a death so particularized and definitive that all mourning for it is summarily refused. Together the poems complicate and resituate each other as radically alternative versions of the same underlying recognition, namely that hatred for the world is ultimately a false posture.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVI, pp 241–250

Copyright 2011 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bruce Danner, "so well he wrought her": Notes upon a Spenserian Echo

This gleaning examines the verbal and syntactic echoes between two stanzas of the 1596 Faerie Queene, IV.vi.41 and VI.x.38, arguing that Calidore's seduction of Pastorella in the latter can be largely confirmed as an assault upon her virginity. We can view this probability in the ironic relation Spenser establishes between this moment and its counterpart from Book IV, where Britomart agrees to become the betrothed of Artegall. Unlike his description of Calidore's erotic mastery, Spenser stresses the amorous coupling of Artegall and Britomart in terms of feminine agency and chastity.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVI, pp 253–260

Copyright 2011 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

James Doelman, Spenser's "Theana": Two Notes

Spenser's depiction of Lady Warwick as Theana in Colin Clouts Come Home Againe is based upon a conflation of a number of classical figures of that name or the related "Theano." Renaissance references to these figures consistently highlight their chastity and intelligence, attributes which Spenser found fitting for Lady Warwick. Spenser's treatment of her as "Theana" was picked up by an anonymous poet in 1604, who celebrated her continuing fidelity to the recently deceased Queen Elizabeth in the midst of a corrupt and opportunistic court.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual, Volume XXVI, pp 261–268

Copyright 2011 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Volume XXV, 2010

Andrew Hadfield, Spenser and Jokes: The 2008 Kathleen Williams Lecture

The role of humor in Spenser's writing has often been underestimated. We know that he cracks jokes but we are not always alive to them, mainly because of his reputation as a sage and serious poet. However, we do know that Spenser read jest books, as his correspondence with Harvey reveals, notably Scoggin's Jests and Merrie Tales of Skelton, the latter having a particular bearing on Spenser's work given his adoption of Skelton's poetic persona, Colin Clout. Spenser's work is further indebted to the humor of humanist and classical writers"—in particular, More, Erasmus, and their precursor, Lucian. This essay argues that a careful study of Spenser's work from the Three Letters to The Faerie Queene reveals not simply works that contain numerous jokes but ones that adopt humor and wit as structural principles. From the joke contained in the opening line of The Faerie Queene, we can see that Spenser used jests, humor, and jokes to fashion himself as the major English poet of print culture.

Copyright © 2010 AMS Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXV (2010), pp. 1–19.

Tamara A. Goeglein, The Emblematics of Edmund Spenser's House of Holiness

For some time now, literary critics have pointed to the emblematic style of Edmund Spenser's House of Holiness, which appears in Canto x of the first book of The Faerie Queene. Emblems of faith, hope, and charity seem to step out of an early modern emblem book and into the House of Holiness, where the Redcrosse Knight is cast as a reader whose emblematic literacy transforms images of faith, hope, and charity into images of his own spiritual life named Fidelia, Speranza, and Charissa. We know much about emblematic conventions, but there are precious few glimpses into emblematic reading practices that dramatize how a visual image and its complementary verbal image coalesce to affect the reader's disposition. The House of Holiness offers us this glimpse. In this essay, I will suggest that the House is a scene of reading, where the emblematic enters into the temporal process of narration, and, in this process, the static, depicted visual details of the emblematic come alive and enliven the affective being of their readers.

Copyright © 2010 AMS Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXV (2010), pp. 21–51.

Kathryn Walls, Spenser's Adiaphoric Dwarf

The standard interpretations of Una's dwarf (as reason, common sense, or prudence) take insufficient account of the ways in which he is particularized. This essay argues that the "needments" he carries on Una's behalf represent the "ornaments" imposed by the contentious 1559 rubric, together with the ceremonies that these material objects epitomized. The dwarf 's initial appearance and subsequent actions invite interpretation in the light of the Elizabethan justification of ornaments as "things indifferent" (adiaphora). According to their advocates, adiaphora (though by definition unnecessary for salvation) were necessary for the unity of the national Church. The dwarf's commitment to ceremonial takes a superstitious Catholic turn in Canto v, but his revival of Una in Canto vii intimates that ceremonial is vital to the survival of the Church. Spenser may have recognized an affinity between ecclesiastical ceremonial (the "clothing" of worship), and his own allegorical method.

Copyright © 2010 AMS Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXV (2010), pp. 53–78.

Andrew Mattison, The Indescribable Landscape: Water, Shade, and Land in the Bower of Bliss

This essay argues that Spenser explores alternatives to mimetic representation in The Faerie Queene. Spenser's descriptions of the Bower of Bliss in Book II, Canto xii are based on a distinction between nature and artifice, but that distinction does not always remain clear in individual details. Responding to one of Spenser's own metaphors for allegory, the veiled mirror, and to Philip Sidney's definition of mimesis, the essay reads the Bower's landscape as composed not of describable, interpretable objects but of the equivalent of prisms (Spenser's metaphor is "Christall") through which the occupants and events within the Bower can be viewed. The difficulty of looking at the Bower's landscape directly suggests we should rethink Spenser's understanding of allegory and poetic description.

Copyright © 2010 AMS Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXV (2010), pp. 79–108.

Jessica C. Murphy, "Of the sicke virgin": Britomart, Greensickness, and the Man in the Mirror

The second canto of Book III of Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene ends with a peculiar attempt by the nurse Glauce to cure the princess and "sicke virgin" Britomart. Many critics claim that Britomart is lovesick; however, lovesickness in the period is primarily an ailment of male lovers or lascivious women. I argue that Britomart suffers from greensickness, a "disease of virgins" that can be found in medical discourse throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and for which the best cure is married sex. By using Helen King's recent research on greensickness and evidence from early modern herbal texts to support my claim that Britomart suffers from greensickness, I bring the historical context of early modern women's sexuality to bear on a text that is purportedly written in homage to Elizabeth I. Because its symptoms, cures, and cultural implications are associated with anxieties about the desiring female virgin, greensickness allows for a new reading of Spenser's treatment of female chastity, female desire, and the ruling queen of England in The Faerie Queene.

Copyright © 2010 AMS Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXV (2010), pp. 109–127.

John D. Staines, Pity and the Authority of Feminine Passions in Books V and VI of The Faerie Queene

Spenser's readers have long recognized Book V's challenge to the regiment of women, one developed through a series of attacks upon the dangers of pity, which is repeatedly presented as an effeminizing weakness that threatens the order of the civic polity. Critics have not noticed, however, the ways that Spenser revisits pity in Book VI, paradoxically casting it as a necessary part of just authority. Spenser models the feminized authority of Book VI's heroes on Chaucer's celebration of pite as the central virtue of gentillesse, pairing that theme from chivalric romance with Christian responses to Stoic attacks upon misericordia. Spenser's return to romance in Book VI is a return to pity, feminizing male authority not despite but through the dangers and pleasures of that suspect passion. Whereas those in Book V who succumb to the "tender heart" of pity appear weak and effeminate, those in Book VI who do not have a "tender heart" appear cowardly and unmanly. The reversal does not cancel Book V's attack upon the regiment of women, but it does reopen a space for women where true authority is grounded in a reciprocal exchange between values and passions typically gendered as masculine or feminine. By focusing on pity, moreover, this essay revalues the chivalric romance cantos of Book VI. The book is unified by a concern with the ways that pity should impel virtuous action, and examining it from this perspective gives precedence to the narrative of chivalric romance over the pastoral retreat that is often taken by critics as the superior part of the Legend of Courtesy.

Copyright © 2010 AMS Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXV (2010), pp. 129–161.

Mary Villeponteaux, Dangerous Judgments: Elizabethan Mercy in The Faerie Queene

Despite the traditional veneration of mercy as a Christian virtue, many sixteenth-century writers caution against clemency, depicting it as a product of weak natures, such as those of women. The belief that women are passionate creatures prone to pity contributes to doubts about a woman's ability to rule. Elizabeth I, though praised for her godlike mercy, was also accused of excessive lenity. Nevertheless Elizabeth clearly wanted to be reputed merciful and to avoid the label of "unnatural" that was often applied to cruel women. Spenser's depiction of mercy in The Faerie Queene reflects these tensions. In Book II, mercy is described as the chief glory of Elizabeth's reign, yet the events of this book characterize both pity and mercy as destructive. In Book V, Spenser lavishes praise on the ideal of mercy but discourages merciful actions. The Mercilla episode reflects Spenser's understanding that, in choosing between mercy and rigor, a female monarch might be vulnerable to accusations of either womanish pity or unnatural cruelty.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXV (2010), pp. 163–185.

Elizabeth M. Weixel, Squires of the Wood: The Decline of the Aristocratic Forest in Book VI of The Faerie Queene

One setting dominates the first eight cantos of Book VI of The Faerie Queene: the forest. This essay examines these oft-neglected cantos through the prisms of the historical English forest and the literary forest of romance as a way to read their engagement with social change. The first part offers a snapshot of the debate about English forests ca. 1600, followed by an examination of Spenser's forest representatives, the squires Tristram and Timias, who embody the forest's ambiguities. Their legacies from medieval romance and their failure to rise as the next generation of knights suggest Spenser's doubts about the long-term efficacy of aristocratic dominance and the romance genre idealizing that social model. Their inadequacy also sets the stage for the emergence of the humble poet in Canto x, linking the first two-thirds of the book to a structure showing Spenser's own response to and investment in the social landscape.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXV (2010), pp. 187–213.

Bruce Danner, Retrospective Fiction-making and the "secrete" of the 1591 Virgils Gnat

The allegorical "riddle rare" of Virgils Gnat has long been viewed as an allusion to Spenser's career in 1579, despite ongoing dissatisfaction about its applicability to the known facts concerning the poet and his relationship with the poem's dedicatee, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. The key to the poem's engagement with Leicester, however, lies not simply in what this allusion refers to, but when it does so, since the text of Virgils Gnat is not a product of Spenser's early career, but of the Complaints anthology, a work with considerably different motives than those of his early publications. The title of this essay, therefore, risks tautology in order to stress the fact of the poem's historical context in 1591, rather than reflexively consigning the work to an originary moment that exists only within its own projected fiction. Outside the Virgils Gnat dedicatory sonnet, no evidence exists to connect Spenser's translation of the Culex with the period of the poet's service at Leicester House. Indeed, the sonnet's pretensions to intimacy with Leicester in the distant past collapse under skeptical review. Turning away from Leicester after its opening quatrain, the work appears not to have been personally addressed to the nobleman, but instead written after his death for the purpose of public consumption. Consequently, this essay looks at Spenser's sonnet to Leicester as a literary event of 1591, with two modes reflected in its dual structure"—a retrospective address to Leicester in a fictional past, and a contemporary apostrophe to a deceased patron whose absence pivotally affects the work's implicit allegory of patronage. As a projection of the poet's relationship with Leicester, the poem advertises Spenser as a figure of loyal integrity, rejecting court sycophancy and personal ambition. As an allegory of patronage in 1591, the poem represents the poet's duty to Leicester in the context of the nobleman's declining posthumous reputation. Such a milieu calls for a reversal of the poem's traditional reading, and to assign Leicester the role of the dead and forgotten gnat, and Spenser that of the pastoral shepherd who takes on the responsibility of preserving his memory.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXV (2010), pp. 215–245.

William P. Weaver, Paraphrase and Patronage in Virgils Gnat

While philologists have identified the textual source of Virgils Gnat, and critics have analyzed Spenser's habits of paraphrase in his translation, interpretation has been left to biographers who attempt to identify in the poet's life the allegorical significance of the gnat's complaint. This essay bridges these concerns by first demonstrating in the translation a thematic paraphrase of the word "care" and its opposite, "security," and then interpreting this paraphrase with respect to Spenser's career and his relationship to his patron Leicester, to whom the poem was "long since dedicated." Spenser exploits certain techniques of paraphrase taught in humanist grammar schools to make the poem uniquely his own, and far from being just a cipher for an event in his life, the translation becomes a vehicle for his reflections on poetic vocation, artistic creativity, and friendship.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXV (2010), pp. 247–261.

Paul J. Hecht, Letters for the Dogs: Chasing Spenserian Alliteration

Alliteration is a ubiquitous but little-discussed feature of Spenser's poetry, which seems to reflect a mixture of uncertainty and embarrassment. Is Spenser's alliteration an extension of his deliberate archaism, or in fact "primitive," marking his ties to a less-sophisticated Elizabethan poetic style? Is it a feature of his poetry to be listened to closely or filtered out and ignored? This essay looks at the way modern critics and Elizabethans think about and describe alliteration, and from these draws two central questions about the phenomenon: the relationship of alliteration to meaning, and what constitutes "good" alliteration. Using a detailed survey of The Shepheardes Calender as its principal case study, this essay concludes that Spenserian alliteration has a continuously variable relationship to meaning; it also demonstrates intricacy and virtuosity in alliterative patterns, as well as the fluid borders between alliteration and other patterns of poetic sound.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXV (2010), pp. 263–285.

Richard S. Peterson, Enuies Scourge, and Vertues Honour: A Rare Elegy for Spenser

A unique copy of a book entitled Enuies Scourge, and Vertues Honour, whose author is known only by his initials "M. L.," has proven to be of signal importance to literary history. Here is not only a new document in the fashion for satire at the turn of the sixteenth century but an extended imitation of the works of Spenser and a rare elegy on his death. In this 408-line poem dated c. 1605, the unknown author has creatively assimilated and transformed the words of his predecessor in a surprisingly deft act of homage. Strains given distinct expression in separate Spenserian works"—the complaint, court satire, pastoral, epic, and religious devotion"—are subsumed in a new design as M. L. creates his own vigorous and appealing literary persona. As a volatile champion of Virtue who is embattled with Envy and the six other deadly sins, he confesses to having himself been envious of a "sweet wit" who appears to be none other than Shakespeare, for his verses "live supported by a speare" (st. 24–26). There is evidence throughout not only of broad Spenserian themes interrelated in a fresh way but of a witty pattern of distinctive Spenserian words and even directly quoted phrases. Surprisingly, no other extended elegy to Spenser, whose death is openly (st. 21–23) as well as covertly mourned here, has yet been found. In this first edited text of the new poem, we see M. L. take on the personal task of rescuing his admired predecessor from "blacke obliuions rust." Bathed in the balm of his own "verses, dipt in deaw of Castalie," Spenser lives again.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXV (2010), pp. 287–325.

Tom Muir, Specters of Spenser: Translating the Antiquitez

By situating Spenser and Du Bellay in a tradition of antiquarian writers"—not only Camden and Leland, for example, but also Sigmund Freud and Jacques Derrida"—this essay sets out to discover what answers Spenser expects from the phantoms of Rome whose speech he demands, and what answers are finally transmitted to him. Though it seeks the interrogation of the past, the antiquarian endeavor cannot help but release its own ghosts, the phantoms of its own process, and Spenser's frequently anguished responses to the ruins of Rome and to Du Bellay encrypt a series of confused, contradictory responses to ruins much closer to home: those left behind by the dissolution of the monasteries. Sedimented within Spenser's poem is a desire for its own dissolution; alongside its ardent wishes for remembrance and praise"—of Rome, of Du Bellay"—are urges towards extinction, forgetfulness, amnesia, oblivion.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXV (2010), pp. 327–361.

Judith H. Anderson, Spenser's Faerie Queene and Cicero's De oratore

Cicero's De oratore has generally not been recognized as a significant influence on The Faerie Queene. Yet connections between this dialogue by the great republican orator and Spenser's first, second, and sixth books indicate that it is. Cicero's widely known treatment of rhetoric bears suggestively on Spenser's thinking about poetic rhetoric, society, and their relationship.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXV (2010), pp. 365–370.

Beatrice Groves, The Redcrosse Knight and "The George"

This article posits a connection between Spenser's Redcrosse knight and an incarnation of St. George which has been widely overlooked: the "George" of the tavern sign. This version of St. George"—shorn of both maiden and dragon, lacking an objective"— meant that the saint himself was mocked as one who, as Henry Smith put it, "is alwaies on horsebacke, and neuer rides." This aspect of St. George has a particular resonance for the Redcrosse Knight's inability to progress in his quest. The static rather than the chivalric image of St. George alerts us to the way that discipleship in Book I of The Faerie Queene is enabled through the tangled skeins of Spenser's narrative: the multivalent stories, the constant end-stopped stanzas and the delaying actions created not by the hostile divinities of classical epic, but by the sinfulness of the "wandering knight" himself. Spenser's poetics of stasis gains additional power in his opening book through his choice of a tutelary saint proverbial for his inability to get anywhere.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXV (2010), pp. 371–376.

Tobias Griffin, A Good Fit: Bryskett and the Bowre of Bliss

The Irish Colonial literature of Spenser's day has bequeathed to us a likely additional source for The Faerie Queene's Bowre of Bliss episode in Book II: Lodowick Bryskett's A Discourse of Civil Life. Bryskett's dialogue, set in the 1580s or 1590s, is an English version of Giambattista Giraldi's Tre dialoghi della vita civille, with Irish Colonial interlocutors like Thomas Norris, Captain Warham St. Leger, Captain Nicholas Dawtrey, and Edmund Spenser replacing their Italian counterparts. Except for Bryskett's localized narrative frame, in which he has his friends goad him into producing his translation of Giraldi for them, the text is essentially a transplantation of a continental literary work into an Irish colonial situation.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXV (2010), pp. 377–379.

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Volume XXIV, 2009

Kenneth Borris, Jon Quitslund, And Carol Kaske, Introduction: Spenser and Platonism

The seeds for this project were planted in 2000, at the conference of the Renaissance Society of America in Florence, where the three coeditors had organized a session on Spenser and Florentine Platonism. A year later, Andrew Hadfield stimulated us further by anecdotally reporting an apparent decline of interest in the poet's Platonic affinities in his Cambridge Companion to Spenser. As our volume seeks to show, this dimension of Spenser's mind and art continues to offer opportunities for inquiries that are as significant and revealing as any other. Surveying a wide range of Spenser's engagements with Platonic thought, the collection presents diverse interpretive positions.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIV (2009), pp. 1–14.

Carol Kaske, Hallmarks of Platonism and the Sons of Agape (Faerie Queene IV.ii–iv)

The present essay first lays down a foundation of terms and concepts which are distinctively Platonic as they appear in Spenser: Ideas, the four beneficent frenzies, the concomitance of beauty and goodness, ladders, preexistence, and the Platonic cycle of the individual soul from emanation to remeatio.With regard to several of these hallmarks, it introduces a new Platonist, Flaminio Nobili, in a mutually illuminating comparison to Spenser, discovering that Plato means less to his trattato d'amore than to Spenser's works. It demonstrates that Spenser throughout his poetry both endorses and enacts the Platonic and Ficinian notion that a certain kind of madness or frenzy fosters vision and creativity. It argues that just as Spenser affirms preexistence in Heavenly Beautie, so he implies it in certain other works, including The Faerie Queene. It argues that whereas the word "Idea" seems adventitious to the Hymne of Heavenlie Love, it plays an important part in Hymne of Beautie and in Amoretti 45 and 88, manifesting Spenser's tendency to translate Platonic metaphysical concepts into terms of individuals and of the human mind. Then in the second part, proof-texts from the Fowre Hymnes serve to reveal some other Platonic concepts such as emanation in an explication both of a story and of its analogous echoes, thus illustrating that tango of retrenchment and discovery that an investigation of a poet's worldview enacts as tastes change. The unity of the sons of Agape with each other and with their community of siblings, in-laws, lovers, and friends exemplifies the unity and equality of a modern social group in the face of diversity.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIV (2009), pp. 15–71.

Valery Rees, Ficinian Ideas in the Poetry of Edmund Spenser

Tracing specific influences in Spenser is no straightforward task, but this essay revisits the question of Spenser's Platonism through interests he can be shown to have shared with Marsilio Ficino. These include the interplay of stability and change, which fascinated them both, and which both took as a reflection of the relationship between ultimate reality and the passing illusory show in which they felt most of our earthly life is spent. Both writers concern themselves with ascent to the supercelestial world of reality, and with the role that beauty and love may play in this ascent. They likewise share a commitment to the importance and potential of the immortal human soul. Spenser also draws on Platonic theories of poetry expounded by Ficino. An appendix is provided which traces in detail the extent to which the works of Ficino and Plato were available to Spenser and his contemporaries in England, and particularly in Cambridge during his residence there.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIV (2009), pp. 73–134.

Eugene D. Hill, Everard Digby: A Syncretic Philosopher at Spenser's Cambridge

This essay affords a look at intellectual activity in the Cambridge of Spenser's day by way of an introduction to a large Neo-Latin volume of metaphysics entitled the Theoria Analytica, published by Everard Digby in 1579. Digby's defense of metaphysics against the Ramist assault thereupon is explored, along with his remarkable efforts to read Neoplatonic mysteries (including alchemy and Kabbalah) into the Posterior Analytics of Aristotle. The structure of Digby's tome exhibits similarities to patterns detected by Spenserians of a numerological bent. In its overall linkage of Platonic and Aristotelian themes and in its epistemology of identification"—by which the reader is formed into the likeness of what he reads"—the Theoria exhibits striking affinities with Spenser's Faerie Queene. Everard Digby, Spenser's Cambridge contemporary, has furnished us with a virtual charter for the poet's allegorical invention.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIV (2009), pp. 135–154.

Anne Lake Prescott, Hills of Contemplation and Signifying Circles: Spenser and Guy Le Fèvre de la Boderie

Among the many French poets whom Spenser read, or might well have read, Guy Le Fèvre de la Boderie was the one most determined to versify the cosmos in terms merging Neoplatonism, Christian syncretism, kabbalism, word magic, numerology, and a resolute insistence on Gallic glory and accomplishment. His long poem, La Galliade (1578), includes a prefatory sonnet sequence celebrating his employer, the duc d'Anjou, who was at this time courting Queen Elizabeth, as well as lines on the "mount of contemplation" from which the ecstatic and music-filled soul can see the New Jerusalem. The hill is worth comparing to the one in Faerie Queene I.x.46–58 up which the hermit Contemplation guides Redcrosse and from which the knight, too, sees the reborn city of David. Both passages are a reminder of how possible it was, if not always logical, for Catholic poets such as Le Fèvre and a Protestant one such as Spenser to combine the Christian with the Platonic. Further to set the two mounts of contemplation in context, this essay offers a small collection of other mountains and ascents with a Christian but also often Platonic atmosphere.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIV (2009), pp. 155–183.

Andrew Escobedo, The Sincerity of Rapture

This essay explores what it means to say that Spenser adheres to a poetics of erotic rapture. As it functions in Spenser's poetry, erotic rapture seizes the will, redirecting it toward the distant prospect of union with an idealized beloved. The enraptured lover loses the capacity for free choice; his or her love continues to bear traces of the initial shock of seizure, motivating rather than liberating. This loss of liberty comes with a gain of authenticity; erotic rapture is above all, for Spenser, a marker of the lover's sincerity. The notion of erotic sincerity sheds light on the critical debate about Spenser's conspicuous dramatization of Scudamour's choice when he takes Amoret away from the Temple of Venus (FQ IV.x.53). Scudamour, this essay argues, is a lover whom love has not quite seized, so he is obliged to decide whether or not to pursue his courtship of Amoret. His aggression springs from under-motivation; he is oddly insincere. Spenser's model of erotic rapture has precedents in medieval love poetry and Petrarchan lyric, but his most important source is Plato. After surveying the trope of rapture in Plato and Spenser, I return to the Temple of Venus to consider the implications of this trope for Scudamour's choice. This consideration takes us in turn to Chaucer, then Cicero, and finally back to Plato.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIV (2009), pp. 185–208.

Kenneth Borris, Platonism and Spenser's Poetic: Idealized Imitation, Merlin's Mirror, and the Florimells

To exempt his own work from the censures of poetry current in early modern cultural politics, Spenser embraces a poetic of idealized imitation that seeks to represent ideals rather than conventional reality, and thus promote pursuit of virtue and truth. Much of that program derived from favorable Platonizing theories of the verbal and visual arts. Yet serious sixteenth-century advocacy of poetry had to reckon with Plato's influential critique of poetry in the Republic, and Spenser does so in his allegory of poetics in Books III and IV of The Faerie Queene. By encountering Merlin's mirror, Britomart assimilates a mimetic image that motivates great enterprise, and that story seeks to demonstrate the inspirational power of right poetry. The poet further explores the ethical responsibilities of artistic creation through his invention of beauteous Florimell. Her contrast with the False Florimell, a spurious copy created by a witch, corresponds to the Platonic distinction between icastic (truthful) and phantastic (falsified) modes of representation in the arts. Whereas Plato's Republic had condemned almost all poetry for multiplying illusions doubly removed from the reality of the Ideas, and thus misleading its audience while badly inflaming their passions, Spenser's allegory indicates that is rather the effect of phantastic poetry, or the art's abuse. Through his contrary practice of icastic imitative idealism, Spenser finesses the Republic's critique to portray himself as a philosopher-poet correlative to that dialogue's valorized philosopher who awakens minds to reveal truth. Central to this endeavor is Spenser's correlation of eros with heroism, for which he invokes the authority of Socrates at the outset of the 1596 Faerie Queene.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIV (2009), pp. 209–268.

Catherine Gimelli Martin, Spenser's Neoplatonic Geography of the Passions: Mapping Allegory in the "Legend of Temperance," Faerie Queene, Book II

This analysis of Book II argues that The Faerie Queene charts a geography of physical places connected by the Platonic and Neoplatonic hierarchy of the four physical elements (earth, water, air, and fire) and the positive and negative passions associated with them. Earth stands for the more primitive or "dark" energies of the "lower" soul, the fleshly basis of its earthly existence but also for the foundation of life. Water stands for its "vegetable" or sentient capacities, sensuality on the one hand, but also fluidity or motion on the other. Air stands for the psyche's "drier" or more mental functions as well as its potential self-absorption, to which Sir Guyon nearly succumbs in Mammon's Cave. Fire represents the alternately spiritual and self-destructive passions, zeal and wrath. Like Spenser's other knights, Guyon must successively master each of these levels of his physical, human nature, or, failing that, sink to a lower level. Combined with a zodiacal system linked to the four elements and humors, this relatively simple Neoplatonic system effectively charts Guyon's moral progress through a full "cosmic year" complete with beginning, middle, and end points. It also explains intervening episodes that no longer seem random or digressive within this framework, including the strangely deferred ending of Book II. Besides illuminating the complex geographical substrate of Spenser's allegorical artistry, this essay demonstrates his heavy reliance on Neoplatonic schemas of vice, virtue, and the passions long ago discovered by Frances Yates in the French academies of the sixteenth century and by Rosemund Tuve in Barnabe Googe's translation of The Zodiake of Life.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIV (2009), pp. 269–307.

Jon Quitslund, Melancholia, Mammon, and Magic

Focusing on Guyon's encounter with Mammon, this essay examines melancholia in The Faerie Queene in relation to Marsilio Ficino's Three Books on Life. Ficino recognizes melancholia as a serious malady, but he also claims that some melancholics are extraordinarily intelligent and creative. In Spenser's poem, some melancholy characters (Despair, Mammon, and Maleger, for example) are dangerous, while others (Phantastes, the youthful sage in Alma's castle, and the poem's most idealistic lovers) appear in a more positive light. Ficino traces the causes of a melancholy temperament to astrological factors. Saturn's influence predisposes an individual to inquire into the depths of experience, aspiring also to self-transcending knowledge and power. The ill effects of black bile can be tempered by habits that nourish the vital spiritus and connect the human microcosm with beneficial daemons and angels. Describing heavenly influences that can be captured to cure melancholia, Ficino stresses the importance of Phoebus Apollo, Venus, and Jupiter, the "Three Graces." Two engravings by Dürer, St. Jerome in His Study and Melencolia I, provide pictorial analogues to architectonically significant passages in Books I and II of The Faerie Queene; the pattern of textual echoes and contrasts continues in Book III. A Platonic program emerges from details in Guyon's encounter with Mammon, his sojourn in Alma's castle, and his testing in the Bower of Bliss. This sequence is capped by all that is revealed in the Garden of Adonis canto (FQ III.vi) under the aegis of the three Graces.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIV (2009), pp. 309–354.

Kenneth Gross, Green Thoughts in a Green Shade

Spenser's Garden of Adonis, while clearly a cosmological fiction and a picture of the hidden processes of nature, is also a garden of mind, a garden of thought. It is an image of the life and motions of human thought, thought's modes of continuity, change, and survival. It reflects the poet's sense of the ontology of mental phenomena like memories, dreams, and phantasms; it shows us the human mind in its generativity, its pleasure, as well as its violence, its way of inhabiting loss. In broad terms, Spenser's vision of this place (or collection of places) reflects profound shifts in Renaissance ideas about the mind, about the space of thinking, specifically in its freedom of play and its intensely secular, time-bound character; for all that it speaks of hidden, even quasi-divine energies, it presents a moving order that remains cut off from any clear transcendental grounds of meaning. In its ambiguity as well as its radical opacity, the Garden also offers a fiction of mind that anticipates more modern pictures of mental process.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIV (2009), pp. 355–371.

Ayesha Ramachandran, Edmund Spenser, Lucretian Neoplatonist: Cosmology in the Fowre Hymnes

This essay reconsiders the relationship between Spenser's earthly and divine hymns in terms of the dialogic possibilities of the palinode, suggesting that the apparent "recantation" of the first two hymns is a poetic device used for philosophic effect. I argue that Spenser uses the poetic movement of action and retraction, turn and counterturn, to embody a philosophical oscillation and synthesis between a newly rediscovered Lucretian materialism and the Christian Neoplatonism, traditionally ascribed to the sequence. The stimulus for this seemingly unusual juxtaposition of two fundamentally different philosophies is the subject of the Fowre Hymnes: the poems are not only an expression of personal emotion and faith, but seek to make a significant intervention in the late sixteenth-century revival of cosmology and natural philosophy. Therefore, the essay takes seriously the hymns' generic claim towards the grand style of philosophic abstraction, showing how Spenser explores the dialectic between matter and form, chaos and creation, mutability and eternity, through his repeated emphasis on the creation. Each hymn contains a distinct creation account; together they contrast a vision of a dynamic, de-centered, material cosmos (identified textually with the cosmos of Lucretius's De rerum natura) with the formal symmetry and stable order of the Christian-Platonic universe. In this syncretic relationship between Lucretius and Plato, Spenser may have seen a powerful model for harmonizing the traditionally opposed motivations of poetry and philosophy, and for reconciling, albeit very uneasily, a concern with the flux of worldly experience and a desire to comprehend cosmic stability and formal order.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIV (2009), pp. 373–411.

Paul Suttie, The Lost Cause of Platonism in The Faerie Queene

My question in this paper is whether even a cautious return to a broadly Platonic Spenser is sustainable, or whether there are reasons for regarding that vision of The Faerie Queene as a lost cause. Not that I doubt that the Platonic tradition, in the broadest sense, is a great influence on Spenser's poetry, but that it is one thing to draw deeply on a tradition, another to produce a work whose worldview is of that tradition. Thus, while The Faerie Queene does propose essentially Platonic accounts of its overall narrative and allegorical structures, and of certain episodes (notably the Garden of Adonis and Mutability Cantos), all those accounts are called radically in doubt within the poem, in most cases by being shown to be rhetorically generated in the service of specific personal or political interests. Moreover, the possibility of an alternative, non- Platonic and anti-metaphysical worldview is repeatedly glimpsed behind those interests and the metaphysical claims they generate"—one whose dynamics are most strikingly encountered in the difficulties of interpreting the Garden of Adonis, but whose broader implications are seen in the wider narrative and above all in the careers of Arthur and Britomart. Chief among those implications is that the valid constitution of moral and political authority must be treated as a more urgent and intractable problem than would be so if a secure metaphysical context for moral interpretation were presupposed. Spenser's grappling with that problem's intractability culminates in the Mutability Cantos, where nostalgia for medieval Christian-Platonic metaphysical certainty is coupled with recognition that such certainty has been rendered unavailable by the Renaissance state's appropriation of Christian-Platonic metaphysical claims to a partisan art of power.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIV (2009), pp. 413–430.

Richard Mccabe, Spenser, Plato, and the Poetics of State

Focusing on Spenser's response to Plato's controversial expulsion of the poets from his Republic, this essay analyzes the many contradictions arising from the poet's simultaneous call for political censorship of the Irish Bards and vigorous defense of his own work against the apparent opposition of Lord Burghley, Elizabeth's chief officer of state. The disquieting similarity between the accusations allegedly leveled against Spenser by Burghley, and those that Spenser in turn levels against the Bards, is used to illustrate the complexity of the debate on artistic liberty and political control that Plato initiated in the Republic. The essay argues that all of the publications and compositions of 1596"—the second installment of The Faerie Queene, the Fowre Hymnes, Prothalamion, and the manuscript of A View of the Present State of Ireland"—engage in a concerted act of authorial self-assessment and self-exculpation designed to reclaim the "laureate" status that Spenser was seen by some to have forfeited through the calling in of his Complaints in 1591. In particular, the Fowre Hymnes and Prothalamion (being designed as examples of the two genres of poetry allowed by Plato) are interpreted as mounting a defense not merely of the moral and political value of Spenser's own verse but of the poetic art generally.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIV (2009), pp. 433–452.

Kenneth Borris, Reassessing Ellrodt: Critias and the Fowre Hymnes in The Faerie Queene

Among Spenser's varied poems, the Fowre Hymnes have unique interest for readers of his allegorical romance-epic because they most openly express his interests in theology and Platonism. They may thus illuminate some of the "dark conceits" of his Faery, yet have had little such consideration to date. Contrary to Robert Ellrodt's view that all four hymns in their present form as well as their Platonic learning postdate The Faerie Queene, the origins of at least the first pair and their erudition should be dated considerably earlier than 1595/96. The so-called Critias crux of The Faerie Queene does not, as Ellrodt supposed, show that the clearly learned Platonism of Spenser's Hymnes postdated his heroic poem, but rather shows the reverse, by evincing much Platonic knowledge and acuity. The Platonic contents of his hymnic and heroic poems overlap in various ways. A range of examples demonstrates the heuristic value of the Hymnes for exploring the prospects of Spenser's faery allegorism: particularly its representations of eros, beauty, the soul, the Ideas, and Gloriana.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIV (2009), pp. 453–480.

Gordon Teskey, A Retrograde Reading of Spenser's Fowre Hymnes

The Fowre Hymnes are presented in the epistle as a continuous series extending by Neoplatonic analogy upwards from earthly love and beauty to heavenly love and beauty. This plan gives the victory to a chilly Neoplatonism that loathes the world and is incompatible with the warmth of Christian charity. But when read backwards the hymns unexpectedly recover much of the warmth and wisdom they ineffectually claim for themselves when read forwards. In the Hymne in Honour of Love, instead of the continuity of the series of the hymns, we find an interesting continuity from the force that created the world to the erotic desire that rouses all living creatures to reproduce. Human beings are conscious of this desire as a higher power, Beauty, which leaves them unsatisfied in eroticism unless it has a religious and collective aspect. An orgiastic erotic heaven is therefore imagined at the conclusion of the poem"—orgiastic in the strict sense of involving secret rites"—in which lovers are lodged in ivory beds placed beside one another and stretching to infinity. At first the image seems to teach that what we experience as most private, erotic love, is also most general, distinguishing us from animals and making us human. But the image of the beds hard by one another never reconciles the discontinuity of the individual couples with the continuity of the whole. In the end, the effort to see eroticism reconciled to itself is a failure, though one that is more interesting than the failure that comes from reading the hymns in the prescribed order.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIV (2009), pp. 481–497.

Jon Quitslund, Thinking about Thinking in the Fowre Hymnes

The Fowre Hymnes contain Spenser's most discursive poetry, and in them his handling of philosophical and theological matters is more doctrinaire than in other poems. Most scholarship on the Hymnes has concentrated on tracing Spenser's thought to learned sources and deciding, on that evidence, how to label his mixture of courtly, Christian, and Platonic or Neoplatonic themes. While it considers one instance of Spenser's borrowings from Ficino's commentary on Plato's Symposium, this essay is more concerned to relate the content of the Hymnes to "thinking moments" in other parts of his poetic oeuvre. Ideas about the heavenly source of physical beauty and its power to inspire a refined, intellectual love, explained at length in the first pair of hymns, can be found more succinctly expressed in Spenser's earlier poetry, dating back in at least one instance to the brief period, circa 1580, when he was associated with Philip Sidney. The second pair of hymns echoes the religiosity of Book I in The Faerie Queene; the fourth hymn, especially in its vision of "Sapience . . . /The soueraine dearling of the Deity" and its world-renouncing conclusion, also invites comparison to Spenser's posthumous Cantos of Mutabilitie.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIV (2009), pp. 499–517.

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Volume XXIII, 2008

F. W. Brownlow, The British Church in The Shepheardes Calender

The dialogues in the ecclesiastical eclogues of The Shepheardes Calender (February, May, July, September) reflect discussions of Church history and government in Pembroke College, Cambridge, during Spenser's time there as a student. The ideal Church in the collegiate debaters' minds seems to be the legendary "British Church" founded by Joseph of Arimathæa, among others, and reinvented for Henry VIII as a rationale for his royal supremacy and the consequent separation of the English provinces from the rest of the Western Church. This romantic ecclesiastical fiction was powerfully influential in the development of the Protestant Church of England under Elizabeth I, and provided the historical basis for Spenser's approach to British history, as well as Arthur's role in it as a Protestant warrior.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIII (2008), pp.1–12.

Steven K. Galbraith, "English" Black-Letter Type and Spenser's Shepheardes Calender

Modern studies of books as material objects have neglected the fact that in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England black-letter type was called "English." Consequently, they have neglected the implications of such a designation. Returning black-letter type to its original context as "English" type demonstrates how it signified the English language. The relation between type and language expanded beyond black letter and the English language. Reflecting Continental typographic trends, English printers set modern European languages other than English in the typefaces in which they normally appeared in their native countries. In this way, typefaces represented a visual expression of language and nationality. The use of black-letter type in the first edition of Edmund Spenser's Shepheardes Calender was a deliberate typographical deviation from its bibliographic model, a 1571 edition of Jacopo Sannazaro's Arcadia. This deviation superimposed the English vernacular, represented by black-letter or "English" type, onto the Italian vernacular, represented by italic and roman type. The choice of "English" type supported the book's overarching promotion of English literature and language, along with Spenser's self-promotion as an English poet.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIII (2008), pp. 13–40.

Catherine Nicholson, Pastoral in Exile: Spenser and the Poetics of English Alienation

This essay argues that Spenser's Shepheardes Calender invents a poetics of deliberate estrangement, capitalizing on the unpromising fact of England's remoteness from the classical world. Although it is understood both in the Renaissance and in modern criticism as the natural starting point for a poetic career, pastoral is a singularly inhospitable genre for an English poet: in Virgil's first eclogue Britain appears as the antithesis of pastoral contentment, a place of exile and colonial abjection. By treating English as a quasi-foreign tongue"—and adopting the errant and alienated persona of Colin Clout"—Spenser repeats this marginalizing gesture, discovering in distance itself a means of reinvigorating vernacular poetry. Ultimately, his insistence on the virtues of estrangement allows Spenser to find a place for pastoral and for Colin Clout in England's own abject colonial sphere, beyond the Irish pale.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIII (2008), pp. 41–71.

Daniel Moss, Spenser's Despair and God's Grace

Focusing on Una's delay in repudiating Despair in Faerie Queene I.ix, this article reads the critical impulse to answer for Redcrosse as a theologically flawed mitigation of Spenser's allegorical rigor. Given the reader's incapacity to anticipate or to ventriloquize grace, the only sufficient answer to Despair must come from without, by means of a fully divine prerogative. Despair's temptation is expressly designed to transmute all potential response"—especially the sort of recourse to Scriptural citation on display in the Geneva Bible's margins"—into fuel for his rhetorical machine: we can offer no sufficient reply however much we look to Scripture as the one sufficient text by which to answer him. The agency of answering is no more the reader's than it is the knight's. When not fallen to its damnable nadir, despair may be salutary"—both Luther in his theological argumentation and English pastors in their prescripted homilies promote it as the prelude to grace"—but it must nevertheless seem damnable to the sufferer, becoming manifest as spiritual health only later or from an outside perspective unavailable in Spenser's allegorical cave. Despair's ability to confound all mortal response renders him invincible in the mutable world, but because God's grace"—invoked and enacted by Una in her allegorical capacity as the true church"—is an infinite blessing, Una alone may nullify this most terrible of the devil's temptations, pending Christ's triumphant return at the end of time, when Despair "should die his last, that is eternally."

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIII (2008), pp. 73–102.

Judith H. Anderson, Flowers and Boars: Surmounting Sexual Binarism in Spenser's Garden of Adonis

Recent experiences teaching Spenser's Book III inform my skepticism regarding binaristic assumptions about sex and gender in the Garden of Adonis. The Garden Mount is ambiguously, or doubly, sexed. This doubleness is not that of the hermaphrodite or the androgyne, of visual, humanized forms belonging to the fixity of statues and to the landscape of quest beyond the Garden gates. The Garden is preeminently symbolic and mythic, rather than realistically anatomical or human in the quotidian sense, and it further resists full or consistent visualization for good reason. Like other features of the Garden, the flowers of poetic metamorphosis, of death and life and mutability and perpetuity, that grow in the Garden signal its earthly rather than heavenly nature. At the same time, however, the distance of the Garden from everyday life is vital to its regenerative vision. The coincidence of art with nature participates in the Garden's depiction of conjunctive generations that at once contain and surmount doubleness and difference. The punning senses of contain and generations (physical, cultural, and historical) begin to capture the simultaneities and complexities of this mythic place. The boar encaved beneath its Mount is at once a bisexual figure and a culminating emblem of containment in every sense of this fertile word. An attribute at once of Venus and Adonis, the boar conclusively depicts their ambisexuality.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIII (2008), pp. 103–118.

Brad Tuggle, Memory, Aesthetics, and Ethical Thinking in the House of Busirane

This essay investigates how Edmund Spenser borrows the architecture of the Old Testament Temple to build what Mary Carruthers describes as a ductus, or shaped experience, for readers of the House of Busirane episode of The Faerie Queene. A key figure in the historiography and uses of the Temple is Bernard of Clairvaux, who supported and helped found the Knights Templar. I suggest that Bernard might also be a key figure in Spenser's thinking about what I call the ethical programs of his poem, and I give evidence of the plausibility of this for a Protestant thinker. Considering the episode as a poem for readers to use, I argue that the episode is built to allow readers to think and remember in ways that are simultaneously unique and common.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIII (2008), pp. 119–151.

Sean Henry, How doth the little Crocodile improve his shining Tale: Contextualizing the Crocodile of Prosopopoia: Or Mother Hubberds Tale

By including a crocodile in the list of animals recruited as mercenaries by the Ape and the Fox in Mother Hubberds Tale, Spenser invokes a complicated discourse concerned with the natural history and symbolism of crocodiles in the early modern period. This essay ranges over The Faerie Queene, the sonnets of Visions of the Worlds Vanitie, the works of Pliny the Elder and his Renaissance followers, an anti-League text, and a painting commemorating the defeat of the Spanish Armada, to seek to set this one crocodile in context and to show how Spenser employs natural history for pointed allegorical ends.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIII (2008), pp. 153–179.

Rachel E. Hile, Louis du Guernier's Illustrations for the John Hughes Edition of The Works of Mr. Edmund Spenser (1715)

In 1715, Jacob Tonson published in duodecimo the first illustrated edition of the works of Edmund Spenser, edited by John Hughes and illustrated by Louis du Guernier. The du Guernier illustrations were undoubtedly an important part of the eighteenth-century reader's experience of Spenser, yet Spenserians have had little to say about them. This article begins with a discussion of du Guernier's life and work, offering some explanations for why his work has been so often disparaged as well as a defense of his importance as an illustrator at the time he made the Spenser illustrations. An analysis of John Hughes's ideas about the affinities between painting and allegory leads to a consideration of how these ideas affected du Guernier's attention to allegory in illustrating Spenser's works. The article closes by examining several of du Guernier's Spenser illustrations, focusing attention on both du Guernier's allegorical illustrations and the ways in which his illustrations of particular episodes show the influence of Hughes's criticism of Spenser's poetry.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIII (2008), pp. 181–213.

David Scott Wilson-Okamura, Errors about Ovid and Romance

What is the difference between epic and romance? Spenser did not use either term and contemporaries who did gave varying accounts. Since the late 1970s, epic has been associated with Virgil and closure, romance with Ovid and digression. Today the conventional wisdom is that Ovid was an anti-Virgil; that he furnished Spenser with a model for honorable exile; and that he licensed a style of narrative, romance, in which endings are deferred indefinitely. The evidence for this view needs to be reexamined. Is our reading of Ovid sentimental? Was Ireland, for Spenser, a place of exile or, as Jean Brink has argued, preferment? What did commentators say about Ovid's conclusion? Finally, is it true that romance, as a genre, is more open-ended than epic? What was the practice of romance authors, and how was it theorized by literary critics?

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIII (2008), pp. 215–234.

Bas Jongenelen And Ben Parsons, The Sonnets of Het Bosken by Jan Van der Noot

Jan Van der Noot (c.1540–c.1601) is a central figure in Dutch literature, widely regarded as the first true Renaissance poet in the Netherlands. He was the earliest Dutch poet to imitate Ronsard, Baïf, and Petrarch, and the first to use the sonnet-form. Van der Noot also has vital links with sixteenth-century England and English literature. While living in London (1567–72), he produced the source-text for Spenser and Roest's Theatre of Voluptuous Worldlings. Yet despite this contribution, he is frequently overlooked by English-speaking critics. Even when he does receive consideration, he is seldom viewed as a poet in his own right. As an attempt to redress this, we offer here fresh translations from Van der Noot's work, lightly annotated throughout, concentrating on the sonnets that are the lynchpin of his reputation.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIII (2008), pp. 235–255.

Two Copies of the 1596 Faerie Queene: Annotations and an Unpublished Poem on Spenser

On the Margins of The Faerie Queene


An Early Modern Male Reader of The Faerie Queene


These paired but independent essays report on the marginalia in several copies of Spenser's Faerie Queene. The first, by Tianhu Hao, describes the annotations in a copy of the 1609 edition held by Columbia University's Rare Book and Manuscript Library, annotations that illustrate the degree to which early modern readers could actively participate in the texts they read. The second, by Anne Lake Prescott, describes notes or markings in two badly damaged copies of the 1596 Faerie Queene, both in the possession of the essay's author, that likewise show such participation. One of the volumes was later owned by one John Sheridan, probably an Irish barrister of that same name living in England and a member of the Middle Temple, who in 1771 wrote his ecstatic appreciation of the poet in a hitherto unpublished Spenserian stanza.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIII (2008), pp. 257–273.

David Scott Wilson-Okamura, When Did Spenser Read Tasso?

WHEN DID EDMUND SPENSER (1554–99) read Torquato Tasso (1544–95)? Specifically, when did he read Tasso's second epic, Gerusalemme liberata (1581)? Was it in England, where he read Ariosto and Marot, and where he wrote The Shepheardes Calender (1579)? Or was it in Ireland, where Spenser spent almost his whole adult life and composed most of The Faerie Queene (1590, 1596)?

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIII (2008), pp. 277–282.

Lauren Silberman, "Perfect Hole": Spenser and Greek Romance

When, at the conclusion of Book III of The Faerie Queene, Britomart rescues Amoret from Busirane, Amoret is described in Spenser's words as being restored, "perfect hole." A number of Spenser critics, most notably Jonathan Goldberg and Maureen Quilligan, have seen in the spelling of whole "H-O-L-E" the possibility of a naughty pun. A. Kent Hieatt disallows the pun and cites the Spenser Concordance to the effect that Spenser tends to use "hole" and "holesome" to mean "healthy" (as in Amoret's case), but "whole" to meant "entire." I argue that "perfect hole" is a bilingual pun that brings together both "healthy" and "entire" as possible meanings. With the phrase "perfect hole," Spenser makes reference to the Greek romance Clitophon and Leucippe by Achilles Tatius. At one point in that work, the heroine Leukippe seems, through a theatrical trick, to be eviscerated and then restored to wholeness. The Greek word used to describe the transformation is holókleron (?????????), or, perfect whole. This episode of Clitophon and Leucippe, which underlies Amoret's restoration, as she is rendered "perfect hole," brings the role of drama and dramatists in Spenser's rendition more clearly into focus. Busirane has traditionally been read as an artist figure and potential dark double of Spenser, but Busirane's specific role as a dramatist merits further attention in light of the Greek subtext, as do complex negotiations of page and stage in the scene of Busirane's castle.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIII (2008), pp. 283–291.

William E. Bolton, Anglo-Saxons in Faerie Land?: A Note on Some Unlikely Characters in Spenser's Britain moniments

Within the historical sections of the The Faerie Queene, Anglo-Saxons represent negative, violent forces against which King Arthur's British forefathers must contend. This essay argues that as antagonists, Anglo-Saxons in the poem are a type of dramatic foil. They can be seen to represent the historical enemies of Queen Elizabeth, as well as the opposite of the allegory of temperance explored in Book II. These Germanic invaders are violent, rash, and treacherous"—all characteristics at odds with the virtues and the monarch Spenser praises in the poem. Furthermore, in a complicated move Spenser uses the Anglo-Saxon, Angela, as the direct inspiration for both Britomart's transvestism and warlike prowess. By using a character whose kinsmen are described in strictly negative terms as inspiration for Britomart, Spenser underscores the transgressive and confused nature of the virgin knight's character.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIII (2008), pp. 293–301.

Rebecca Olson, A Closer Look at Spenser's "Clothes of Arras and of Toure"

In The Faerie Queene III, Britomart encounters "clothes of Arras and of Toure" in the Castle Joyous (III.i.34.2). While "Arras" clearly refers to that city's great tapestry workshops, which made "arras" synonymous with high-quality hangings, Spenser's allusion to "Toure" is more mysterious"—does this truncated word refer to the French city Tours or, rather, the Flemish Tournai? This short essay makes a renewed case for Tournai: I argue that Spenser's singular word "Toure" might in fact refer to the Tournai workshop's distinctive mark"—a tower"—and thus underscore his fictional tapestries' correspondence to those on display in Elizabethan courts.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIII (2008), pp. 303–307.

Fred Blick, Spenser's Amoretti and Elizabeth Boyle: Her Names Immortalized

On the evidence of The Fairie Queene, Spenser has long been recognized as a master of hovering puns and allusions. However, in the Amoretti he deployed this skill further by immortalizing the name of his bride to be, Elizabeth Boyle, by devices of word play. He appears to have fulfilled the promise of immortality for her name which he made in Amoretti sonnet 75. Spenser's ingenuity was such that, except for critical recognition of the references to "my Helice" (my Elise) in sonnet 34 and to "three Elizabeths" in sonnet 74, his loving but humorous name play has hitherto gone unnoticed. A consideration of new examples of name play enlivens a reading of the Amoretti and reveals how Elizabeth joined in the game by an allusive depiction of Spenser and of herself in a beautiful piece of her own drawn work embroidery.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXIII (2008), pp. 309–315.

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Volume XXII, 2007

David Galbraith And Theresa Krier, Spenser's Book of Living

The papers in this volume emerge from the conference "Spenser's Civilizations" held in Toronto in May 2006.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXII (2007), pp. 1–4.

Paul Stevens, Spenser and the End of the British Empire

Over the last decade or so the term "empire" has acquired a dramatic new currency. Like its cognate term "imperialism," the term Joseph Schumpeter's work did so much to illuminate in the 1950s, empire is a catch-all phrase, usually taken to mean some kind of aggressively expansive entity or polity whose claims to authority are absolute. My principal aim in this essay is to enlist Spenser's aid in coming to a fuller understanding of what we might mean by empire. My argument falls into two parts: first, I want to focus on the role Protestantism, specifically its articulation of the argument of grace, played in stimulating and shaping English or British imperial expansion; and second, I want to consider what it might tell us about the larger significance of the term empire.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXII (2007), pp. 5–26.

Judith Owens, Memory Works in The Faerie Queene

Ruddymane's episode in The Faerie Queene reveals that Spenser is deeply interested in the process by which the affective dynamics of family life could be transferred to the moral and spiritual life of a nation. But he is acutely aware that such transference is difficult and costly to effect, partly because the work of memory in joining strong affect to virtuous intent in the service of the commonwealth remains fractured, and fracturing. This essay focuses these matters through the lenses provided by wills and wardships, a context we are invited to adduce when Guyon becomes the de facto executor of Amavia's nuncupative will and establishes the terms of wardship for Ruddymane. Wills and wardship cast into high relief the contradictions informing memory's role in the creation of heroic agency in the service of the commonwealth.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXII (2007), pp. 27–45.

Richard A. Mccabe, "Thine owne nations frend/And Patrone": The Rhetoric of Petition in Harvey and Spenser

This essay examines the topos of friendship in the rhetoric of Early Modern petition and patronage. Concentrating upon the works of Harvey, Spenser, Churchyard, and Ralegh, it seeks to analyze the various ways in which the Horatian paradigm of an idealized, if far from ideal, relationship between poet and patron is used to negotiate problems of social inequality and to attempt to resolve the perceived conflict between artistic independence and political obligation. It demonstrates how the fabrication of complex fictions of "amicitia" functions to manipulate the reader's apprehension of authorial personae, arguing that suggestions of mutual reciprocity are designed both to exploit and to palliate the self-serving economy of poetic service, political clientage, and material reward.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXII (2007), pp. 47–72.

James M. Nohrnberg, Alençon's Dream/Dido's Tomb: Some Shakespearean Music and a Spenserian Muse

The essay visits Spenser's poetical fictions for some themes of Elizabethan marital politics and the dialectic of Accession and Succession: as they might be refashioned and refigured in Shakespeare's epithalamic A Midsummer Night's Dream, with its dialectic of Nature and Culture. Malecasta's court and the contretemps during Britomart's adventure there are compared to the shenanigans at the court of Elizabeth's rival the Queen of Scots and the Northern rebellion, and Busirane's tyranny over Amoret is compared to Queen Elizabeth's anxieties over the French marriage. Received identifications of Braggadocchio and Trompart with Alençon and Simier, in their assault on Belphoebe (and of the fox and ape in their assault on the sleeping lion), are applied to the liaison of Bottom and Titania. And the virtual kidnapping of Shakespeare's Indian boy by the dramatist's royal fairies is read as an allusion to the dynastic replacement of the Tudors on the English throne by the Scottish Stuart known as the Cradle King.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXII (2007), pp. 73–102.

Gordon Teskey, Thinking Moments in The Faerie Queene

To ask how Spenser thinks in The Faerie Queene is to look past traditional notions of what the poem is"—on the one hand, pure poetry, on the other hand, moral allegory"—and also to look past familiar notions of thinking, e.g., thinking having an end outside itself, such as wisdom; and thinking as pure cerebration apart from the material world. Developing by entanglement and progressing through moments, in the Hegelian sense of the term, thinking in The Faerie Queene is not an answering but a searching of questions initially asked, leading to the totally unexpected, the new.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXII (2007), pp. 103–125.

Rebeca Helfer, Remembering Sidney, Remembering Spenser: The Art of Memory and The Ruines of Time

This article explores the art of memory in The Ruines of Time, especially in its memorial to Philip Sidney. The art of memory here represents not only the use of places and images as an aid to recollection, but also a story of history"—a narrative about building upon the ruins of the past"—drawn from the art's origin as told in Cicero's De oratore: the tale of the poet Simonides, which Cicero uses as a frame tale for his recollection of Rome's ruin. Spenser's poem marks his and Sidney's dialogue about the Ciceronian art of memory and its relation to England's collective memory, articulated in Sidney's Defense of Poetry and its response to The Shepheardes Calender and then continued in The Ruines of Time.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXII (2007), pp. 127–151.

Andrew Wallace, Edmund Spenser and the Place of Commentary

The paper argues that the enigmatic commentator E. K.'s often baffled, often baffling engagement with Spenser's pastoral poems generates problems which gradually become integral to Spenser's art. It argues, further, that the scholarly apparatus that brackets each of the New Poet's pastoral poems in 1579 becomes internal to the rhetorical and narrative mechanics of The Faerie Queene. As if reflecting on the particular encounter between commentator and text that gives material form to The Shepheardes Calender (a book in which poetry constantly rubs elbows with commentary), Spenser adopts as one of his chief intellectual preoccupations the encounter between puzzled, desiring observer or interpreter and the baffling, recalcitrant spectacle or work of art. These preoccupations reemerge forcefully during Britomart's sojourn in the House of Busirane, which the essay reads as an allegory of the practice and position of commentary.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXII (2007), pp. 153–170.

Lindsay Ann Reid, Certamen, Interpretation, and Ovidian Narration in The Faerie Queene III.ix–xii

Considering the "vile Enchaunter" Busirane as an Ovidian author, and using his tapestries as a point of reference, this paper probes the dynamics of Ovidian discourse in The Faerie Queene III. Cantos ix–xii form a discrete narrative unit within the larger book, and, in these cantos, we find three distinct Ovidian voices: those of Paridell, Busirane, and the narrator. These voices"—which compete both against one another and their literary precedents for hermeneutic supremacy"—contribute to the poem's tangible Ovidian spirit. Using Ovid's character-author and textual critic Arachne as a model for all later interpreters of Ovidian text, this paper investigates the idea that interpretation necessarily relies upon certamen. A consideration of Paridell's and Busirane's literal responses to and reproductions of mythological caelestia crimina helps to elucidate not only how Ovidian irony works in Book III's narrative polyphony, but also how the ostensibly discordant Ovidian voices in Cantos ix–xii cumulatively contribute to Book III's metaliterary self-consciousness.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXII (2007), pp. 171–184.

Linda Gregerson, Spenser's Georgic: Violence and the Gift of Place

This essay reconsiders the functions of georgic in The Faerie Queene, Book I and A Vewe of the Present State of Ireland, arguing that Virgil plays a crucial role in Spenser's evolving ethic of human habitation. At the heart of georgic, both Virgilian and Spenserian, lies an ethical conundrum: a double allegiance to peaceful or ameliorative co-existence and to the violent imposition of human will. While he posits what we might call an "ecological" vision of interlocking systems, grounded in affective attachment to abode, Spenser never resolves the violence inherent in human cultivation. Indeed, he offers a further account of its radical persistence.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXII (2007), pp. 185–201.

Andrew Escobedo, Daemon Lovers: Will, Personification, and Character

Spenser reveals little interest in the representation of free and independent choice. His characters' choices don't produce narrative consequences so much as the narrative appears to determine their choices. Yet The Faerie Queene does show intense interest in the expression of will"—Duessa exerts a "cursed" will, Arthur asserts a "will to might," Scudamour's will is "greedy," etc. But what would it mean to say that a character wills, but does not choose? And could we call such a character an agent? To answer these questions, this essay revisits the notion of personification allegory as "daemonic possession" and treats it as a form of inspired motivation, one that achieves not choice but rather something we might call volitional mastery. Britomart's erotic adventures in Busirane's castle serve as a primary example.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXII (2007), pp. 203–225.

Elizabeth Jane Bellamy, Spenser's "Open"

Continental postmodernism's influential "return to ethics" has recently revisited such figures as Bataille, Girard, Kristeva, Lacan, and others in order to pursue the question of the animal as the repressed other of Western culture. At the same time, a recent trend in early modern cultural studies has begun investigating sixteenth- and seventeenth-century perspectives on human- animal difference. This essay does not attempt an impossible"—and, perhaps, even undesirable"—bridging of early modern and early modernist inquiries into animal being. But, in its broadest scope, it is concerned with how The Faerie Queene opens up beyond its own historicity to take its place in a genealogy of Western culture's ongoing discourse, from Aristotle to Descartes to Heidegger, on the question of the animal as bearer of absolute alterity. This essay offers no polemic on whether Spenser's poetry anticipates a liberal humanist preoccupation with animal rights. Rather, it eventually focuses on a particularly moment early in The Faerie Queene that reveals Spenser's anxiety that our access to animality"—more particularly, to insect-being"—is less mediated than we might think.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXII (2007), pp. 227–241.

Joseph Loewenstein, Gryll's Hoggish Mind

This essay begins from the observation that Spenser has virtually no affective engagement with fauna, an observation supported with details from The Shepheardes Calender. Yet Spenser asserts the kinship of certain humans and certain animals, in moments throughout The Faerie Queene, especially its first two books. This kinship Spenser thinks out through the traditions of philosophical skepticism and its particular totem animal, the pig (as in Plutarch's Gryllus or Gelli's Circe), traditions that demote the human and human reason, and/or insist on the animal nature of the human. The essay considers not only Spenser's Grylle in FQ II.xii, but also the lion of FQ I.iii, who focuses the centrality of a virtue difficult for Redcrosse, that of fellow-feeling, or what we now call the problem of other minds.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXII (2007), pp. 243–256.

Elizabeth D. Harvey, Nomadic Souls: Pythagoras, Spenser, Donne

This essay examines Spenser's intertextual relationship to John Donne's fragmentary poem, Metempsychosis, or The Progress of the Soul (1601), a satiric narrative that charts the progress of a migratory soul through a series of vegetable, animal, and human incarnations. Donne's use of a modified Spenserian stanza for his poem forges a link with Spenser, but we do not know what part of Spenser Donne meant to evoke. I propose two possibilities: The Complaints (Mother Hubberds Tale and Visions of the Worlds Vanitie) and Book II of The Faerie Queene (The Castle of Alma and Grill in the Bower of Bliss). The portrayal of unrestrained sexual and predatory appetite in Metempsychosis retrospectively illuminates important aspects of Spenser's medical depiction of the body, the senses, the mental faculties, and their interactions in the castle of the soul. I argue that reading Spenser through Donne allows us to understand both the philosophical foundations of Spenser's representation of body-soul relations (Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, Ralegh, La Primaudaye) and the ethical dimensions of his depictions of animals (in relation to Plutarch and Montaigne) and the animal or sensible soul.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXII (2007), pp. 257–279.

Garrett A. Sullivan, Jr., Afterword

This afterword considers the different ways Shakespeare and Spenser take up the problem of the human. Whereas Shakespeare grounds his examination in subjectivity, Spenser focuses on vitality, a difference that contributes to the perception, often encountered in the classroom, of Shakespeare as familiar and Spenser as alien. This essay concludes by championing Spenser's seeming alterity"—by, that is, noting the continued significance of Spenser's conception of human vitality as both untethered to subjectivity and continuous with animal and vegetable life.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXII (2007), pp. 281–287.

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Volume XXI, 2006

Theresa Krier, Time Lords: Rhythm and Interval in Spenser's Stanzaic Narrative

This paper, the Kathleen Williams Lecture for 2006, uses the katabasis motif of The Faerie Queene Ito formulate functions of the stanzaic interval and its alternation with stanzas, arguing that this form, best understood as the temporal phenomenon of the sojourn, shapes readerly experience, and that it has implications for genre and literary history. The paper examines the Night episode in Faerie Queene I.v; it examines the kind of reader proposed by Jonathan Goldberg in his 1981 book Endlesse Worke; it moves to the tradition of neoplatonically-inflected allegorical fiction with its journeys among multiple regions of the cosmos; it concludes with an analysis of George Saintsbury's famous remarks about the Spenserian rhythm.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXI (2006), pp. 1–19.

Steven K. Galbraith, Spenser's First Folio: The Build-It-Yourself Edition

The first folio of Spenser's works appears to play the traditional role of the literary folio and serve as a monument to its author. A thorough examination, however, reveals a cheaply produced and bibliographically unstable folio, which was printed in sections over the course of more than a decade. Further investigation of the folio's print history suggests that its instability was a part of an intentional strategy by its publisher, Matthew Lownes, to create a publication that accommodated both bookseller and book buyer. The result was a "build-it-yourself" folio that was more cost-effective for the publisher and provided more buying options for consumers.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXI (2006), pp. 21–49.

Patrick Perkins, Spenser's Dragon and the Law

This essay claims that the dragon curbing the liberty of the citizens of Eden in Book I of Spenser's The Faerie Queene is the last in a series of representations of the Law of God. Such a depiction of the Law, I argue, can be traced to Martin Luther's theology, and to his Lectures on Galatians in particular, where he claims that the Law is the principal weapon of "that 'great dragon, the ancient serpent, the devil, the deceiver of the whole world, who accuses our brethren day and night before God' (Rev. 12:9–10)."

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXI (2006), pp. 51–81.

Kirsten Tranter, "The sea it selfe doest thou not plainely see?": Reading The Faerie Queene, Book V

Book V of The Faerie Queene represents contemporary events and aspects of Elizabethan policy in mostly unmistakable form. However, as Spenser moves the matter of his allegory closer to such recognizable historical referents, his insistence on the instability of reference intensifies. In Canto ii, Artegall's encounter with the Mighty Gyant introduces uncertainty around the interpretation of "plaine" appearance and the status of figurative language as a representational device. Malfont, the tortured poet of Canto ix, is read as a model of how irony and ambiguity may be mobilized as a defense against potentially disastrous misreading. The question of how to read Malfont shows how The Faerie Queene's typical recommendation of skeptical reading is reshaped in Book V in response to the political pressures of history.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXI (2006), pp. 83–107.

A. E. B. Coldiron, The Widow's Mite and the Value of Praise: Commendatory Verses and an Unrecorded Marginal Poem in LSU's Copy of The Faerie Qveene 1590

This essay introduces a previously unstudied commendatory poem inscribed in a first edition copy of The Faerie Qveene (London: Ponsonby, 1590). Bound with a copy of 1596, this volume also contains corrections in the same hand that exceed those of the errata slip. Although the available evidence is not sufficient to establish the poem's authorship, the poem is inscribed in the middle of an important epideictic literary context, the Commendatory Verses and Dedicatory Sonnets. While adopting some conventions of Renaissance praise poetry"—allusiveness, aemulatio, treatment of the poet's Muse and chosen genres"—it ignores others. The margin poem, as script poems often do, challenges the literary conventions and values of the printed poems, inviting reconsideration of its commendatory context. This poem takes its cue from the mercantile implications of the final Commendatory Verse, Ignoto's skeptical "To looke vpon a worke of rare deuise" (CV 7). By means of the familiar parable of the widow's mite, the handwritten poem inverts Ignoto's trade-based poetic economy and recalibrates the literary worth of the Commendatory Verses.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXI (2006), pp. 109–131.

Kenneth Borris, Sub Rosa: Pastorella's Allegorical Homecoming, and Closure in the 1596 Faerie Queene

Pastorella's homecoming at Belgard, which fills half the final canto of the 1596 Faerie Queene, should have some climactic importance for both Book VI and Spenser's poem as a whole, but it has appeared relatively insignificant, for most scholarship addressing Book VI published during the last twenty years says little or nothing about it. However, the episode involves an allegory of major interpretive importance, with tropological and anagogical aspects. Pastorella's return to Belgard involves detailed textual correspondences with the formerly well-known Parable of the Prodigal Son, and even repeats some of the parable's diction as in sixteenth-century English Bibles. According to an interpretive consensus extending from patristic exegetes to Elizabethan Protestants, that parable uses family reunion to portray God as a loving parent who cherishes as his children those who are lost to him but return, and restores their heavenly inheritance. As in The Fowre Hymnes and the Graces episode of Book VI, Spenser's syncretic and eclectic writings involve some profound engagements with Platonism, and by reviewing comments of Plotinus, Ficino, Leone Ebreo, Castiglione, and Spenser himself, we find the quasi-prodigal allegory of Pastorella's homecoming draws further on some complementary motifs, metaphors, and concepts of Platonic discourse. Melissa effects Pastorella's restoration to her parents as heir of Belgard, and her obvious counterpart in romantic epic would have been Ariosto's Melissa in the Orlando furioso, who signified the restorative power of divine grace according to most of Ariosto's allegorical commentators, including Spenser's contemporary Sir John Harington. These findings much enhance appreciation of the philosophical and theological depth of Book VI and its conclusion of the 1596 Faerie Queene. Besides revising our notions of Book VI, Courtesy, and its allegorical development, and thus opening up that book to many new considerations and inquiries, knowledge of Belgard's parabolic and Platonic allegorism reveals new thematic and structural correlations between the ending of Book I and that of the whole Faerie Queene in the final published format that Spenser authorized. As when closing Book I, for example, Spenser models the end of Book VI on passages of the Book of Revelation. Reassessment of the Belgard episode thus enables redefinition of closure in the 1596 Faerie Queene, and the poem's general structure.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXI (2006), pp. 133–180.

Matthew Woodcock, Spenser and Olaus Magnus: A Reassessment

At several points in A View of the Present State of Ireland Spenser cites a work by the Swedish Catholic prelate Olaus Magnus, the Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus or "Description of the Northern Peoples" (Rome, 1555). Olaus's Historia rarely features in discussion of Spenser's use of sources, though it was clearly one of a number of texts he uses when constructing his depiction of Irish customs and tracing their origins in Scythian culture. This essay introduces Olaus's life and work, and its relevance to Spenser, before reassessing earlier attempts at tracing his influence in The Faerie Queene. Focus then turns to the specific citations of the Historia made in the View and to the kind of text that Spenser believes he draws upon, in particular how he appears to read or remember Olaus's work as offering a form of cultural or ethnological history of the Scythians. Understanding how Spenser read Olaus's work"—and possibly that of his brother Johannes Magnus"—is thus fundamental to our comprehension of how he uses the Scythians to characterize Irish barbarity.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXI (2006), pp. 181–204.

Judith H. Anderson, Patience and Passion in Shakespeare and Milton

The ancient topos agere et pati, to do and to suffer, to aggress and to be patient, is conceptually a catalyst in major plays by Shakespeare and major poetic writings by Milton. Patience itself, as a combination of passion and passivity, has a transformative role in King Lear and a critical role in Othello, as well. In Milton's poems after his loss of sight, however, the traditional binarism of patient endurance and assertive action fully yields to an original, unifying vision. This is true in his Sonnet XIX: "When I consider how my light is spent," in Paradise Lost, and in Paradise Regained, both of which oppose war and violence. In Samson Agonistes, however, Milton starkly reasserts the realities of history and personal situation. These make a difference that challenges and modifies his earlier unifying vision, while not entirely rejecting it.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXI (2006), pp. 205–220.

Barbara Brumbaugh, Edgar's Wolves as "Romish" Wolves; John Bale, Before Sidney and Spenser

Both Philip Sidney and Edmund Spenser link comments on royal policies that eradicated wolves from England to remarks on allegorically "papist" wolves. This brief article notes that several decades prior to Sidney or Spenser another ardent English Protestant, John Bale, directly connected references to these two varieties of wolves. The article also speculates that Bale's harshly negative assessment of King Edgar, the monarch usually credited with eliminating wolves from England, might illuminate one reason why Sidney, unlike Spenser, avoids explicitly recognizing Edgar's responsibility for freeing his land from these dangerous beasts. Finally, the article discusses Bale's negative treatment of Rome's legendary founders, Romulus and Remus, who were said to have been suckled by a she-wolf, to elucidate how this myth lent additional resonance to Protestant references to "papists" as wolves and to the Church of Rome as the Whore of Babylon.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXI (2006), pp. 223–230.

Andrew Zurcher, Spenser's Studied Archaism: The Case of "Mote"

For all the critical consensus that Spenser's poetic diction is archaic, artificial, often studded with dialect forms, orthographically knotty, and above all, difficult, we continue to lack a modern, scholarly reappraisal of this language. In the light of the last century's work in historical lexicography, a huge expansion in the available text base of early modern manuscript and printed materials, and comparable studies of other contemporary poets and playwrights, this gap in Spenser scholarship might be thought severe especially considering that the only substantial academic accounts of Spenser's language, though now somewhat dated, queried whether his language was originally perceived to be as archaic, or as artificial, as has been supposed. This short, exemplary foray into Spenser's use of the modal auxiliary "mote" pilots, by way of introduction, some of the methods and (here, tentative) directions a more comprehensive study of Spenser's language might take on and take, suggesting that Spenser was studied, deliberate, and consistently engaged throughout his career in the choice of his archaic diction.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XXI (2006), pp. 231–240.

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Volume XX, 2005

Robert Ellrodt, Fundamental Modes of Thought, Imagination, and Sensibility in the Poetry of Edmund Spenser

A survey of Spenser's modes of thought and sensibility may bring out some individual characteristics despite his self-conscious use of rhetoric. His favorite stanza form reflects his vision of the world. His eclecticism in his philosophical and religious views rests on the coexistence of contraries without reconciliation, yet without tension. His wandering reverie, focused on isolated figures, associates static and dynamic elements. His praise of action is always undercut by a yearning for repose. A conjunction of contraries without discord may be traced in his conception of change and in his reconciliation of the active with the contemplative life. Apparent contradictions in his treatment of human and divine love are accounted for through a parallel with the Trattato dell' amore humano of Flaminio de Nobili.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XX (2005), pp. 1–21.

William A. Oram, Spenser in Search of an Audience: The Kathleen Williams Lecture for 2004

This essay gives an overview of Spenser's development after he realized, during his London trip in 1589–91, that neither the queen nor the court, of which he had hoped to become a member, was willing to accord him the respect that he saw as his due. But while he may have wished to turn his back on his court audience, there was, for an epic poet in the 1590s, no viable alternative. He reacted to his new awareness in several ways. He responded first with the Complaints, an angry attack on the court, which he nonetheless dedicated to court figures. In Amoretti & Epithalamion he experimented by reworking the court-centered forms of sonnet-sequence and epithalamion in bourgeois fashion, addressing himself to Elizabeth Boyle and a middle-class audience. Finally, in the second installment of The Faerie Queene he addressed the queen and his court audience with a new irony, staging himself for future readers as a poet-hero.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XX (2005), pp. 23–47.

Christine Coch, The Trials of Art: Testing Temperance in the Bower of Bliss and Diana's Grove at Nonsuch

This essay reconstructs the experience of visiting Diana's Grove at Lord Lumley's Nonsuch, a celebrated sixteenth-century pleasure garden, to show how the period's real gardens prepared readers to engage the didactic architecture of Spenser's Bower of Bliss. By establishing the parallel structural schemes of Bower and Grove, it demonstrates that Spenser's garden setting would have impelled contemporary readers to measure their own reactions to the Bower's moral tests against Guyon's. The paper traces the shifting triangulation of reader, knight, and garden to reveal Guyon as a flawed exemplum, an inadequate model of the right relation of virtuous man to sensuous art.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XX (2005), pp. 49–76.

Ayesha Ramachandran, Clarion in the Bower of Bliss: Poetry and Politics in Spenser's "Muiopotmos"

This paper explores the often remarked analogy between Spenser's "Muiopotmos" and the Bower of Bliss. It argues that by returning to the vexed problem of female authority, "Muiopotmos" challenges the epic poetics of the second book of the Faerie Queene. Both poems explore the relationship of gender and genre through analogies between aesthetic, erotic, and political control, commonly associated with Elizabeth's strategies of maintaining authority. However, the generic and textual parallels between Clarion's garden and Acrasia's bower, both worlds of romance entrapment, suggest that Spenser identifies Elizabeth's court with mêtis or cunning intelligence, a distinctly female power that opposes the characteristic bie (martial valor) of epic action. With a series of striking gender inversions, Spenser rewrites Guyon's flagrantly masculine display of epic strength as the destruction of the mock-epic hero of "Muiopotmos," thereby raising a troubling question for the poetry and politics of the Faerie Queene: can epic"—epic action, epic heroes and the writing of epic itself"—thrive in a courtly world governed by the shifting illusions of mêtis? A sobering answer emerges from the death of Clarion, the epic hero, in the feminine web of romance.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XX (2005), pp. 77–106.

Emily A. Bernhard Jackson, "Ah, who can love the worker of her smart?": Anatomy, Religion, and the Puzzle of Amoret's Heart

Amoret participates in the Masque of Cupid with her heart removed from her chest, pierced, and held in a basin before her. The apparent cruelty of this treatment is, in fact, based in Early Modern beliefs about the role of the heart as seat of the emotions, the notion of bleeding as a way of correcting humoral imbalances, and the heart as religious symbol. When Amoret's plight is reconsidered in light of these beliefs, both Busirane's cruelty and the masque itself take on new meaning. Contemporaries would have found Busirane's machinations comprehensible, indeed plausible. In light of these historical considerations, the masque deserves reassessment. This reassessment in its turn sheds light upon the masque's relationship to the larger theme of the cantos that surround it.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XX (2005), pp. 107–135.

Rebecca Yearling, Florimell's Girdle: Reconfiguring Chastity in The Faerie Queene

The minor crux in Book V, canto iii of The Faerie Queene in which the False Florimell is briefly seen to be wearing Florimell's magic girdle of chastity, has generally been viewed by critics as an authorial error or moment of inattention. The girdle, Spenser claims repeatedly, can only be worn by those who are "continent and chast," and the False Florimell hardly seems suitable as a representative of such virtues. However, it is possible to review this scene not as a mistake on Spenser's part, but as a pivotal moment in his continuing exploration of the meaning of "chastity" within the poem. The Faerie Queene contains two images of chastity"—the simple state of fidelity and virginity (essentially, the refusal of illegitimate sex) that characterizes most of the book's early relationships, and the more complex, inclusive, and socially weighted virtue that the poem later comes to consider as the ideal"—and the development between these concepts can be traced in the changing symbolic role of Florimell's girdle.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XX (2005), pp. 137–144.

Hossein Pirnajmuddin, The "antique guize": Persia in The Faerie Queene

As part of a larger project investigating the figurations of Persia in Renaissance English Literature, this essay traces the matter of Persia in The Faerie Queene and attempts to address some of the issues that compound any reading of the matter of the East in the light of Edward Said's notion of orientalist discourse. I suggest that whereas Persia figures as an imperial realm of pomp and glory in The Faerie Queene, the representation of Islam is adversarial in character. The paper addresses how and why it is so.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XX (2005), pp. 145–167.

D. Allen Carroll, The Meaning of "E. K."

If we hear these two characters together as a sounded word, and not as conventional initials standing directly for a name, then several fresh possibilities occur, one or more of which point to Gabriel Harvey himself or to Harvey and Spenser in collaboration as being responsible for the apparatus. There is eke or eek, that which is added on, lengthened "beyond its just dimensions, by some low artifice" (Dr. Johnson), a term also used back then for "a tag to a bell rope," that is, an add on, an extension, suggesting Harvey's father's occupation, and he the son of that father. Then there is the Latin ecce, in its classical pronunciation, for "Lo!," and "Behold," which points to something remarkable or wondrous (to signa et prodigia), here proclaiming the advent of "the new Poete." Ecce is the word voiced frequently by the angel herald and prophet, a Gabriel word that more than any other outside his real name would have identified Gabriel Harvey. "Ecce" is also in many contexts demonstrably ironic, meaning not, or not solely, "Look!," but rather "Look out!," "Don't be taken in!," here, in the case of the Calender, by the hoax. Finally, ecce may have suggested "Ecce signum!," with Spenser's initials, one of the two phrases in this period (the other is "Ecce homo!") regularly associated with ecce, according to the OED, with signum meaning "a sign in the heavens, a constellation" (as in the woodcuts) and also "surname." It is primarily through such aural associations with these paired characters "E. K." that we arrive at that cluster of verbal clues one or more of which help identify the annotator(s).

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XX (2005), pp. 169–181.

Steven W. May, Henry Gurney, A Norfolk Farmer, Reads Spenser and Others

From the leaves of Bodleian Library MS. Tanner 175 emerges a detailed portrait of a heretofore unknown and unstudied Elizabethan poet, critic, and bibliophile, Henry Gurney. From his seat at the manor of Great Ellingham, Norfolk, Gurney dispatched printed books and manuscripts to the most extensive coterie of named individuals identified to date in the Tudor and early-Stuart period. During the last decade of Queen Elizabeth's reign Gurney entered in the Tanner manuscript an inventory of his library as well as copies of more than 600 of his own poems. In several of these he explained in detail the poetic by which he judged good and bad poetry. He also transcribed his verse "censures" of more than a score of books he borrowed from the members of his circle. Among these works are titles by some of the age's most important writers including John Foxe, Robert Southwell, Richard Hakluyt, and two works by Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene and "Mother Hubberds Tale."

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XX (2005), pp. 183–223.

Tamara A. Goeglein, Reading English Ramist Logic Books as Early Modern Emblem Books: The Case of Abraham Fraunce

Historians of dialectical studies have long dismissed Ramist dialectic as rhetoricized logic in large measure because Ramist logic books exemplify logical principles with passages from oratory, poetry, and the Bible. These rhetorical illustrations consistently figure the logical abstractions in highly visual, concrete, and ekphrastic images and, thus, they often serve as "speaking pictures" for the Aristotelian taxonomies and nomenclature. The Ramist logic book might profitably be understood as bimedial, much like an emblem book, and its modus legendi a dynamic act whose end is acquiring conceptual knowledge. Focusing on the dialectical and emblematic writings of the Ramist Abraham Fraunce, this essay explores the extent to which Ramist habits of mind move between verbal thinking and visual thinking"—move between words and word-pictures"—to grasp the logical concepts printed on the pages of the popular dialectics.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XX (2005), pp. 225–252.


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Anthony Miller, Red Crosse's Imprisonment and Foxe's Inquisition

In Spenser's historical or prophetic allegory in The Faerie Queene, Book I, Orgoglio and Duessa are associated with the menance of Spain and Rome, and their prison with the horrors of the Spanish Inquistion as documented in John Foxe's Acts and Monuments. Correspondences include: the darkness and solitude of Red Crosse's prison; the despair bred by these conditions in the Christian not yet "thoroughly instructed in holy doctrine"; the combination of "ceremonial pomp" with "barbarous abuse and cruelty" that marks his captors; the secrecy, ignorance, and suppression of speech of the Inquisition, enancted in the figure of Ignaro. As in Foxe, this silence is answered in Spenser by the reports and appeals of Una and the Dwarf and by the witness of writings such as The Farie Queene itself.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XX (2005), pp. 255–263.

Jason Lawrence, Calidore fra i pastori: Spenser's return to Tasso in The Faerie Queene, Book VI

This essay focuses on Spenser's allusions to Tasso's episode Erminia fra i pastori from Canto VII of Gerusalemme liberata, to elucidate Calidore's increasing ambivalence towards his epic task in the final cantos of the last completed book of The Faerie Queene. I argue that a previously unacknowledged allusion to Tasso's dedicatory stanza to Alfonso II of Ferrara, in which the poet is described as a wanderer lost at sea until offered literary protection, as Calidore converses with Meliboe in Canto IX, demonstrates a sense of growing uncertainty in the figure of the poet himself. The latter part of the essay considers how Spenser's sustained reworking of the Petrarchan image of the lover as an endangered ship in the Amoretti offers an alternative passage for the ship conceits of The Faerie Queene, signalling a marked shift in the trajectory of Spenser's later poetic career.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XX (2005), pp. 265–276.

James Schiavone, Spenser's Augustine

A manuscript at Pembroke College, called Wren's Catalogue of the Library, Its Donors and Benefactors, contains a handwritten note about a library fine levied in 1545. This note proves that alumnus Thomas Pattenson had donated a complete ten-volume set of Augustine's Opera (Erasmus's edition) to Pembroke Library by that year. The presence of Erasmus's Augustine as part of Spenser's intellectual milieu has implications, especially as to the competing and nuanced interpretations of Augustine's theology available at Pembroke during the 1570s. Erasmus's arrangement and interpretation of Augustine's theological works highlights the shift from moral and sacramental theology in the anti-Donatist works (A.D. 393–411) to predestinarianism in the anti-Pelagian works (A.D. 412–30), making it possible that Spenser would have distinguished between the early and the late theology of Augustine. This distinction may shed light on the coexistence of predestinarian and free will statements and images in Book 1 of The Faerie Queene.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XX (2005), pp. 277–289.

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Volume XIX, 2004

Lauren Silberman, The Faerie Queene, Book V, and the Politics of the Text (The Kathleen Williams Lecture, 2002)

Reductively political criticism can have the effect of "decanonizing" Spenser for what Louis Montrose has termed Spenser's alleged "racist/ Misogynist/elitest/imperialist biases." The Faerie Queene is far more subtly engaged by politics than straightforward ideological critique generally allows for. As a test case, three stanzas from Book V of The Faerie Queene that articulate a fairly blatant misogyny and male supremacy are read with attention to how various textual processes undercut, subvert, or criticize explicit assertions or narrative situations in the text. Poetic context does not so much repudiate the ideological content of the passages as it disparages the explicit politics while letting it stand.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIX (2004), pp. 1–16.

Jeff Dolven, The Method of Spenser's Stanza

"The Method of Spenser's Stanza" proposes the analogy of method"—in its late sixteenth-century sense, particularly as associated with Ramus"—as a way of understanding how Spenser's stanza works. That stanza's two most distinctive moments, the medial couplet and its final alexandrine, have the nonnative (if by no means inevitable) effects of a second thought in the middest and a summary of sententious closure. It is a shape imposed on experience in order to yield, time after time, a particular form of thought, a particular kind of lesson. In this it is like the dream of a universal method which can be applied in order to give the same intelligibility to diverse materials (e.g., the tendency of Ramist analysis to reduce texts to a single "dialectical ratiocination"). Arthur's advice to Una after the defeat of Orgoglio ("Dear lady, then said that victorious knight [I.viii.44]) makes the principal example.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIX (2004), pp. 17–25.

Kenneth Gross, Shapes of Time: On the Spenserian Stanza

The Spenserian stanza is the poet's chief engine for organizing the ongoing, ever-expanding movement of his allegorical poem, an emblem of his attempt to order time and to discover the emergent orders of time, something exemplified in this essay by a crucial stanza from the Garden of Adonis, which shows well the form's intricacy and generosity, its power of continuity and transformation. The essay ends by juxtaposing this stanza form to that of Donne's unfinished satiric poem of1601, Metempsychosis, a work which adapts Spenser's stanza in a way that supports the poem's strange, often grotesque rethinking of the Spenserian vision of life and human creation as they exist in time.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIX (2004), pp. 27–35.

Shohachi Fukuda, The Numerological Patterning of The Faerie Queene I–III

Each canto of The Faerie Queene normally tells two episodes, or is written in two sections. Counting the number of stanzas of each section of the thirty-six cantos of the first three books shows that Spenser almost always tells his episodes in patterns that reveal numbers of significance, often using symmetry or the 2:1 ratio. Most notably, triple use of the number 27 in the first two consecutive cantos is brought into the second and third books at the major turning points, indicating structural contrasts. Thematic contrasts observed between the first two books are even reflected to some extent in numerical patterns. The fact that the numbers found in the canto patterns are all symbolic makes it possible to assume that Spenser premeditated this specific detail of each canto before writing it.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIX (2004), pp. 37–63.

Andrew Wallace, "Noursled Up in life and manners wilde": Spenser's Georgic Educations

Spenser's didactic ambitions for The Faerie Queene are directly implicated in the variety and complexity of the poem's narratives of education. The essay argues that georgic metaphors and practices establish a specific vocabulary for the educational problems in which Spenser's poem is so deeply interested. It argues, further, that the georgic strain in The Faerie Queene is not restricted to a specifically Virgilian context, and that Spenser is engaging with the georgic metaphors that humanist educators adduced as explanatory fictions for instruction. Spenser's interest in Virgil is indeed one part of this story, but The Faerie Queene's pedagogical georgic is also prominent in texts ranging from Xenophon's Cyropaedia to educational treatises by Erasmus, Richard Mulcaster, and others. Especially in his accounts of the educations of Red Cross and Satyrane, Spenser uses georgic to understand the process by which the pupil extrapolates from a set of specialized practices a pattern for more ambitious conduct in the world.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIX (2004), pp. 65–92.

Todd Butler, That "Saluage Nation": Contextualizing the Multitudes in Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene

While early modem theology has long been used as a stable source for interpreting The Faerie Queene, this essay argues that both Spenser's poem and that theology must be placed within their immediate historical and political context"—the struggle to reinvigorate the Church of England after the Marian persecution. Reading Una's encounters with Corceca and the satyrs (Book I) and Artegall's conflict with the Gyant (Book V) alongside contemporary religious tracts demonstrates how Spenser's poem reflects the difficulties England faced in attempting to reconstruct a Protestant religious polity. Images of the multitudes became politicized by both reformers and more conservative church officials, creating the potential for multiple interpretations of seemingly clear Biblical texts. The allegories of Spenser's Faerie Queene thus must be read in light of these conflicts, revealing that meanings once deemed transparently clear actually depend in large part upon the reader's own confessional allegiances.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIX (2004), pp. 93–124.

Paul Suttle, Moral Ambivalence in the Legend of Temperance

This essay considers the long-running debate as to whether, in the person of Guyon, Spenser means to champion or reject a particular conception of temperance, arguing instead that the moral ambivalence of all Guyon's achievements is itself the point. Guyon's world does not make available to him an ideal middle course between "forward" and "froward" extremes; rather he has two chief paradigms of virtue on which he can draw, themselves respectively "forward" and "froward" in character, and hence themselves open to the charge of being forms of the very intemperance they are meant to remedy. Whereas Book I establishes a Protestant as against a Catholic basis for morally interpreting the poem's action, Book II looks to build on that ground by testing against one another two leading Protestant notions of the virtuous life in such a way as to grapple seriously with the difficulties posed by each.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIX (2004), pp. 125–133.

James W. Broaddus, Renaissance Psychology and the Defense of Alma's Castle

A Renaissance Aristotelian-Galenic look at Guyon's faint and at the frailties exhibited earlier by Guyon and the Palmer calls attention to the physiological as well as the psychic in the episode at Alma's Castle. Approached physiologically, Maleger represents the curse of mortality understood either within or without the Christian faith, the curse as found in the Garden of Adonis: that because of which "All things decay in time, and to their end doe draw." Through his agents Maleger effects occasions of decay by exploiting psychic weaknesses; Maleger himself destroys through the "course of kinde." Guyon, even if aided by the Palmer, could not contend with Maleger because Maleger preys on frailties apparent in both Guyon and the Palmer. That Arthur successfully defends the Castle further differentiates the relationship of Guyon and the Palmer to Maleger's agents from the relationship of the two to Maleger himself.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIX (2004), pp. 135–157.

Raphael Lyne, Grille's Moral Dialogue: Spenser and Plutarch

Guyon and the Palmer do not have much time for the opinions of Grille, the recalcitrant pig who complains at being released from Acrasia's enchantment. But Grille has literary antecedents (in Plutarch, Montaigne, Erasmus, Gelli and others) who add to his impact on the reader's experience. Spenser does not give an explicit role to the tradition in which Grille's predecessors' views - ironically or otherwise-have some validity. Nevertheless it has a role, partly because Spenser's character resonates with tradition, and partly because the silencing of Grille might actually heighten interest in what he has to say. The story is a microcosm of The Faerie Queene in more than one way. It shows the rich and complex interaction between the poem and its contexts. It also shows the tense interaction between the central threads of meaning in the allegory and the other possibilities that the poem evokes.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIX (2004), pp. 159–176.

Alexandra Block And Eric Rothstein, Argument and "Representation" in The Faerie Queene, Book III

Book III of The Faerie Queene is highly organized as to structure, so as to model and clarify the providential world it depicts. Through this formal architecture, it also sets forth an argument about its central virtue, chastity. The main division of the Book is into thirds: the first and last four-canto groupings (1–4, 9–12) feature Britomart, and the middle four-canto grouping, 5–8, is devoted to Belphoebe and Amoret, and to Florimell. In turn, analogies and contrasts organize each group. In the first group, for example, Britomart's victories over non-generative, loveless Malecasta and Marinell (promiscuity, fearful virginity) flank her coming to terms with her own love and future lineage. These formal devices often do cognitive and evaluative work, since through contrast and analogy within his structure, Spenser defines chastity situationally. Marinell's is the in malo form of virginity, juxtaposed with Belphoebe's in bono form (cantos 4, 5); Belphoebe's good, embowered virginity is juxtaposed with good, procreative sexuality in the Garden of Adonis (5, 6), then with the witch's bad procreation (her son, her hyena-like beast, Snowy Florimell) and virginal Florimell's frustrated love in 7 and 8. These dyads form a logical, Ramist kind of argument. In it, he uses two kinds of representation, not mutually exclusive, one being the embodying of a virtue or vice and the other, the championing of a virtue or vice. Such considerations elucidate the precise nature and ends of Spenser's allegory.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIX (2004), pp. 177–207.

Jason Gleckman, Providential Love and Suffering in The Faerie Queene, Book III

This essay argues that Spenser is intrigued by the subtle yet significant difference between two kinds of human suffering: an unproductive self-generated discomfort (associated with such Church practices as hair shirts, fasting, and flagellation) and that ennobling, Job-like anguish that arises from harsh conditions imposed on the self from outside. In the Book of Chastity, Spenser uses the phenomenon of sexual desire as a way to examine these divine and debased components of human pain.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIX (2004), pp. 209–235.

Frank Ardolino, Spenser's Allusion to the Defeat of the Spanish Armada in Virgil's Gnat (550–92)

In "The Effect of the Defeat of the Spanish Armada on Spenser's Complaints," I argued that the visionary poems in this collection contain imagery drawn from contemporary accounts of England's naval victory in 1588. Spenser uses images of storms and ships wrecked in the tempestuous seas, the defeat of large animals by small ones, and the undermining and toppling of monumental edifices by natural elements to allude to and celebrate the defeat of Catholic Rome/Spain under Philip II, whose Babylonian pride was humbled by little England with the help of the "winds of God." Similarly, in Virgil's Gnat, the gnat's underworld account of the ill-fated return home of the Greeks after their victory in the Trojan war contains storm and shipwreck imagery, which Spenser uses to depict, in small, the defeat and dispersal of the Spanish Armada.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIX (2004), pp. 239–244.

Thomas Herron, Exotic Beasts: The Earl of Ormond and Nicholas Dawtry in Mother Hubberds Tale?

The satire of court corruption in the third episode of Mother Hubberds Tale has traditionally been read as referring allegorically to the English court. Certain signifiers have been overlooked, however, that turn our attention to intertwined Scottish and Irish politics as well. The poem would appear to sympathize with the travails of Nicholas Dawtry, the New English captain in Ireland and ambassador to the Scottish court. It may also condemn the "wilde" powers granted to the queen's cousin, Thomas Butler, earl of Ormond, whose coat-of-arms is found therein.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIX (2004), pp. 245–252.

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Volume XVIII, 2003

Theresa Krier, John Watkins, And Patrick Cheney, Introduction

This special issue of Spenser Studies traces its origin to an international conference, "The Place of Spenser: Words, Worlds, Works," held at Spenser's own Pembroke College in Cambridge, England, July 6–8, 2001, sponsored by the International Spenser Society.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVIII (2003), pp. 3–7.

Elizabeth J. Bellamy, Wind in Spenser's Isis Church

This essay revisits The Faerie Queene's Isis Church episode via a look back at Edgar Wind's Pagan Mysteries in the Renaissance. Upon recently rereading his book and encountering the intriguing embeddedness of Spenser within his foray into the symbolic worlds of the likes of Michelangelo, Veronese, Botticelli, and others, I wondered why Wind overlooked the Isis Church episode when expanding on his core concept of "pagan mysteries in the Renaissance." In general, Spenserians have not found Wind's intellectual-historical presuppositions and methods especially congenial. But a return to Wind's study can actually serve as a kind of wake-up call for readers of the Isis Church episode. Should we conclude that Isis Church is best read, in a Windian framework, as a "failed mystery?" To what extent is Wind's non-mention of Isis Church a spectral absent presence that should haunt any reading of the episode? My essay contends that a more positive outcome of Wind's non-mention of Isis Church is its uncanny suggestion of new protocols for rereading this episode.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVIII (2003), pp. 9–23.

Clare R. Kinney, Marginal Presence, Lyric Resonance, Epic Absence: Troilus and Criseyde and/in The Shepheardes Calender

The Shepheardes Calender suggests a conscious dialogue with Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde in Immerito's echo of the envoy of the Troilus in his dedicatory poem and Epilogue and in E.K.'s (mis)quotation of Pandarus's admonition to Troilus ("Uncouthe, unkiste") as he introduces the New Poet. These marginal allusions invite a larger consideration of Spenser's relations with the Troilus. Colin Clout, as well as Immerito, is "uncouthe, unkiste," and the Petrarchan impasse which threatens his artistic career resonates interestingly against lovelorn TroiIus's own rehearsal of the first English translation of a Petrarchan sonnet. The Shepheardes Calender provides an alternative to Colin's narcissistic lyricism in its anticipation of a "famous flight" to epic; this enacts a telling revision of Troilus's very different, post-mortem "flight" (which triggers Chaucer's epilogue). Chaucer's roman antique teases the proto-Virgilian Spenser with an English epic precursor that never was"—and perhaps renders all the more significant his later enfolding and completion of another Chaucerian romance within Book IV of his "poem historicall." The Faerie Queene's reinvocation of the English Tityrus revises, furthermore, E.K.'s brokering of Immerito: Spenser now recanonizes an alienated, "uncouthe, unkiste" Chaucer.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVIII (2003), pp. 25–39.

John Watkins, Polemic and Nostalgia: Medieval Crosscurrents in Spenser's Allegory of Pride

This essay recasts the perennial question of Spenser's Protestantism as a question of literary influence: how does The Faerie Queene'snostalgia for medieval representational systems qualify its effectiveness as Reformation polemic? Book I's sequential anatomies of pride in Redcrosse's encounters first with Lucifera and then with Orgoglio suggest the inadequacy of pre-Reformation confidence in human striving. Redcrosse more or less escapes the threat posed by the Seven Deadly Sins"—a topos that would have already looked antiquated to Spenser's late sixteenth-century readers"—but falls captive to a more comprehensive, ultimately more Protestant, figuration of pride as a misguided trust in the natural man. Yet this is only the first half of a complex intertextual story. As the second section of the essay suggests, the diptychal analysis of pride is itself sufficiently indebted to pre-Reformation commentaries to qualify Book I's denigration of the medieval past as a period of unmitigated error.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVIII (2003), pp. 41–57.

Andrew King, Lines of Authority: The Genealogical Theme in The Faerie Queene

The genealogical narrative in The Faerie Queene, drawing upon the "Brutan" history of Geoffrey of Monmouth and extending the line of British kings down to the Tudor dynasty, is a complex and challenging aspect of the poem that exists in strong relation to Spenser's overall concern with mutability. The genealogical narrative is part of an attempt to define the work as an epic, with a concomitant sense of national destiny and as an emblem for achieved constancy, but that attempt is thrown into the poem's arena and challenged by characters and events. Ideally, royal genealogy should present a rhythmic continuity that opposes and defeats mutability, analogous to the replenishing cycles of the Garden of Adonis. However, Spenser's intellectually honest work admits and explores the problematic nature of the genealogical narrative"—in particular, the problematic natures of Arthur and Elizabeth within that narrative. As historical particulars fail to cohere into an idealized providential narrative, the definition of The Faerie Queene itself as an epic comes under threat.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVIII (2003), pp. 59–77.

Harry Berger, Jr., Wring Out the Old: Squeezing the Text, 1951–2001

A profile of fifty years of criticism suggests the importance for Spenser studies of new approaches to questions concerning the repressiveness of allegory, the politics of gender, intertextual relations, and narratorial irony. Foremost among the effects of these changes on the interpretation of Book II of The Faerie Queene is an emergent attitude of skepticism toward the traditional reading in which the masculine protagonists of Temperance prove their virtue by defeating the wicked witch. The emergence of feminist and gender-oriented perspectives accompanied by more nuanced conceptions of literary mimesis has made it possible to read the demonization of Acrasia with suspicion and to explore the possibility that the misogynist and gynephobic representation of woman is a target rather a donnée of the second book; the possibility, in short, that Acrasia is a displacement of masculine akrasia. If Spenser is the poet's poet whose poetry is about poetry, this may be so in the sense that one of its dominant objectives is to critique"—and not merely to emulate"—the androcentricism of the epico-romantic discourse it celebrates and continues.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVIII (2003), pp. 81–121.

Gordon Braden, Pride, Humility, and the Petrarchan Happy Ending

Pride and humility are among the paired opposites so important to Renaissance Petrarchism. They sometimes figure in an assessment of the moral state of the male lover, but their most common usage is in connection with the female beloved, and often not in a high-minded way: the woman's resistance to her would-be seducer's suit is frequently attacked as a sin of pride. Spenser's Amoretti is particularly full of discussions of the woman's pride, but as part of an unconventional pattern: from the start that pride is both attacked and praised. This alternation is part of the dynamics of courtship as it is dramatized in the sequence, and also closely linked to the lover's early (and accurate) confidence that his suit will be successful. Understanding the pattern here can help allay the confusion caused by the superscription to sonnet 58, and also lead to a fresh appreciation of the conceits of sonnets 45 and 75.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVIII (2003), pp. 123–142.

Patrick Cheney, Dido to Daphne: Early Modern Death in Spenser's Shorter Poems

Recent scholarship on early modern death provides a compelling context for viewing Spenser, especially his shorter poems. Such scholarship emphasizes a new philosophy of death emergent in late-sixteenth-century England: death is annihilation, desire is death, and so humans triumph only through willing the performance of death. Spenser's poetry can be situated along the historic divide between these secular notions and more Christian ones. In November, Spenser presents Dido's death within a Christian poetics: when Colin is consoled though his transcendent vision, Spenser advertises his ability to help the nation mourn. His Complaints and such elegies as Astrophel fulfill this advertisement. Yet one poem lies beyond the poetics of Christian redemption: in Daphnaida, the process of death does not lead to transcendence or consolation. In this poem, which shatters the intertextual line of mourning from Theocritus to Chaucer, Spenser enters the dark terrain of early modern fatality. Anticipating Renaissance tragedy, he tells how the "ghost"of Daphne haunts the early modern imagination, including his own. This haunting may animate Fowre Hymnes and The Mutabilitie Cantos to produce their final affirmation.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVIII (2003), pp. 143–163.

Graham L. Hammill, "The thing/Which never was": Republicanism and The Ruines of Time

This essay discusses Spenser's engagement with republican political thought in The Ruines of Time, parts of Book V of The Faerie Queene, and in Spenser's dedicatory sonnet to Lewkener's translation of Contarini's De magistratibus et republica Venetorum (The Commonwealth and Government of Venice). Thisessay proposes that in The Ruines of Time Spenser invents a republican principal of poetry, one that intensifies his readers' responsibility for political thought, and it then goes on to explore this readerly responsibility in the poem and in the engagement of The Faerie Queene, Book V, with the emergent Dutch republic. While Spenser's poetry stages the limits of its own political thought, through abstraction and negation, it also provokes and solicits readers who can overcome these limitations.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVIII (2003), pp. 165–183.

Mary Ellen Lamb, The Red Crosse Knight, St. George, and the Appropriation of Popular Culture

This essay discusses early modern performances of St. George from pre-Reformation watches and ridings in urban centers such as Norwich and London, to the boisterous festivities of Wells in the early seventeenth century. This context restores a sense of Spenser's Red Cross Knight as a hybrid figure, existing in tension between the world of literate, even hyperliterate, readers, and a once common culture in the process of becoming increasingly, although by no means entirely, distinct. Through this creative tension, Book I forms a particularly productive site of contest as it engages the often complex and unstable cultural alliances of readers during a period of increasing social stratification in the late sixteenth century.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVIII (2003), pp. 185–208.

Bart Van Es, "The Streame and Currant of Time": Land, Myth, and History in the Works of Spenser

From his "most kyndly nurse" London "on Themmes brode aged backe" to his Irish home on "the Mullaes shore," Spenser recurrently situated himself in relation to rivers. In so doing the poet drew upon an established tradition of chorographic verse and prose. That tradition (which centered on Camden's Britannia) characteristically combined the description of land, myth, and history. This article approaches "The Place of Edmund Spenser" in relation to this mode of what George Wither called "topo-chrono-graphical" writing. In particular, it looks at the Marriage of Thames and Medway in Book IV of The Faerie Queene and at Colin Clouts Come Home Againe. Both, it suggests, are concerned with chorography, and in particular with the historical and mythic differences between Irish and English rivers when described by way of this form. Looking in detail at the Britannia and Spenser's river verses, the article sets out their complex engagement with what Camden himself termed "the stream and current of time."

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVIII (2003), pp. 209–229.

Grant Williams, Phantastes's Flies: The Trauma of Amnesic Enjoyment in Spenser's Memory Palace

The problem of Guyon's inauthentic subjectivity may be approached effectively by understanding his quest within the context of the discourses and practices of remembering rather than by detecting traces of a repressed libido. In Book II, the House of Alma constitutes a fantasy that takes the symbolic form of the memory palace, a phenomenological space regularly advocated by the art of memory. This memory palace, along with forays into zones of forgetting, impresses upon Guyon the injunction to know thyself common to the depiction of interiority in natural history discourse. The fantasy of remembering and forgetting ultimately shapes Guyon's desire to remember, constructing as the object of that desire the mnemonic image. However, when extracted from the fantasy field of Alma's house, mnemonic images are seen to be what they actually are: Phantastes's flies, buzzing and swarming with a life of their own. Surpassing the imaginary limits of identity formation in early modern mnemonic activity, Book II exposes the underside of amnesic jouissance to be found in the corporeal memory palace.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVIII (2003), pp. 231–252.

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Galina I. Yermolenko, "That troublous dreame": Allegory, Narrative, and Subjectivity in The Faerie Queene

Inspired by the studies of medieval dream vision allegories, this article explores the relationship between allegory and subjectivity in two "troublous" (i.e., insomniac and false) dream passages from The Faerie Queene: Redcrosse's sleep at Archimago's Hermitage (I.i.36–ii.6) and Scudamour's sleep at Care's Cottage (IV.v.33–46). The exploration focuses on the distinction between what is external and what is internal to the subject of the "vision," because the heroes' ability to understand their selfhood and the readers' ability to understand allegory's moral claims largely hinges on this distinction. The study relates the inner/outer dynamics within these passages to the workings of the narrative, namely, to the interaction between the main story (first-degree narrative, diegesis) and additional, or parallel stories (second-degree narratives, metadiegeses). The author argues that the shifting and collapsing of the boundaries between these narratives correlate with the blurring of the boundaries between the internal and external worlds, precluding both the heroes and the readers from recuperating the meanings of these "visions" satisfactorily.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVIII (2003), pp. 253–271.

A. C. Hamilton, Reminiscences of the Study of Spenser in Cambridge in the Late 1940s

Editor and critic A. C. Hamilton recalls his study of Spenser at Jesus College, Cambridge in the late 1940s and early 1950s, a post-World War II England that now seems more remote than only half a century ago, more like fairyland than the ordinary world. It is also remote from contemporary English studies and literary criticism, and particularly from the contemporary understanding of Spenser's Faerie Queene.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVIII (2003), pp. 275–286.

Thomas P. Roche, Jr., Spenser, Pembroke, and the Fifties

An anecdotal reminiscence about the year that Roche spent in Pembroke College, Cambridge, at the point when he became a Spenserian, owing to the influence of Harold Bloom and the arrival of C. S. Lewis at Cambridge. Concludes with the influence of Rosemond Tuve on his work and that of Alastair Fowler.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVIII (2003), pp. 287–293.

Elizabeth D. Harvey, Sensational Bodies, Consenting Organs: Helkiah Crooke's Incorporation of Spenser

This essay examines Helkiah Crooke's transposition of the body allegory in Book II of the Faerie Queene into his anatomical treatise, Microcosmographia (1615) . The central point of contact between the texts that I explore is Spenser's elision of the genitals, his refusal to include the sexual and reproductive organs in the knights' tour through the Castle of Alma. I contextualize Crooke's negotiation with this elision, and my aim is to suggest not only the intricate intertextual exchange between these medical and poetic texts, but also to examine the way the allegorical and anatomical modes are intertwined. I propose that Crooke's incorporation of Spenser makes manifest principles of allegory that in turn come to underpin early modern medical understandings of the body. Crooke's explicit decision to include the genitals in his anatomy provides an interpretation that may allow us to glean more about the enigmatic relationship among the organs of generation, the passions, the senses, and the mental faculties in The Faerie Queen.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVIII (2003), pp. 295–314.

Theresa Krier, Daemonic Allegory: The Elements in Late Spenser, Late Shakespeare, and lrigaray

Luce Irigaray reactivates for postmodern philosophy terms from the presocratics on the elements and elemental motion. After considering what this move allows her to think, this essay turns to an lrigarayan notion of elemental motion in relation to Mutabilitie and Shakespeare's Tempest"— forthe playwright has read the 1609 Faerie Queene closely, and responds to it. All three writers think out implications of personification allegory in relation to temporality, narrative sequence, and the theme of justice. Spenser's mythic allegory deploys ancient Stoic allegory, by which the vitality and superabundant will of deities is transformed into a physics taking the cosmos as pervaded by divine energies; The Tempest chooses this as mythic allegory's most attractive form of survival. It is precisely elemental motion as the daemonic that Shakespeare brings into drama from Spenser. So some allegory is daemonic, not in Angus Fletcher's sense of representing fixity of character, but in an almost opposite sense of structuring a fluid, lrigarayan movement-between. The essay concludes with some speculations on lrigaray's work on the mediating function of the placenta, and the maternal in The Tempest.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVIII (2003), pp. 315–342.

Gordon Teskey, "And therefore as a stranger give it welcome": Courtesy and Thinking

This essay uses Hamlet's and his companions' first encounter with the Ghost as a model for thinking, and traces its implications for allegorical thinking, chiefly in The Faerie Queene VI, through Heidegger's work on thinking. As in Spenserian Courtesy, thinking in Heidegger does not seize the object or dive into its center: it moves into nearness with the otherness of the stranger. The model of the unknown to which thought is directed is not the physical object, like a tool, the union of matter with form: the model of the unknown to which thought is directed is a person. The first claim of this essay about The Faerie Queene is that Spenser is not primarily a narrative poet but a poet whose concern is to think. Spenser thinks in subtle, allusive, indirect, and intuitive ways about problems too complex to be dealt with in the isolating, linear fashion with which human problems are usually met. The second claim of the essay, therefore, is that for Spenser thinking is an encounter with the strange to which courtesy is the key.

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Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVIII (2003), pp. 343–359.

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Volume XVII, 2003

M. L. Donnelly, The Life of Vergil and the Aspirations of the "New Poet"

Recent criticism has questioned as ahistorical the traditional view that Spenser deliberately embraced the Vergilian career path, seeing the English poet and Irish colonial functionary as moved instead by more various and worldly career goals analogous to those of contemporary place seekers like Gabriel Harvey. However, attention to the narrative of the poet's character and career usually prefixed to the published editions of Vergil's works in the Renaissance lends support to the traditional view. The Life of Vergil usually attributed to Aelius Donatus that Spenser would have known in any of variously accreted versions confirms the role of laureate poet as, not a modern construction, ahistorically imposed on the aspiring young English humanist intellectual, but a very specific model, quite available in the sixteenth century, though obviously not a suitable pattern for everyone. The Vergilian life has much to say about the rising poet's relations to patronage, to unexpected kinds of encyclopedic learning, to rival poetasters, and to the poet's grasp of practical ethical and political knowledge and responsibilities. Its representation of the poet's place in the definition and direction of the course of empire undercuts the argument that attribution of Vergilian laureate aspirations to Spenser wrongly aestheticizes his career and somehow places him above or outside his "determining social and political realities." To understand what role in life Spenser set out to play, it is essential to understand in detail the pattern or model held up to him for emulation by the traditional life of Vergil available in his time.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVII (2003), pp. 1-35.

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Benedict S. Robinson, The "Secret Faith" of Spenser's Saracens

In The Faerie Queene V.viii, Mercilla marshals her forces against "the Souldan" in a fight usually understood as an allegory of the invasion of England by Philip II's Armada. But why represent Philip II as a sultan? In this essay, I argue that Spenser assimilates Catholicism to Islam by writing together narratives of crusade with Protestant apocalyptics, which emphasized the identity of Islam and Catholicism as forms of false belief. He thereby refashioned medieval heroic poetry for a Protestant politics, offering a complex exploration of the fissures of religious identity after the Reformation. This essay forms part of a larger project arguing that English poets and playwrights responded to the roughly contemporary experiences of Ottoman expansion and Christian schism by adapting, rewriting, or resisting the conventions of "Saracen" romance. Fragments of romance echo through a variety of texts, even those seemingly remote from romance. I read this as evidence of an ongoing engagement with problems of religious and national identity in an age of Christian religious warfare and increasing diplomatic and commercial contact with the Islamic world.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVII (2003), pp. 37-73.

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Andrew Escobedo, Despair and the Proportion of the Self

This article is the first of two linked essays about despair in Protestant literature and especially in The Faerie Queene. Our overall thesis is that despair functions simultaneously as a transparent manifestation of God's dispensation and as a kind of joint or pivot between paradoxes inherent in Protestant Christianity, especially regarding the relationship between the self and the world and between body and soul. This first article interprets early Protestant discourse about despair in Kierkegaardian terms, as an oscillation between excessive finitude (the concretizing reduction of self to worldliness) and excessive infinitude (the imaginary abstraction of self from world). Kierkegaard gives us an alternative to the common sequential description of despair (in both sixteenth-century literature and twentieth-century commentary) as a phase in a spiritual progress that moves (ideally) from pride to despair to repentance to salvation, in which the meaning of despair becomes clear retrospectively at the end of the sequence. The clarity of this description comes at the cost of a certain oversimplification, ignoring the paradoxical manner in which Christians experience despair, unlike the sins of wrath, lechery, avarice, or fear, as both a reminder of and abandonment by God. Taking despair as the repeated and nearly inevitable disproportion of self to world, I argue that the fate of Malbecco-to transform from literary type to allegorical sign-reveals the danger of willful reduction. Conversely, I see Redcrosse's experience on the mount of Contemplation, with its striking echoes of the Despair episode in Canto ix, as an illustration of the risk of the abstraction of self from world, a risk that grows rather than recedes at the moment of spiritual vision. Book I especially is framed by Redcrosse's initial designation as "too solemn sad" (i.2.8) and Una's mourning (xii.41.9) when Redcrosse departs at the end. Between these two moments of sorrow, Spenser uses despair as a sign of the slippage within a system trying to coordinate divine wrath and divine grace.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVII (2003), pp. 75-90.

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Beth Quitslund, Despair and the Composition of the Self

This essay argues that in the Despair and House of Holiness episodes of The Faerie Queene, Book I, Spenser exploits the overlap of medical and devotional discourses to find "fit medcine" for Redcrosse's grief. The idea that despair or a "wounded" conscience requires healing appears in English Calvinist writing on both a metaphorical and literal level: through the idea of "curing" the soul of both sin and desperate guilt, and by addressing grief as a product of melancholy, a bodily disorder. Writers within a generally Calvinist framework took advantage of medical rhetoric and the ambiguous relationship between physical and spiritual concerns to understand and enable their own therapeutic interventions in what was, strictly speaking, a preordained transaction between God and the individual soul. Although the existence of despair, as a sin, is predicated on a distinction between the effects of a crazed body and eternal (predestined) soul, the practical treatment of despair in both Protestant exhortation and physic binds together body and soul and redefines their interactions. Spenserian allegory, which externalizes the inner self in much the same way that medicine and medical rhetoric do, thus provides a particularly effective mode for depicting despair as susceptible to methodical reparation.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVII (2003), pp. 91-106.

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Ty Buckman, "Just Time Expired": Succession Anxieties and the Wandering Suitor in Spenser's Faerie Queene

This study proposes competing contexts for the interpretation of Arthur's errantry in The Faerie Queene. In the latter half of Elizabeth's reign, as it became increasingly apparent to her anxious subjects that she would not marry and hence would not provide a Tudor heir, it also became illegal to discuss the succession question publicly. At about the same time, Spenser was at work on a poem to be dedicated to Elizabeth that he hoped would take its place among the great achievements of Virgil, Ariosto, and Tasso in a generic tradition that had dynastic praise of the poet's patron as one of its distinguishing features. Faced with the paradox of celebrating a timeless dynasty in a poem dedicated to an ageing Virgin Queen, Spenser brilliantly introduced the courtship of Arthur and Gloriana. The prospect of their union forestalls the succession question-and the end of his poem-indefinitely, even as Arthur's absurd inability to find his paramour becomes symptomatic of Spenser's failure to reconcile a vaulting mythopoesis with a keen sensitivity to the political reception of his work.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVII (2003), pp. 107-32.

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Judith H. Anderson, Busirane's Place: The House of Rhetoric

The first two rooms in the House of Busirane indicate that it consists of rhetorical "places" familiar both to Britomart and to Spenser's readers. Thomas Roche has glossed Busirane as abuse or the archaic abusion (deceit, deception, delusion), to which I would add abusio, a Renaissance term for catachresis, a wrenched or extravagant use of metaphor, for in Book III's House of Rhetoric, abusio reigns, or "ranes," supreme. Britomart cannot destroy Busirane without killing what Amoret is, the cultural object par excellence. This may be why the poem has such trouble with the figure of Amoret after Book III and why, though Busirane's art works vanish, he must survive, bound by the very chain, or, according to traditional iconography, the rhetorical art, that he has abused. In Book III, Busirane abuses figuration outrageously, fantasizing that metaphor is the same as reality; feigning and faining rape. His real legacy, however, is the reading that believes him.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVII (2003), pp. 133-50.

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Mary R. Bowman, Distressing Irena: Gender, Conquest, and Justice in Book V of The Faerie Queene

Issues of gender are integral to the ethos of justice Artegall constructs in the early cantos of Book V, and to the political issues figured in the book's final cantos; consequently, gender provides a common thread connecting the frequently isolated segments of the book and an important tool for understanding how the female figure of Irena functions within the context of the book. In the early cantos, Artegall succeeds in acquiring the aura of a "righteous man" in part by subtly redefining the cases that are brought before him, a redefinition that entails the erasure of women as autonomous beings. The Radigund sequence joins this tendency to the violent propensities exhibited in the Giant episode. The reduction in female power accomplished in the last section of Book V is integrally related to the ethos of justice that is evident from the earliest episodes of the book, and both help in turn to naturalize an aggressive policy in Ireland; all three dimensions of the Book coalesce in the figure of Irena.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVII (2003), pp. 151-82.

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Lin Kelsey, Spenser, Ralegh, and the Language of Allegory

This paper suggests that the skill of Renaissance poets in writing "Under the foote," as Colin slyly puts it in Colin Clouts Come Home Againe, has paradoxically been underestimated. An exploration of the use of continued metaphor (the formal rhetorical definition of "allegory") in both Colin's tale of Bregog and the Shepherd's "lamentable lay," long identified with Ralegh's "Ocean to Cynthia," finds a powerful metaphorical unity underlying the supposed incoherence of the "Ocean." But Ralegh's lyrical high road as Cynthia's impetuous Ocean is finally no match for Spenser's allegorical low road as a river that goes underground, hiding its course or discourse under multiple layers of meaning. Singing "Under the foote of Mole"-and under the recent censorship of his Complaints by Lord Burghley in 1591-Spenser/Colin demonstrates that he can sing what he pleases undetected under the poetic foot, offering a saucy Ovidian account of his dealings with Elizabeth's mighty statesman which is also a bold manifesto of his intention to sing on unimpeded. The poet is not only the wily Bregog but on a deeper, more truly "allegorical" level, the river Alpheus passing untainted under the sea to pursue his beloved Arethusa (virtue herself, as the ancients thought) to a distant island.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVII (2003), pp. 183-213.

Copyright © 2003 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Alan Stewart And Garrett A. Sullivan, Jr., 'Worme-eaten, and full of canker holes': Materializing Memory in The Faerie Queene and Lingua

This essay looks again at a familiar site of memory, Eumnestes's chamber in Book II of The Faerie Queene. We argue that Spenser's mobilization of apparently commonplace metaphors of memory as written text hints at newly perceived stresses bearing on memory in the period. To pursue this, we examine a near-contemporary gloss on the Alma episode in Thomas Tomkis's play Lingua (c. 1604), the indebtedness of which to Spenser was long ago noted by M. P. Tilley. In Lingua the comically dysfunctional relationship of the forgetful old man Memory (Eumnestes) and his discontented page Anamnestes is exploited dramatically to parody common notions of memory retrieval, and to deplore the perceived detrimental effects on memory of the new antiquarian and critical vogues for worm-eaten manuscripts and indiscriminate print chronicles. Prompted by Lingua to reexamine Spenser's engagement with aspects of textual and social history, we provide a reading of Book II, Cantos ix-xii that uncovers some of the latent tensions in the poem's account of relations among memory, history, discipline, and heroic action.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVII (2003), pp. 215-38.

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Clare R. Kinney, "Beleeve this butt a fiction": Female Authorship, Narrative Undoing, and the Limits of Romance in The Second Part of the Countess of Montgomery's Urania

Previous discussions of the manuscript continuation of the Urania have tended to offer general overviews of the differences in narrative content between the two parts of Mary Wroth's romance; this essay addresses some of the moments in Part II in which Wroth does seem to be returning to the familiar matter of the 1621 Urania, but in such a manner as to frustrate the interpretive expectations she has previously created. The continuation's intermittent containment or subversion of the significance of its female-voiced histories of desire complements the assault on illegitimate female authorship evident in its criticisms of the "poeticall furies" of the character Antissia and suggests a new anxiety in its author-presumably fuelled by some of the scandalized responses to the publication of Urania I-about her own practices as a female fiction-maker. Wroth's revisionary designs, some of which are both comic and deflationary, seem to betray her impatience with the protocols of her chosen genre. Even as it copiously augments the 1621 text, Part II of the Urania comes very close to "undoing" romance.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVII (2003), pp. 239-50.

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David Scott Wilson-Okamura, Republicanism, Nostalgia, and the Crowd

Most accounts of English republicanism have located its initial phase in the middle decades of the seventeenth century. New work on the republican tradition has challenged that view and moved the date back. The question now is not whether to move the date but how far. Was Edmund Spenser a republican? Respected scholars have suggested that he was. This essay takes issue with that finding and argues that what sounds like proto-republicanism in Spenser's writing is actually a conservative response to the decline of the English aristocracy. Whether or not the decline was real, or merely perceived, is a question for historians. Our concern is with the poetry, and what the poet opposed was not monarchy, but the abuse of monarchy (i.e., tyranny). One index of the poet's stance on this topic is Artegall's encounter with the Egalitarian Giant in FQ V.ii. Another is his treatment of crowds; the essay concludes, therefore, with an attempt to place Spenser's crowd scenes in the classical tradition of epic and history-writing.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVII (2003), pp. 253-73.

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Andrew Hadfield, Was Spenser Really a Republican After All?: A Response to David Scott Wilson-Okamura

Professor Wilson-Okamura criticizes my suggestion that Spenser was a republican through a series of interrelated strategies. He argues that there was, in fact, virtually no republicanism before the execution of Charles II in 1649. What looks like republicanism to eager modern readers was invariably an attack on a variety of modes of tyranny with the goal of restoring older, more aristocratic forms of government. He then proceeds to show how my readings of Spenser's republicanism fall into these traps, before concluding with a fascinating and learned analysis of the crowd in the histories of Tacitus and Livy, and how Spenser's work fits into the historical tradition they inaugurated. My response consists in two sections. First, I shall try to show that what looked like republicanism was more like republicanism than anything else. And, second, I shall respond to specific points made against my original article.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVII (2003), pp. 275-90.

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Volume XVI, 2002

Roger Kuin, The Double Helix: Private and Public in The Faerie Queene

Laurel Hendrix Taking the Letter to Ralegh seriously, and employing Judith Swanson's theories of Aristotle's "virtue" as activity and his "private life" as sphere of action, we can discern in his concepts of "private" and "public" (or rather "politic") the constitutive genetic code of The Faerie Queene's, and indeed, the Elizabethans', moral consciousness. Doing so helps us understand the notoriously difficult episodes (e.g., Orgoglio), the architecture of individual books (e.g., Book V), the relation of books to each other, and perhaps even Spenser's only partially realized plan for the complete poem, the two parts of which we may think of as his Arthurian Ethics and his Politics.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVI (2002), pp. 1-22.

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Laurel Hendrix, Pulchritudo vincit?: Emblematic Reversals in Spenser's House of Busirane

In the House of Busirane, Spenser effects a series of emblematic reversals involving two disparate paradigms of love, figured respectively in Cupid and Amoret. Cupid's triumph over Amoret and her subsequent binding by Busirane echo the commonplace potentissimus affectus, amor. However, this image reverses cupido cruciatus, the traditional emblem of Cupid bound, stripped of his weapons, and subjected to the very torments he inflicts upon lovers. In Amoret's case, aggressive Eros is not tempered; here, Amoret, figuring reciprocal love, endures erotic "maisterie." Britomart's emancipation of Amoret represents pulchritudo vincit, which, in the 1590 narrative, leads to Amoret and Scudamour's hermaphroditic embrace and provisional symbolic closure. In cancelling this emblem of mutual love in the 1596 Faerie Queene, Spenser figuratively rebinds Amoret in order to "unbind" his narrative. So doing, Spenser counters the moral commonplaces underpinning his mythopoetics of love, pursuing in its stead a poetics of displacement and deferral.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVI (2002), pp. 23-54.

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Frank Ardolino, The Effect of the Defeat of the Spanish Armada on Spenser's Complaints

The visionary poems of the Complaints are united by themes and imagery relating to the defeat of the Spanish Armada by England in 1588. By using imagery and language depicting the fall of the mighty at the hands of the small, Spenser symbolically alludes to the victory over the Catholic Babylon, Spain, which is associated in the poems with imperial Rome as empires that fell. With this context in mind, it is possible to place the visionary poems of the Complaints in a post-Armada discourse and to demonstrate that they fit into the continuing concern with apocalyptic Protestantism which Spenser exhibited from A Theatre for Voloptuous Worldlings to The Faerie Queene.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVI (2002), pp. 55-76.

Copyright © 2002 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Lee Piepho, The Shepheardes Calender and Neo-Latin Pastoral: A Book Newly Discovered to Have Been Owned by Spenser

Peter Beal's discovery of an autograph manuscript by Spenser has obscured the fact that it appears on the last leaf of a book, Georgius Sabinus' Poëmata, that he must therefore have owned. The texts Spenser copied testify to his interest in a second German Neo-Latin poet, Petrus Lotichius, a collection of whose verse was originally bound with Sabinus' poems and which Spenser might also have owned. These are the most important of the few printed volumes owned by him known to have survived. Together with Spenser's autograph manuscript, they testify to his interest in Latin lyric poetry of the mid-sixteenth century. In general, the two collections of verse give a more precise understanding of his literary milieu. Specifically, they help to broaden our understanding of the options open to Spenser when he set about composing his Shepheardes Calender. An account of Sabinus' and Lotichius' eclogues reveals an epithalamic strain in Neo-Latin pastoral that makes Spenser's adaptation of the genre in his "April" eclogue look less surprising. Conversely, the utter lack of ecclesiastical satire in the two German collections highlights its distinctiveness in The Shepheardes Calender and English pastoral poetry.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVI (2002), pp. 77-104.

Copyright © 2002 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

D. Allen Carroll, Thomas Watson and the 1588 MS Commendation of The Faerie Queene: Reading the Rebuses

The case for Thomas Watson as author of the poem Joseph Black describes in Volume XV of Spenser Studies is much stronger than Black recognizes if one takes into account the elaborate drawings at top and bottom of the manuscript. These present at least three rebuses on the name Thomas Watson and two on the title of his work Hekatompathia (1582). One needs to be alert to the presence and meaning of toe(s) and maze and, perhaps, muse, to the hunting experience informing some of the drawings, and to the unseen presence (conspicuous absence) in these habitats of Wat the hare. If one hunts, one finds Wat. One needs also to be able to read the sacrifice (Hekatomb) and architectural "frets" (pathia) and the evident "toe path."

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVI (2002), pp. 105-124.

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Clare R. Kinney, "What s/he ought to have been": Romancing Truth in Spencer Redivivus

In Spencer Redivivus (1687), Edward Howard translates Book I of The Faerie Queene into heroic couplets in an attempt to amend his author's "obsolete Language and manner of Verse." Howard insists he has "entirely preserv'd" Spenser's "Matter and Design, except where both are abbreviated, and, as I conceive, improv'd by my thoughts." thereby rendering the poet "what he ought to have been instead of what is to be found in himself." His most striking "abbreviations" involve the representation of Una, whose Protestant homiletics are significantly diminished. The attenuation of Una's allegorical and didactic function and agency suggest that Spenser's character-cum-quiddity has been subjected to a gendered reconfiguration in accordance with the conventions not of Christian epic but of a belated and sentimentalized version of romance. This generic modification places Spencer Redivivus at the beginning of a trend in the reception of The Faerie Queene which climaxes in the nineteenth century's celebrations (e.g., in Dowden's "Heroines of Spenser" [1879]) of its author's female characters as idealized and transhistorical versions of the Eternal Feminine.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVI (2002), pp. 125-138.

Copyright © 2002 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Jialuan Hu, Spenser in Chinese Translation

According to my personal experience in translating Spenser's poems into Chinese, I maintain that it is both necessary and feasible to reflect the metrical patterns of the original in the Chinese version. The essay first discusses some basic differences concerned between the English and the Chinese languages, and then explores various effective ways of bringing out the rhythm and rhyme of the English original in the Chinese version. A "sound group" or a pause in the natural flow of the Chinese metrical language is taken as corresponding to a foot in English verse. Furthermore, the Chinese version can be made to follow the same rhyme scheme of the original. As a result, it agrees almost exactly with the original not only in the number of feet in each line, but also in the rhyme scheme of a stanza or poem. Accordingly, the Chinese version may approximate the metrical pattern of the Spenserian stanza, the Spenserian sonnet, or any verse forms employed by Spenser.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVI (2002), pp. 139-150.

Copyright © 2002 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Scott Lucas, Diggon Davie and Davy Dicar: Edmund Spenser, Thomas Churchyard, and the Poetics of Public Protest

Edmund Spenser's "September" eclogue is a response to perhaps the most public exchange of the Tudor period on the proper creation of public protest literature: the war of words that arose over Thomas Churchyard's poem Davy Dycars Dreame. Churchyard's poem offered an oblique attack on English officers. In a published poetic response, Thomas Camell attacked Davy Dycars Dreame as politically offensive. Camell's challenge provoked a host of "answer" poems, most of which defended Churchyard by displaying a range of literary strategies for commenting on public affairs that could at once encourage a desire for topical application yet frustrate hostile readers from identifying any definite evidence of offensive intent. After evoking memories of Churchyard in the character of Diggon Davie, Spenser gathers together, refines, and displays in "September" the various protective strategies articulated during the "Davy Dicar" controversy. Spenser's "September" thus offers readers an exemplary poetics of public protest literature and stands as virtually a primer for any future Tudor author of protest verse.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVI (2002), pp. 151-166.

Copyright © 2002 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Hannibal Hamlin, Another Version of Pastoral: English Renaissance Translations of Psalm 23

Psalm 23 is not included in pastoral anthologies or histories of the genre, but it was considered a pastoral poem in the Renaissance and one compatible with pastoral poems in the classical tradition. The poetry of the biblical Psalms was in fact understood to be not just older than but the original model for the later poetry of Greece and Rome. In the case of Psalm 23, Renaissance translators attempted to demonstrate the truth of this fictitious (and factitious) literary history by importing into the Psalm the verbal conventions of secular, classical pastorals, such as "crystal brooks" and "flowry meads". this article explores the ingenious and peculiar ways in which Sidney, Francis Davison, Crashaw, George Sandys, and many other poets "translated" Psalm 23 into the pastoral tradition. It also considers commentators like Richard Robinson, who interpreted the psalm in terms of the lessons on shepherding in Virgil's Georgics, and broader adaptations like Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, in which the simple elements of the psalm are developed into a full-scale pastoral narrative of Christian's journey through the Valley of the Shadow of Death to the Heavenly City.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVI (2002), pp. 167-196.

Copyright © 2002 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Barbara Brumbaugh, Temples Defaced and Altars in the Dust: Edwardian and Elizabethan Church Reform and Sidney's "Now Was Our Heav'nly Vault Deprived of the Light

This article argues that Sidney's poem, "Now was our heav'nly vault deprived of the light," alludes in ways that have not formerly been appreciated to the religious turmoil current in Edwardian and Elizabethan England. I maintain that the brief happiness enjoyed by the poem's narrator is associated with England's golden era of Protestantism under Edward VI, but that Queen Elizabeth's subsequent leadership of the nation's church is presented as being inadequate. The poem also comments upon Sidney's personal relationship with Queen Elizabeth, as has long been recognized. This article modifies and advances our understanding of the poem's political and autobiographical facets. My interpretation elucidates both the poem's original autobiographical context.-since the fortunes of the Sidney and Dudley families peaked during the reign of Edward VI and the rationale for the poem's being reassigned from Philisides to Amphialus in the New Arcadia.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVI (2002), pp. 197-230.

Copyright © 2002 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Robert E. Stillman, Deadly Stinging Adders: Sidney's Piety, Philippism, and the Defence of Poesy

Contemporary critics have sought to understand Sidney's poetics in the context of English Calvinism, a version of Protestant piety difficult to reconcile with Sidney's work. Alan Sinfield's arguments notwithstanding, such difficulties reveal less about textual contradictions, than about the failure of the critical paradigm imposed upon it. The moderate, ecumenically inclusive character of Sidney's Philippist piety is everywhere apparent in the Defence, and was mediated (I will argue) by his important tutor and friend, Hubert Languet-himself a committed Philippist, or devotee of that great preacher and teacher, Philip Melanchthon. Melanchthon's inspiration matters as it came to Sidney because its carefully moderated optimism about human agency-its assertiveness about the strength of reason and the cooperative power of the will-and, most signally, its celebration of that agency's scope in securing freedom from the sovereignty of sin and sinful sovereigns, supplies precisely the right context for understanding the purpose of the Defence.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XVI (2002), pp. 231-269.

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Matthew Steggle

Weighing Winged Words: An intertext in The Faerie Queene V.ii

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Volume XV, 2001

Susanne Woods, Making Free with Poetry: Spenser and the Rhetoric of Choice

Milton is generally credited as the champion of individual liberty, but his acknowledged master Spenser provided Milton with his first model for a poetry that values and seeks to extend human freedom. Spenser claims throughout his work that making true poetry is an exercise in freedom and an invitation to the free spirit. Despite the imperial ideal Spenser derives from Virgil and from Elizabethan colonial aspirations, ideas of freedom wash through key portions of his work, moving across intersections of social hierarchy, law, religion, love, and English identity. He employs traditional limited definitions of freedom as "not slavery" and "generosity of spirit," but extends them to include the poet's right to speak freely. In Mother Hubberds Tale and throughout The Faerie Queene Spenser can be found subverting stated assumptions about hierarchy and governance, and redefining freedom as knowledgeable choice and a condition for virtue. His rhetorical technique is to show and invite rather than tell and exhort, in keeping with the Protestant focus on the individual. This vision and technique culminate in Book VI, which presents the most direct encounter between poet and his courtly reader. Here, particularly in the Mt. Acidale episode, Spenser presents his vision of freedom most clearly as a paradox of revelation through disguise and invitation through instruction.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XV (2001), pp. 1-16.

Copyright © 2001 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Kenneth Borris, Flesh, Spirit, and the Glorified Body: Spenser's Anthropomorphic Houses of Pride, Holiness, and Temperance

Whereas Spenser's most extensive allegorical representation of the body, Alma's Castle, has been recently said to portray "the natural body" in contrast to "the mystical body" associated with Caelia's House of Holiness, Books I and II are profoundly interanimated. They share much the same conceptions of the body, soul, and human prospects, so that their heroes' exploits are fully complementary and the development of The Faerie Queene is cumulative. Anatomical, medical, and theological discourses and concerns are synthesized in both Books I and II, so that Spenser's representation of Lucifera's and Caelia's houses deals in part with the natural body, and his portrayal of Alma's domain depends on sanctification and related Pauline doctrines of the flesh, spirit, and glorified body. Although prior Spenser criticism affords little comment on the relevance of Elizabethan beliefs in bodily glorification, that is the ultimate physical ideal for humankind in The Faerie Queene. Alma's dominion not only constitutes a model for Temperance as it is to be pursued in life, but also Spenser's most full and detailed prefiguration of the finally transfigured somatic state, when the body would supposedly become spiritualized to the maximum extent possible, while yet remaining physical. Likewise, we should avoid imputing to The Faerie Queene sharp oppositions between nature, physicality, and the body on the one hand, and grace, spirit, and soul on the other; or between Books I and II, or Holiness and Temperance.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XV (2001), pp. 17-52.

Copyright © 2001 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Joseph D. Parry, Phaedria and Guyon: Traveling Alone in The Faerie Queene, Book II

Guyon's progress through and past obstacles and diversions is a conspicuous feature of Book II's allegory in Spenser's The Faerie Queene. The whimsical, erratically mobile Phaedria, however, occupies a singular place among the female temptresses that accost Guyon in Book II. Consequently, Guyon must move temperately within Faeryland when he encounters Phaedria in a manner that is not exactly progress. In fact, Phaedria presents Guyon with the opportunity to learn that continual "progress" toward the sources and origins of desire--in the world or in the self--in order fully to comprehend and master our appetites is not necessarily a desirable thing. Spenser suggests in the Phaedria episodes an alternate way of configuring the motions of rational activity that complicates the allegory of self-knowing that seems to drive Book II: Guyon must move away from Phaedria, not by her. Phaedria's world is a concentrated and, perhaps, an exaggerated instance of the broader sense of mutability that predominates Faeryland, which, therefore, Guyon must learn to negotiate in order to get through it. Yet rather than getting through it, Phaedria delights in this semantically fluid world, and relishes traveling deeper into it. Guyon must travel like her to get past her, but in such motions the text demonstrates that Guyon's progress toward greater self-awareness leads him deeper and deeper into more troubling dimensions of the self. Guyon in motion reveals that motion and mobility in Book II become problematic ways of signifying progress, though they remain the only available signifiers that can perform this work.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XV (2001), pp. 53-78.

Copyright © 2001 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Kyong-Hahn Kim, The Nationalist Drive of Spenserian Hermaphrodism in The Faerie Queene

Hermaphrodism in The Faerie Queene (1590, 1596) is one of Spenser's poetic designs to solve the succession problem, which is the most practical issue through the entirety of Elizabeth's reign. Many scholars have discussed the hermaphroditic imagery in the poem largely with a focus on the idea of the queen's two bodies, but they have disregarded the literally physical dimension of the image: it is simply a way of giving birth without marriage. The poem is full of Spenserian hermaphrodite figures, including Britomart, who strongly imply a self-sufficient way of procreation without the aid of a male partner and whose experience has also a dynastic effect. This manner of procreation justifies the queen's unmarried chastity without destroying her established cult of chastity and at the same time perpetuates the dynastic succession.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XV (2001), pp. 79-94.

Copyright © 2001 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Donald Stump, Fashioning Gender: Cross-Dressing in Spenser's Legend of Britomart and Artegall

Close parallels between Britomart's experiences as a knight in the House of Malacasta and those of Artegall as a serving maid in the city of the House of Radigund suggest that Spenser regarded the crossing of traditional boundaries between the genders as a formative stage in the process by which each attains its own perfection. Britomart's tendency to excessive "frowardness" is gradually tempered by her adventures among men in Books III-V, much as Artegall's tendency to "forwardness" is moderated by his encounters with women. Though the poet generally portrays his idealized female characters as less forward by nature than the men they love, he follows humanists such as Sir Thomas Elyot in arguing that both genders are perfected in "virtuous and gentle discipline" by drawing toward the same Aristotelian mean. Although Spenser shares with other male writers of his age several of the attitudes toward gender-crossing noted in recent scholarship on Elizabethan medical treatises, marriage manuals, and stage plays, he also calls into question traditional distinctions between masculine and feminine in ways that deserve more scholarly attention than they have so far received.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XV (2001), pp. 95-120.

Copyright © 2001 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Joseph Black, 'Pan is Hee': Commending The Faerie Queene

The apparently extremist sonnets of Spenser's Amoretti have often puzzled critics. Although the Petrarchan tradition provided some writ for violent allegations against the beloved, Spenser seems to expand this tendency beyond sonnet sequence decorum. A popular solution has been to read the violent poems as intentionally hyperbolic, but this view is insecure and does not explain why Spenser would want such an effect in an amatory and marital sequence. Instead, this paper argues that the violent sonnets should be read in the same Irish context of politics and conquest that has proved so illuminating for Spenser's other works. Specifically, the essay argues for structural similarities between the war against the "unquiet thought" in Amoretti, and that against kerns and rebels in A View of the Present State of Ireland. An analysis of attitudes toward the slaughter of the yielded in both texts indicates that the extremist poet of Amoretti is unburdening himself of a long-held grudge.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XV (2001), pp. 135-164.

Copyright © 2001 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

James Fleming, A View from the Bridge: Ireland and Violence in Spenser's Amoretti

The apparently extremist sonnets of Spenser's Amoretti have often puzzled critics. Although the Petrarchan tradition provided some writ for violent allegations against the beloved, Spenser seems to expand this tendency beyond sonnet sequence decorum. A popular solution has been to read the violent poems as intentionally hyperbolic, but this view is insecure and does not explain why Spenser would want such an effect in an amatory and marital sequence. Instead, this paper argues that the violent sonnets should be read in the same Irish context of politics and conquest that has proved so illuminating for Spenser's other works. Specifically, the essay argues for structural similarities between the war against the "unquiet thought" in Amoretti, and that against kerns and rebels in A View of the Present State of Ireland. An analysis of attitudes toward the slaughter of the yielded in both texts indicates that the extremist poet of Amoretti is unburdening himself of a long-held grudge.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XV (2001), pp. 135-164.

Copyright © 2001 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Christopher Warley, 'An English box': Calvinism and Commodities in Anne Lok's A Meditation of a Penitent Sinner

Anne Lok's A Meditation of a Penitent Sinner (1560), the first sonnet sequence in English, articulates changing conceptions of social authority in early Elizabethan England through the formal tension of the sonnet sequence--the strain between sonnet and sequence, lyric and narrative. This strain is apparent in the complex relation between the individual sonnets of the sequence and the text of Psalm 51 which appears in the margin. The psalm provides a model for the speaker's lyric authority, but it also provides a narrative of the founding of the New Jerusalem which tacitly celebrates England's return to Protestantism under Queen Elizabeth. By creating a lyric authority out of the logic of commodity circulation and Calvinism, however, the speaker tacitly challenges Elizabeth's assertion of absolute monarchical power. The authority of Lok's speaker consequently points to the need to reimagine the class dynamics embodied in the English sonnet.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XV (2001), pp. 205-242.

Spenser and Ralegh: Four Papers in Exchange

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William A. Oram, What did Spenser Really Think of Sir Walter Ralegh When He Published His First Installment of The Faerie Queene?

The dedicatory sonnet to Sir Walter Ralegh in the 1590 Faerie Queene suggests how independent Spenser was of his patron in the early 1590s, and how willing to criticize him. The independence probably has roots in their early acquaintance in the 1580s, when they would have been closer in rank than they were later, and it appears in 1590 when Spenser steers clear of Ralegh's rivalry with Essex. In the sonnet Spenser seems to set the sophisticated, melodious art of the courtier above his own rustic verse, but the poem's language suggests something quite different: that Ralegh's amorous verse limits his naturally lofty talents to the merely pleasurable. In Helgerson's terms, a determinedly "laureate" poet insists on his place by critizing a greatly gifted "amateur."

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XV (2001), pp. 165-174.

Copyright © 2001 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Wayne Erickson, Spenser Reads Ralegh's Poetry in(to) the 1590 Faerie Queene

In his dedicatory sonnet to Walter Ralegh and in the Proem to Book 3, Edmund Spenser characterizes Ralegh's poetry, situates it within a discussion of genre, and asserts Ralegh's preeminence as the appropriate singer of Cynthia's praise, the only person truly capable of writing Spenser's "Argument." Spenser flatters his friend and patron and even offers some advice, but he also engages Ralegh in intellectual play, as Ralegh engages Spenser in his two commendatory verses. These men, culturally visible personalities at crucial moments in their careers, seize the opportunity of Spenser's momentous publishing event to have some mildly dangerous fun, partly at the expense of the queen who apparently inspires their poetry and controls their lives. The tone of Spenser's passages is, at best, ambiguous: the sensuous language describing Ralegh's poetry and the potentially controversial evocations of genre and the queen demonstrate the kind of sophisticated ironic play so much a part of the proems and appended texts of the 1590 Faene Queene and so obviously a part of Spenser's ongoing literary-cultural dialogue.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XV (2001), pp. 175-184.

Copyright © 2001 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Jerome S. Dees, Colin Clout and the Shepherd of the Ocean

Despite increased critical interest in the political and literary relations between Spenser and Ralegh, surprisingly little close attention has been paid, first, to Ralegh's side of the picture and, second, to the vexed question of the precise intertextual relations between Colin Clout and The 11th: and last booke of the Ocean to Scinthia. While readers have long recognized that Colin's brief account of the "lamentable lay" sung to him by the "straunge shepherd" in lines 163-71 of Colin Clout may well refer to Ocean to Scinthia, the uncertain dating of the two poems has led most recent critics and editors to be cautious. I argue that in fact Colin does refer to Ralegh's poem, that Ralegh's poem in turn engages Spenser's, and that both should be read as embodying a "dialogue" carried out over a period of time. In particular, the two poems echo each other in their handling of the Neoplatonic idea of love, and especially in the way Ocean repeatedly scrutinizes Colin's too-easy reliance on Neoplatonic idealism. His critique is based on Ralegh's own lived courtly experience and hinges on the two poets' epistemological differences. My aim in part is to adjust a critical tendency to privilege Spenser as a morally superior teacher of Ralegh.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XV (2001), pp. 185-196.

Copyright © 2001 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Michael Rudick, Three Views on Ralegh and Spenser: A Comment

This comment proposes some adjustments to the views on Spenser and Ralegh argued by Dees, Erickson, and Oram. In general, the comment urges that the differences in their poetic projects not be perceived as categorically opposed. Ralegh's antiplatonism in the twenty-first book of "Cynthia" is not a consistent stance, and the contrast of Ralegh, the poet of pleasure, against Spenser the poet of morality can be drawn too sharply. Any difference of intent is much diminished by both poets' agreement on the nature of their putative audience, Queen Elizabeth. The agreement is evident in both poets' commendations of each other.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XV (2001), pp. 197-204.

Copyright © 2001 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


Andrew Hadfield Spenser and Chaucer: The Knight's Tale and Artegall's Response to the Giant with the Scales (Faerie Queene V.ii.41-42)

Richard F. Hardin Spenser's Aesculapius Episode and the English Mummer's Play

Copyright © 2001 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


Lydia M. McGrew A Neglected Gauntlet: J.W. Bennett and the Date of Amoretti62

Alexander Dunlop Sonnet LXII and Beyond

Copyright © 2001 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Volume XIV, 2000

Andrew Hadfield, William Kent's Illustrations of The Faerie Queene

William Kent's thirty-two illustrations to The Faerie Queene were the most extensive sequence produced until the end of the nineteenth century. This essay serves as a commentary on the prints, which are reproduced in their entirety for the first time. Kent is important as an illustrator of the poem because he was the first designer to respond imaginatively to the possibilities of Spenser's landscape and, as a result, had a major influence on later eighteenth-century taste. Spenser's reputation as an English gothic poet owes much to Kent's influence, but Kent was a sophisticated enough artist and reader of the poem to respond also to the Italianate elements ill Spenser's work, which strongly corresponded with his own interests. Kent was notoriously eclectic and experimental as an artist, taking on a whole range of projects throughout his career--garden designer, architect, furniture and interior designer, painter, costume maker as well as book illustrator--and it is difficult to see whether his interpretations of Spenser's allegory have any particular significance.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIV (2000), pp. 1-82.

Copyright © 2000 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Gail Cohee, 'To Fashion a Noble Person': Spenser's Readers and the Politics of Gender

Spenser's often-quoted explanation to Ralegh that 'the general end of ... [The Faerie Queene] is to fashion a gentleman or noble person in vertuous and gentle discipline' remains a potent acknowledgment of Spenser's perception of his power as a writer to influence his readers' behavior. The Faerie Queene continues to serve as a place from which to fashion behavior well beyond the poem's publication, however. In the nineteenth century and early part of the twentieth century, the poem, with its rich variety of female characters, more specifically becomes a popular site for male and female critics' own interpretations of proper gender roles, particularly as they pertain to women. As this essay demonstrates, these critics, in their quest to make their desired points about women's roles, often misread and manipulated Spenser's text in order to fit the female characters to their own political agendas. Not surprisingly for the periods examined here perhaps, male and female critics often differ radically in the ways by which they go about doing this.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIV (2000), pp. 83-105.

Copyright © 2000 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Piotr Sadowski, Spenser's 'golden squire' and 'golden Meane': Numbers and Proportions in Book II of The Faerie Queene

This essay interprets Spenser's arithmetical and geometrical metaphors of temperance in their primary, mathematical sense, and argues that the 'golden squire' used to measure out a 'mean' of temperance refers to the Masonic triangle, particularly the so-called 'golden' or 'royal' square, based on the Golden Section 0.618, used widely in medieval architectural design. The Golden Mean as a geometrical representation of temperance is first used in Book II in the description of the mutual relations between the three sisters and their male partners in the Castle of Medina, and later in the famous and notoriously obscure stanza on the geometrical design of the Castle of Alma. Here the Golden Section diagram is found to contain all the geometrical and numerological elements from the design of the Castle, thus reinforcing its significance as an architectural emblem of the human body and soul internally harmonized through temperance.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIV (2000), pp. 107-131.

Copyright © 2000 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Margaret Christian, 'Waves of weary wretchednesse': Florimell and the Sea

Contemporary sermons provide not only parallels for the setting of Florimell's adventures but a key to their moral meaning. Florimell's shift from land to sea at a critical moment in her quest alerted Spenser's first audience of Elizabethan sermon-goers to recognize in her trials the spiritual dangers of the world, the flesh, and the devil. The setting itself invited readers to interpret Florimell's adventures in moral and spiritual terms: to ask, not whether she will drown or be raped, but whether she will acknowledge her dependence on God or fall into sin. While it dramatizes the seriousness of moral and spiritual issues, the sea setting sharpens the point of Spenser's references to divine intervention, explicit in Florimell's story several times. Furthermore, contemporary readers may have recognized the sea setting as appropriate for a dramatization of the incompleteness of the single life and the impulse that propels men and women toward their destiny of married love.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIV (2000), pp. 133-161.

Copyright © 2000 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Mark Hazard, The Other Apocalypse: Spenser's Use of 2 Esdras in the Book of Justice

Spenser's use of apocalyptic Scripture has long been recognized, particularly of the Book of Revelation in Book I of The Faerie Queene. In Book V.ii, Spenser alludes with different effect to another apocalyptic work, 2 Esdras, in the confrontation between Artegall and the Egalitarian Giant. Spenser used 2 Esdras as a key text for Artegall's authoritarian argument despite the fact that 2 Esdras was a noncanonical text whose publication as part of the Apocrypha was a hotly contested issue in Spenser's time. This essay will suggest a relationship between the particular qualities of 2 Esdras as an apocalypse and Spenser's use of it in Book V to express, through Artegall, the incompatibility of justice and human reality, Spenser's rejection of utopian political hope, the inevitability of mass destruction as a consequence both of the necessity for reform and its application, and Spenser's recognition of the dangerous intellectual and emotional appeal of apocalyptic fantasies to establishment authority as well as radical reformer.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIV (2000), pp. 163-187.

Copyright © 2000 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Anne Lake Prescott, Foreign Policy in Fairyland: Henri IV and Spenser's Burbon

In the last cantos of Book V of The Faerie Queene Spenser hides the historical events of the 1580s and 1590s on the Continent and in Ireland behind a thin veil of allegory, too thin for the taste of many readers. This essay suggests ways to complicate the relation of the veil to the events behind it, events that Spenser may distort but that remain, loosely, more history than 'poetry' in Philip Sidney's sense of fictions born from a writer's creative wit. The 'history' that Spenser would have known concerning Henri IV of France-Book V's Sir Burbon-was already so thoroughly mythologized that when he created his lightly disguised version of the great French leader who, said Protestants, had betrayed their cause by converting to Rome, he could simultaneously import associations enabling him further to ironize the relation of political story to political fiction. Irony and ambivalence, not least the memory of what Burbon had been and should have remained, make easy judgments of his behavior even harder and show once again Spenser's quasi Machiavellian understanding of Justice's imperfections in a fallen world of time. The following study examines the mythology surrounding Henri IV as it was available to the English, its potential relevance for Spenser, and documentary evidence of the English government's response to Henri's conversion in 1593 that parallels Artegall's reluctant rescue of Sir Burbon's sullen lady, Flourdelis. As an extra, I provide some hitherto unpublished letters from Elizabeth to Henri's sister, Catherine de Bourbon.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIV (2000), pp. 189-214.

Copyright © 2000 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Douglas A. Northrop, The Uncertainty of Courtesy in Book VI of The Faerie Queene

Critics' concerns about Book Six-its discontinuity, the inappropriate behaviors by characters, and the uncertain relationship between narrator and reader-help to define the book's dominant quality and the reader's experience. This quality of uncertainty emerges particularly when comparing Books Six and Five. Using this quality as an insight into the structure of the Legend of Courtesy, the reader can more clearly understand Spenser's concept of the virtue and our reactions to the material. Spenser's virtue of courtesy is more than a code of conduct occurring within the civilized world; it is an awareness of human value reached by poetic insight.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIV (2000), pp. 215-232.

Copyright © 2000 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Lin Kelsey And Richard S. Peterson, Rereading Colin's Broken Pipe: Spenser and the Problem of Patronage

Why does Colin Clout break his pipe in the Shepheardes Calender? Diverging from earlier answers to that vexed question, this study pieces back together the now scattered and disregarded antecedents of Colin's act, ranging from ancient Roman pastoral and satiric poets through Petrarch's inaugural address to European poets from Sannazaro to Ronsard and Baïf. Revealing a literary landscape littered with such broken instruments, this essay suggests that the gesture belongs not to the disappointed lover but to the poet despairing of patronage-not to the tradition of pastoral love poetry but to a satirical tradition that celebrates and laments the poet's hard life. Playing on this lost tradition of the neglected poet and the abused calamus, or reed pipe, Spenser creates a legacy of coded interpretation shared with Gabriel Harvey and passed on to such contemporaries and followers as Ralegh, Drayton, Fletcher, and Jonson. Spenser's preoccupation with the fate of the Ovidian reed or roseau (as Ronsard calls it) may further provide a clue to the identity of Spenser's cherished Rosalind.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIV (2000), pp. 233-272.

Barbara Brumbaugh'Under the pretty tales of Wolves and Sheep': Sidney's Ambassadorial Table Talk and Protestant Hunting Dialogues

A discourse with which Sir Philip Sidney entertained Philip Camerarius and their fellow diners during Sidney's service as ambassador to Emperor Rudolph I1 for Queen Elizabeth has generally been accepted as a straightforward historical account of the elimination of wolves from England. However, significant differences between Sidney's presentation of the matter and that of contemporary historians, as well as similarities between the treatment of beasts such as wolves, dogs, and sheep and of other details in his tale and in Protestant hunting dialogues and other reformist writing, indicate that Sidney's narrative may well have been designed to galvanize his audience's support for activist Protestant political policies. My article draws upon symbolism and conventions from the hunting dialogues to reinterpret the tale as a veiled warning that England's present freedom from 'papists' (wolves) is not a permanent condition that leaders may obliviously assume will endure indefinitely but a benefit secured and maintained only by prudent monarchial policies, together with continued vigilance by well-trained 'dogs,' or clergy and other defenders of the Church.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIV (2000), pp. 273-290.

Copyright © 2000 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Elizabeth See Watson, Spenser's Flying Dragon and Pope Gregory XIII

The dragons in Book I of The Faerie Queene, especially the 'old dragon' of Canto ix, contribute to the antipapal allegory by alluding to Gregory XIII, pope from 1572 to 1585, who retained his personal impresa representing a winged dragon. The English work associating this pope most directly with serpents and Jesuits is John Niccols Pilgrimage (1581), but a number of references associating Gregory XIII with his winged dragon appeared in several Italian works possibly available to Spenser, most notably, Giovanni Andrea Palazzi's I Discorsi...sopra l'imprese (1575) and Principio Fabricii's Delle allusioni, Imprese, et Emblemi (1588), the latter heavily illustrated with dragons and dedicated to Gregory XIII. Thus, Spenser's greatest dragon may represent a pope hated by the English and an active, Counter-Reformation Roman Church.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIV (2000), pp. 293-301.

Copyright © 2000 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Thomas Herron, Irish Den of Thieves: Souterrains (and a Crannog?) in Books V and VI of Spenser's Faerie Queene

The villainous Malengin in Book V and the Brigants in Book VI of The Faerie Queene have long been cast as potentially Irish, thus requiring extermination by English justice. What critics have overlooked, however, are the tell-tale signs in the text which identify their cave-dwellings as souterrains, a type of man-made cave prevalent in Ireland and still in use m Spenser's day. Archaeological and contemporary literary sources confirm this identification, and both episodes demonstrate the cunning struggle of Spenser's heroes to conquer and plant a bewildering yet very real Irish landscape.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIV (2000), pp. 303-317.

Copyright © 2000 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Volume XIII, 1999

Nancy Lindheim, The Virgilian Design of The Shepheardes Calender

Virgil's Eclogues are a specific as well as a general model for The Shepheardes Calender, offering eclogue-for-eclogue correspondences that suggest that imitation can refer to structural echoes in addition to verbal and thematic ones. The measure of innovation expected from heuristic imitation is generated largely by the use of the calendar and its implication of harvest, but these "inventions" are inflected in ways that examine and proclaim Spenser's debt to Virgilian pastoral.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIII (1999), pp. 1-21.

Copyright © 1999 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sherri Geller, You Can't Tell a Book by its Contents: (Mis)Interpretation in/of Spenser's The Shepheardes Calender

The ostensibly supplementary material in the 1579 Shepheardes Calender decenters the eclogues and emphasizes the interpretive enterprise. E.K.'s critical apparatus and the presentational strategies in the first edition are devised to implicate the reader both analogically and experientially in an interpretive mise en abyme: the reader, E.K., and pastoral figures encounter semantic uncertainty and attempt to impose their versions of semantic stability on another's text. Appropriative maneuvers in the apparatus and the eclogues, misinterpreting shepherds, E.K.'s dubious commentary, and the Calender's equivocating presentational strategies destabilize both politically sensitive and innocuous interpretive activity in and outside of the Calender.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIII (1999), pp. 23-64.

Copyright © 1999 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Lynette C. Black, Prudence in Book II of The Faerie Queene

Spenser's "allegory of prudence," far from being confined to the rooms of the three sages in the turret of Alma's castle, permeates the structure and meaning of the quest of Sir Guyon, the Knight of Temperance. Iconographic evidence prompts a reading of Guyon's journey according to the model of the scholastic Prudence, the source of the other virtues. Guyon's failures are aberrations caused by the lack of prudence and his final victory is the prudent containment of the passions. Iconographic clues direct the reader to the many manifestations of Prudence, chief of which perhaps is Wise Counsel, or Consilium, the gift of the Holy Spirit that perfects Prudence. For this reason the emblem of Prudence, rather than Temperance, appears at Guyon's visionary moment in the turret of the House of Temperance. The three sages, according to their iconographic traits, constitute Wise Counsel and also exemplify mnemonic procedure, since memory belongs to the prudent person. After his encounter with the three sages, Guyon exhibits attributes of prudence that allow him to counteract his earlier errors, so that with prudence as the eye of reason he overcomes the concupiscent eye of Acrasia and unlike Grille, who remains beast, chooses virtue over vice. It is Prudence that renders termperance effective in the struggle of the rational soul over the lower orders.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIII (1999), pp. 65-88.

Copyright © 1999 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Matthew A. Fike, Spenser's Merlin Reconsidered

The essay takes issue with William Blackburn's claim that "Spenser's Merlin, though he is well able to command demons, does not resort to them for prophecy-Spenser seems less interested than Ariosto in reminding the reader that no magic is entirely above suspicion." While appearing positive when contrasted with fellow poet-figures Archimago and Busirane, Merlin becomes ambiguous when juxtaposed with Ate. There are positive contrasts between Merlin and Ate, but he is not a lasting challenge to the discord she represents, a completely effective promoter of marital union and harmony, or an unqualified figure of goodness. Ultimately, his ambiguous nature is underscored by Britomart, who combines Merlin's beneficence with Ate's ability to act in the world.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIII (1999), pp. 89-99.

Copyright © 1999 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Kenneth Gross, Reflections on the Blatant Beast

A picture of the damaging effects of secret slander and rumor, the Blatant Beast emerges in Book VI of The Faerie Queene as, apparently, the ultimate enemy of Spenser's epic project. But it is a figure of extreme ambivalence; its mode of damage is unsettlingly paradoxical. Spenser paints himself as the Beast's victim; but he also suggests that its poison inherits some of the central ambitions of his writing. Hence the difficulty of casting the Beast out, or marking it as wholly alien. The hermit who cures Timias and Serena of the festering wounds of the Beast (VI.6, 1-15) works, we are told, by orderly and "well-guided" words; but his speeches also point to an obscurely "inward" self in his patients that is at once the source of slander's poison and the final means of its cure. This hermit never really answers the question of why such a self is so strangely vulnerable to the wandering, external "noise" of slander, or why indeed it is the presence of slander that oddly helps to discover that self. In fact, this episode points to the radically ambiguous status of the energy which Spenser locates in the Beast-its paradoxical location at points of crossing between private and public knowledge, and its way of mirroring the arbitrary forms of human desire and fantasy. The Beast's appearance at the close of VI.xii re-situates such ambiguities within a more fully historical, even apocalyptic domain. Glimpsed as it sacrilegiously ravages through the monasteries, uncovering their hidden shames and corruptions (12.23-25), the "evil" Beast appears to mirror the work of violent, iconoclastic questers like Prince Arthur, even as it repeats the contaminated work of the "dissolution" which helped to found the dynasty of Elizabeth/Gloriana, and to place her at the head of an ecclesiastical state. As figured in such an episode, the moral labor of separating corruption and cure becomes at once necessary and unending. If there is any escape from mere ambivalence here, or from historical despair, it lies mainly in the extremity and risk of Spenser's fiction itself, and in the poet's ruthless, if covert, identification with the scandalous work of the Beast.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIII (1999), pp. 101-123.

Copyright © 1999 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Maria R. Rohr Philmus, The Case of the Spenserian Sonnet: A Curious Re-Creation

As has long been known, the sonnet with the interlaced rhyme scheme usually referred to as "Spenserian" is by no means Spenser's exclusively. This sonnet form was exactly the one prevalently practiced by the poets of sixteenth-century Scotland, and, moreover, it was employed by them several years before any of Spenser's own specimens of it saw publication. This reconsideration of the question of the origin of this sonnet form, and of Spenser's relation to its Scottish exponents, argues that the duplication Spenser's sonnet involves is the fortuitous-and ironic-result of a quite personal creative process. It basically stems from the signal retrieval of a Chaucerian legacy that Spenser effected in fashioning the Faerie Queene stanza: his utilization in that stanza of the Monk's Tale octave, a verse form long forgotten in England by his time. Spenser designed his sonnet by analogy with the construction of the epic strophe, its immediate antecedent. He extended the Monk's Tale octave's pattern to obtain three quatrains-thereby "re-creating" the Scots sonnet, itself derived from that Chaucerian octave, a stanza immensely popular in Scotland through the sixteenth century.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIII (1999), pp. 125-137.

Copyright © 1999 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Mark David Rasmussen, Spenser's Plaintive Muses

The Teares of the Muses has been perhaps the least commented-upon of Spenser's minor poems. This essay proposes that the laments of the nine Muses may best be understood as a series of reflections on the paradoxes of poetic complaint, and especially on the ambivalent energies of the plaintive will: the urge to exert oneself upon the world through the process of lament. These reflections are self-critical, for at the heart of the poem stands an analogy between the condition of the plaintive Muses and the situation of the non-aristocratic poet who mourns their plight. This essay traces that analogy as it is developed over the course of the poem, showing how Spenser uses it to touch on some of the main concerns of the Complaints volume as a whole.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIII (1999), pp. 139-164.

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Craig Rustici, Muiopotmos: Spenser's "Complaint" against Aesthetics

Edmund Spenser, who claimed to have addressed the "contempt of poetry" in his lost text The English Poet, uses the mock epic Muiopotmos to critique the aesthetic theories of Plato's Republic. The poem's main plot depicts in narrative Plato's account of artistic imitation. The butterfly Clarion represents a Platonic ideal form, which acquires material reflection through an arming scene. The spider Aragnoll, represents an imitative artist and attempts to "capture" or render the butterfly in his deceitful web. However, he ultimately procures only a carcass, devoid of the creature's true essence. In a digression that retells the mythic weaving contest between Pallas and Arachne, Spenser exposes the inadequacy of this Platonic view of artistic endeavors. Pallas displays her superior artistry by fashioning an extraordinarily lifelike butterfly within her tapestry's decorative fringe. Although this brilliant ornament distracts attention from the tapestry's more meaningful central tableau, the narrowly mimetic criteria employed in judging this contest rewards the butterfly's scene-stealing splendor. Ultimately, by employing the mock epic genre, Spenser defies such inadequate Platonic aesthetics, since rather than attempting to copy accurately an extraliterary reality, he settles for mimicking Homer and Virgil and casting insects as "mightie ones."

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIII (1999), pp. 165-177.

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Mary Joan Cook, The Other Meaning of "Bridal Day" in Spenser's Prothalamion

It has long been noted that Edmund Spenser in Prothalamion, his last complete published poem, struck an elegiac note, an apparently discordant element in a poem which declares itself "A Spousall Verse" and which celebrates the "brydale day" of two young couples of Elizabeth's court. If, however, in reading Prothalamion one allows "brydale day" a second meaning, that of "final bridal of soul in eternity," the elegiac note, as well as several otherwise perplexing passages in the poem, can be explained.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIII (1999), pp. 179-190.

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Kenneth Borris, Elizabethan Allegorical Epics: The Arcadias as Counterparts of The Faerie Queene

In this century, Sir Philip Sidney's Old Arcadia and New Arcadia have been defined largely in opposition to The Faerie Queene, as non-allegorical texts that present exemplary models for emulation, through Aristotelian mimesis. Such interpretation of the Arcadias assumes that Sidney's Defence of Poetry opposes literary allegory, so that his Arcadian fictions must practically exemplify the anti-allegorical poetic of the treatise. However, as recent critics have rightly resituated the Defence within allegorical poetics, so additional evidence from not only the treatise itself but writings by Sir William Temple, Sidney's personal secretary, and Abraham Fraunce support allegorical redefinition of Sidney's poetic, and we should now thus reconsider the Arcadias themselves. Both texts extensively involve allegory, as in the attacks of the beasts and rebels, which involve psychomachia; the allegorically self-reflexive addresses of Musidorus to Pamela through Mopsa, and thus through "second meaning," as Sidney calls it; the episodes of the Giants of Pontus and Cecropia's temptresses in the New Arcadia; and the whole siege and captivity in Book Three of the New Arcadia. The Arcadias involve broad psychological allegory concerning the inner conflicts experienced in the heroic pursuit of virtue, and correlative political allegory, so that both texts treat themes associated with epic in the Renaissance, and do so in the allegorical mode hitherto linked especially with Spenser in England, and propounded by Tasso in his account of heroic allegory that was appended to most editions of the Gerusalemme liberata. Spenser's and Sidney's creative enterprises are much more congruent than previously assumed, for both dedicated their most substantial literary endeavours to the production of allegorical heroic poetry, and share many codes and conventions of the genre. The conventional "Spenser-Milton" line of "visionary epic" in English literary history should be expanded to include Sidney: within England, Sidney introduced many of the most fundamental techniques and features of that form.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIII (1999), pp. 191-221.

Copyright © 1999 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Stephen M. Buhler, Pre-Christian Apologetics in Spenser and Sidney: Pagan Philosophy and the Process of METANOIA

One problem tackled by Spenser and Sidney was how to convince members of a Reformed Church that moral reformation is an on-going process. Drawing upon a strategy at work in Mornay's De la Vérité de la religion chréstienne, both use pagan systems of thought-notably Epicureanism-to point out where Christian piety needs to be reformed and disciplined further. The figures of the Atheist and the Epicure can serve as indirect representations of those aspects of the Christian which remain unregenerate. In Book III of the New Arcadia, Cecropia's calculating skepticism finds expression in cruel and treacherous behavior; readers are asked to consider what "creed" their own conduct figures forth. In Book II of The Faerie Queene, Guyon's encounter with Amavia and his celebrated swoon combine to dramatize how attitudes toward the divine translate into action either compassionate or callous. Sidney's formulation of the poet's objective as helping the reader in "well doing" and "well knowing" is realized in his and Spenser's practice of exploring the interrelation between action and doctrine. Pre-Christian apologetics could enable Reformed readers both to consider their own "falles" at an aesthetic distance and to bridge that distance by recognizing aspects of the Self in a supposedly absolute Other.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIII (1999), pp. 223-243.

Copyright © 1999 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Chauncey Wood, "With Wit My Wit Is Marred": Reason, Wit, and Wittiness in Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophil and Stella

There is today a widespread (although not universal) agreement that readers should discriminate between the poet Sidney and his creation Astrophil, who is presented in a negative light. This essay attempts to analyze how Sidney effects this distinction and how he undercuts Astrophil. The word "wit" is used in the sequence to mean reason, right and wrong reasoning, cleverness, and a witty person. In sonnet #34 Sidney portrays Astrophil as a wit who complains that his reason/wit is undermined by his thoughts of Stella-another use of wit-thereby leading him to term himself an oxymoronic "foolish wit" and to complain that Stella's powers "confuse my mind." Thus, some of the real wittiness is at Astrophil's expense. Sonnets 2, 4, and 5 show the divided mind of Astrophil arguing against himself, coming to tortured conclusions/or rejecting sensible ones, while sonnet 10 has him invert the proper relationship between reason and will. Stella, however, is portrayed very differently. Cupid never prevails with her because, as is shown in sonnet 12, her heart is "fortified with wit." Ultimately the wittiness with which the poet treats the collapse of reason in his creation Astrophil is designed to show that the infected will can erode the foundations of the erected wit.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XIII (1999), pp. 245-261.

Copyright © 1999 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


Jean R. Brink Spenser and the Irish Question: Reply to Andrew Hadfield

Carol V. Kaske The Word "Checklaton" and the Authorship of A Vewe

A. Kent Hieatt Male Boldness and Female Rights: What the Isle of Venus Proposes

Copyright © 1999 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


Tom Parker 108 Uses of 108

Elizabeth Porges Watson Mr. Fox's Mottoes in the House of Busirane

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Volume XII, 1998

Richard S. Peterson, Laurel Crown and Ape's Tail: New Light on Spenser's Career from Sir Thomas Tresham

In an uncalendared document of 19 March 1591, a long letter of some 1,700 words in secretary hand noticed and reproduced here for the first time, the noted Catholic recusant Sir Thomas Tresham sends news from London to a Catholic friend in the country. In a pithy style studded with proverbs and allusions to beast fables, Tresham not only recounts his own troubles with Lord Burghley and the Privy Council but adds many details to our scanty knowl- edge of a major scandal of the day. He states that Spenser's recently published Mother Hubberds Tale has been "called in"-our first evidence from within the poet's lifetime confirming such an event-and notes that it has become a much sought after item that is nevertheless dangerous to read or possess. Tresham reveals that the work is very scarce, expensive, and profitable to the booksellers, and that its author, who received a pension and the title of "Poett Laurall" for writing in praise of the Fairy Queen, has now gone off to Ireland, "in hazard to loose his ... annuall reward: and fynallie hereby proove himselfe a Poett Lorrell." This new document provokes speculation about the shape of Spenser's career, suggesting that his conception of "laureate" status by its very nature required a certain distance from power, belonging as it does to a tradi- tion of classical and European (and English) writing of court satire and beast fables in the service of conscience.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XII (1998), pp. 1-36.

Copyright © 1998 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Germain Warkentin, Robert Sidney's "Darcke Offerings": The Making of a Late Tudor Manuscript Canzoniere

Robert Sidney's manuscript of sonnets and songs (BL Add. 58435) is the only holograph of English Renaissance poems which gives us substantial physical evidence of how such a collection might have been assembled by its author. This essay undertakes a fresh study of the evidence provided by Sidney's manuscript, but in the context of the Renaissance trope of the "making of the book," especially its social function as an enactment of the condition of the "excluded lover." Close examination of the material evidence of composition, and particularly the changes in ink as the entries were made, shows that Sidney began to assemble his book with a general concept of the bibliographic code of the excluded lover's book, that he tested out several ways of arranging his poems as he worked, and that in the later stages of composition he moved in the direction of a modest but effective isometric structure. The numerological allusions in this structure are Vitruvian rather than Biblical in character, and make plausible Robert Sidney's eventual patronage of the classicizing Ben Jonson. In its turn, the social function of the book of the excluded lover provides additional context for Sidney's rise to the peerage at the court of James 1.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XII (1998), pp. 37-74.

Copyright © 1998 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Christopher Highley, Spenser and the Bards

As a member of the colonial government in Ireland, Spenser was implicated in the systematic persecution of the bards and other groups in traditional Gaelic culture. But Spenser's prose View of Ireland and, more importantly, his poetry, tell a different, more complex story of his relationship to his vocational counterparts in lreland. By teasing out the unofficial or fugitive side of Spenser's interest in bardic culture, I argue that he unobtrusively appropriates and manipulates bardic guises in his fashioning of a poetic and cultural identity. The ideological ambivalence of this strategy emerges most compellingly in "Colin Clouts Come Home Againe," a poem written in the wake of Spenser's disappointment at court. Read in this context, Colin's bardic overtones resonate both as an act of compliance to the royal will and of autonomy from, even resistance to it.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XII (1998), pp. 77-104.

Copyright © 1998 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Maryclaire Moroney, Spenser's Dissolution: Monasticism and Ruins in The Faerie Queene and The Vewe of the Present State of Ireland

Warton's comment on the Blatant Beast focuses our attention on Spenser's curious representations of the dissolution of the monasteries, representations which must surely have violated his audience's sense of decorum, if Warton is to be believed. In this essay, I place the Beast's rampage through the cloisters at the end of Book Six in two contexts. I look first at Tudor responses to the dissolution, especially in terms of the ambiguous status of medieval ruins in Elizabethan texts; then, more contentiously, I read the Beast within the framework of England's colonial enterprise in Ireland, a project which, like the dissolution itself, entailed the eradication of a culture which was in Elizabethan terms theologically pagan and politically barbarous. I argue that the dialectic of chiastic and metonymic rhetoric which informs Elizabethan theorizing about these two institutions (the medieval church and the contemporary Irish state) suggests the importance of the dissolution, finally, as a figure for religious trauma and political realignment in the later sixteenth century.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XII (1998), pp. 105-132.

Copyright © 1998 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sue Petitt Starke, Briton Knight or Irish Bard? Spenser's Pastoral Personal and the Epic Project in A View and Colin Clouts

A complex tension exists between"Britishness" and "Irishness" in the formation of Spensers literary persona, Colin Clout. By comparing the rhetorical situation of Colin Clouts Come Home Againe to that of A Vewe, we see how the Colin persona in the eclogue offers Spenser a space outside theVirgilian career model in which he creates a new type of national poet by melding the classical pastoral and the Irish bardic modes. Colin Clout represents the Irish bard as described by another Spenserian persona, Irenius, in A Vewe, Spenser's new persona for the poet incorporates the social prestige and political power accorded the bard in Irish pastoral society into the traditional image of the pastoral singer, whose distance from worldly affairs is a commonplace. The result is a persona combining protective pastoral coloration and epic influence who mediates between pastoral Ireland and imperial Britain. In the eclogue named after him, Colin resists appropriation by the epic power of Elizabeth's court, even while he celebrates that power. As literary nomad, his identity is free for self-revision.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XII (1998), pp. 133-150.

Copyright © 1998 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

John Breen, "Imaginatiue Groundplot": A Vewe of the Present State of Ireland

When Sir Philip Sidney in An Apology for Poetry claims that narrative can become the "imaginatiue groundplot of a profitable inuention," he is mapping out an aesthetic and a historiographical landscape that Edmund Spenser in his View of the Present State of Ireland similarly charts. In Spenser's View the landscape is physically as well as intellectually outlined: a view that is commensurate with being symbolically central, yet politically and geographically marginal. Spenser lived in Ireland from 1580 until 1598 and so viewed Ireland, and England, from a different perspective to those at the center. In this essay my aim is to place Spenser's View in the context of Elizabethan cartography and poetics. This will entail a demonstration of the English government's political desire to chart Ireland, an overview of Elizabethan cartographical practice, a survey of Elizabethan poetics, and an analysis of Spenser's View as "imaginative groundplot." The gaze of Spenser's eye, I will make evident, shifts and re-focuses to suit the exigencies of colonialist expansion and personal advancement. The View, I will argue, seeks to introduce new bearings in the position of the English government toward Ireland.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XII (1998), pp. 151-168.

Copyright © 1998 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Mercedes Maroto Camino, "Methinks I see an evil lurk unespied": Visualizing Conquest in Spenser's A View of the Present State of Ireland

Maps are at the same time artistic, scientific, and military creations; they are very sophisticated artificial constructs which developed relatively late in human culture and deploy highly arbitrary conventions. The study of their development and use during the early modern period offers an index of the changes which resulted from the increasing interest in travel, discovery, and colonization. The reification of particular readings of history effected by maps served to make countries meaningful and intelligible by fixing their boundaries and therefore, in the case of subjugated territories, it helped to perpetuate the effects of conquest. This role is apparent in Spenser's A View of the Present State of Ireland when Eudoxius spreads a map before Irenius, in order to visualize his plans for the conquest and colonization of the island. This paper offers an insight into the position of the Spenserian map. The function of the map and the multiple topographical descriptions within the View, I suggest, are crucial to an understanding of a text which proclaims to afford a visual image of Ireland and its peoples. Spenser's book is an exponent of the emerging English discourse of colonization which highlights the role of representation in the contiguous processes of discovery and conquest. I approach the View both as an interpretation of some historical events and cultural features of the island and as a project for its conquest and settlement. Eudoxius' map, I propose, stands for Spenser's own "view"; that is to say, for the land and the power he wished to "see" and to possess.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XII (1998), pp. 169-194.

Copyright © 1998 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


Andrew Hadfield Certainties and Uncertainties: By Way of Response to Jean Brink

Copyright © 1998 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


Kerri Lynne Thomsen A Note on Spenser's Translation of Culex

John E. Curran, Jr. Florimell's "Vaine Feare": Horace's Ode 1:23 in The Faerie Queene III.vii.1

Copyright © 1998 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Philip C. Dust, Donne's "The Damp" as a Gloss on Spenser's Faerie Queene, Book I

Willy Maley Sir Philip Sidney and Ireland

Copyright © 1998 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Volume XI, 1994

Nancy Lindheim, Spenser's Virgilian Pastoral: The Case for September

The September eclogue, generally considered one of Spenser's ecclesiastical or Mantuanesque poems, can be usefully examined in relation to the Virgilian tradition of pastoral deriving from Eclogues I and IX. These poems about the land confiscations that were contemporary with Virgil's composition of his Bucolics offer an important insight into the content and values of pastoral ignored both by those who equate the form with Arcadia and by those who read the Calender in exclusively Protestant terms. The possiblity of understanding Virgil in other than Arcadian terms enables a reinterpretation of Hobbinol that gives him and the pastoral ideas he represents structural importance in the Shepheardes Calender as a whole.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XI (1994), pp. 1-16.

Copyright © 1994 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Leslie T. Whipp, Spenser's November Eclogue

n the November Eclogue of Edmund Spenser's Shepheardes Calender, Spenser-Immerito includes a lament for Dido. I explore in this essay the associations of the name "Dido" by considering three different Dido poems in Spenser's November eclogue-the Dido poem which Colin offers us, the Dido poem which E. K. offers us, and the Dido poem which Spenser offers us. I find a rich tradition that allows Spenser to achieve an astonishing multivalence in Colin's lament for Dido: while veiling the instructive implications for the queen, and dangling flattering implications before her, the name also allows this brilliant new poet to advertise himself and fashion his own claim to be the new English poet by convicting his foil, Colin, of being mired in earth and time.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XI (1994), pp. 17-30.

Copyright © 1994 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Anthony Esolen, Spenserian Chaos: Lucretius in The Faerie Queene

Spenser alludes to Lucretius throughout book four of The Faerie Queene, not simply to appropriate the Roman materialist for Christianity, but to argue for a Christian sexuality energized by a wildness which Lucretius reserves for his randomly colliding atoms. In his translation, during the Temple of Venus episode of Lucretius' opening hymn to the goddess of love, Spenser accentuates both the energy of the Lucretian universe and the control to which it is subject. The result is a freer embrace of sexuality than Lucretius could have countenanced, and an insistence that sexuality be channeled into action: boisterous courtship on behalf of one's beloved or one's queen.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XI (1994), pp. 31-52.

Copyright © 1994 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Jeffrey P. Fruen, The Faery Queen Unveiled? Five Glimpses of Gloriana

That the faery queen mirrors Elizabeth has never fallen into question, but the poet's "generall intention" that she be taken first of all as a symbol of glory has commonly been marginalized or even ignored. Despite the virtual exclusion of his heroine from the work named in her honor, however, Spenser does afford us at least five glimpses of Gloriana and her allegorical significance, and these suffice to establish her peculiar "glory" as crucial to his conception of a "vertuous and gentle discipline." We see her variously as one whose "excellent beauty" leaves Arthur "rauished," whose earthly capital stands in contrast to the heavenly Jerusalem, whose "royall presence" is known only in memory and expectation, whose "imperiall powre" constitutes "the beautie of her minde," and even as an avowed symbol of glory whose attire comprises "all that else this worlds enclosure bace / Hath great or glorious in mortall eye"'; and in each of these respects the faery queen proves to be the image of what one contemporary of Spenser calls "the first and originall mistris" of the world. This primeval empress is, improbably enough, simply a pristinely radiant version of the natural light or agent intellect, already allegorized in similarly extravagant terms in the Bible's Wisdom allegories, and pre-eminent in a broader conception of "glory" which encompassed all the lights and splendors of the created world as promulgators of the moral law.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XI (1994), pp. 53-88.

Copyright © 1994 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Gregory Wilkin, Spenser's Rehabilitation of the Templars

The Faerie Queene may have been read by early readers as an allegory of the history of the Templars, the Red Cross knights of the crusading period, disbanded officially as an order in England in 1312 but surviving as the lawyers' guilds of Spenser's day. In Book I Redcross falls victim to betrayal by the Catholic Church and the giant, Pride (as Spenser says of the Templars in his Prothalamon, "they decayed through pride"), having originally been successful against Error and the Saracens. The redemption of Redcross by Arthur recreates the fortunes of the English Templars after the inquisition of 1310.

Although the Templars were thus dissolved as an order, the treasury remained at the London Temple while the lawyers took over. Mammon gives Guyon a tour of a landscape that duplicates that of the Temple in London, the landmarks occurring in the precise order they would in a walk from the Round Temple church through Inner Temple hall, the grove, and garden, to the Thames. Books III and IV present the courtly love interval between the crusading ethos of I and II and the judicial/commercial knighthood of Spenser's time in V and VI. The trials at the courts of Mercilla and Cupid, and the solving of quests that are now brought on by "torts" here may be meant to flatter and exhort the lawyer-knights to whom Spenser dedicates the poem, Hatton, Northumberland, Buckhurst, Raleigh, and Henry Herbert, the late husband of the Countess of Pembroke, all of the Temple.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XI (1994), pp. 89-100.

Copyright © 1994 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Lawrence F. Rhu, Romancing the Word: Pre-texts and Contexts for the Errour Episode

The initial episode in The Faerie Queene participates in the literary history of epic and romance as genres, especially as these kinds of narration were theorized and allegorized by Torquato Tasso. It also reflects the controversy among Elizabethan Protestants in the late sixteenth century, especially as it concerns biblical interpretation and the spread of heretical opinion. These two phenomena are related inasmuch as both pertain to "error" in one guise or another, and they thus form a revealing backdrop against which to consider the first challenge faced by the Redcrosse knight. The proliferation of episodes that threaten unity of both theme and structure in romance narration runs parallel to the widespread dissemination of unauthorized religious opinion made particularly overwhelming by the new print technology. The opening of Spenser's epic-romance registers these literary and social issues both directly and by implication.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XI (1994), pp. 101-110.

Copyright © 1994 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Wendy Raudenbush Olmsted, Deconstruction and Spenser's Allegory

Deconstructionists such as Paul de Man, Jonathan Goldberg, and Elizabeth Bellamy seem to challenge basic premises of traditional allegorical readings of texts like Spenser's Faerie Queene when they argue that there may be no connection between a text and a non-verbal phenomenon, system of meaning, or transcendental signified outside of the text. Yet, an allegorical reading of text in relation to analogue need not reduce the text to a phenomenon or meaning outside of the text. The allegorical reader relates the text to cosmos and to Queen Elizabeth as signs. The semiotics of Charles Sanders Peirce clarifies how the sign functions of icon and index mean through the kinds of physical patterns and tensions that one finds in Renaissance cosmology, psychology, and moral thought. The relation of the text to a secondary set of signs changes the way one reads the text. Movement does not dissolve names or meanings; it changes them. Spenser's language has a pragmatic, rhetorical power for reshaping signs and meanings in a cultural system that exists outside the text as well as within it. Spenser's thoughtful refigurations of cultural signs engage the power of a partial, not a radical, indeterminacy in language. Allegorical readings explore the historically particular ambiguities, conflicts, and negotiations of meaning in order to understand the edge and force of Spenser's particular rewritings of his culture.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XI (1994), pp. 111-128.

Copyright © 1994 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Richard Mallette, Book Five of The Faerie Queene: An Elizabethan Apocalypse

The second half of The Legend of Justice is not only shaped by biblical apocalypse but also is in dialogue with apocalyptic commentary of the post-Armada period, which views the Reformation as a national struggle and hails the prince as the hope of Antichrist's destruction. This essay determines how Book V partakes of biblical apocalypse throughout the final six cantos, how it forms part of late Elizabethan apocalyptic commentary, and how that commentary bridges biblical texts and the allegory of contemporary history. The great battles of the final cantos are modelled on a variety of apocalyptic battles as mediated by the commentary that depicts Philip II and other contemporary enemies as the tyrants representative of Antichrist. The Book, then, is part of the discourse of foreign policy as well as the newly developing discourse of nationalism. Hence Elizabeth plays the leading apocalyptic role as the locus of hope for the nation, just as Spain is the locus of fear. Demonized and refracted in the tyrannical villains of the final episodes, Philip corresponds to his avatars in other post-Armada apocalyptic discourse, and his numerous trouncings in this Book reflect the violence deemed necessary to defend religion and punish the sacrilegious. Hermeneutics is deployed consistently to validate bloodshed. The Belge and Burbon episodes form an apocalyptic diptych, representing the two primary approaches taken by the exegetes to the question of how to smite Antichrist, by preaching the Word or wielding the sword. The final canto, however, seems intended to present an unsettling inconclusiveness to the issues raised in the international episodes. Yet the final dour notes, too, belong to the apocalyptic view of temporal justice, which comprehends human failure as deeply as tragedy does.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XI (1994), pp. 129-160.

Copyright © 1994 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Elizabeth J. Bellamy, The Aesthetics of Decline: Locating the Post-Epic in Literary History

Spenser's Book V (and its precipitous plunge into history) has long been viewed as exerting a regressive, anti-prophetic pull on the epic teleology of The Faerie Queene. But, to my knowledge, never has its pervasive sense of fatigue and cynicism and its presentation of a world in decay (a world that "growes daily wourse and wourse" [Proem.5]) been viewed as an explicitly (and conventionally) epic gambit (almost, as I will argue, as the formulaic deployment of an epic topos) in the representation of civil war. In the first part of my essay, I will offer some extended comparisons between Ariosto's Cinque Canti and Spenser's Book V in an effort to trace the lineaments of what I would call the "post-epic" as the genre of empire in decline. A key question I will consider is: what does it mean when an epic comes too close to (real) history? In the second part of my essay, I intend to use Spenser's Book V as the occasion for a broader theoretical discussion of the new historicism and its weaknesses in providing a conceptual framework for interpreting this, ironically, most "historical" of Spenser's books. My overarching purpose will be to offer some further consideration on how historical meaning is revealed through literature-and what is at stake for literary studies when literature and history confront one another as directly (and uncomfortably) as they do in Book V.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XI (1994), pp. 161-186.

Copyright © 1994 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Theodore L. Steinberg, Spenser, Sidney and the Myth of Astrophel

Spenser's Astrophel has often been regarded as something of a failure, a late and lukewarm tribute to the darling of the Elizabethans, Sir Philip Sidney. If the poem is regarded as only a tribute to Sidney, like so many of the elegies that were written after his death, this assessment might be justified. When considered from another vantage point, however, the poem emerges as a passionate statement about Sidney and the meaning of his death. A close reading of the poem indicates that far from offering a simple tribute to the fallen hero, it offers a sharp criticism of the impulses that prompted Sidney to abandon his important work as a poet for the more adventurous and less productive life-and death-of a soldier. By the time the poem was written, it had become apparent that Leicester's expedition to the Low Countries had been a failure and that Sidney's death had been just another disastrous part of that failure. Both Sidney and England would have been far better off had Sidney been true to his vocation as a poet. This point is made repeatedly in the poem, both in its narrative aspects and in the imagery of sterility that pervades the poem. Furthermore, it is reinforced by the "Doleful Lay of Clorinda" that confirms the waste of Sidney's unnecessary death while simultaneously displaying true grief over that death.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XI (1994), pp. 187-202.

Copyright © 1994 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Jean R. Brink, Constructing the View of the Present State of Ireland

General agreement that concepts such as "authoritative" and "standard" are constructed has not resulted in recognition of the need to reexamine the attribution of works to Spenser and standard editions of those works. To encourage this kind of critical attention to Spenser's texts, I evaluate assumptions about government censorship that have become entrenched in discussions of the View of the Present State of Ireland, demonstrate that the text of the View is unfinished, and offer a critical survey of the evidence we have for attributing the View to Spenser. My purpose is to show that, until the extensive manuscript evidence is fully sifted, scholars should be very cautious about legitimizing approaches to Spenser that use this highly unstable text as the cornerstone for either the explication of his work or interpretation of his life.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. XI (1994), pp. 203-230.

Copyright © 1994 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


Anne Lake Prescott Triumphing over Death and Sin

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Volume X, 1992

A. Kent Hieatt, The Alleged Early Modern Origin of the Self and History: Terminate or Regroup?

We need, first, to modify the notion that recognition of the human and cultural otherness of the past is an unprecedented phenomenon within Early Modern consciousness. The intensification of this notion-the theory (as in Greene's Light in Troy) that poets of the Renaissance recognized a tragic "Derridean" discontinuity with the poetry of antiquity-seems countered by much of the evidence concerning many of these figures. Despite surface protestations, the author of the Hypnerotomachia, for a single instance, really supposes he is contemporizing antique gravitas verbally, and ancient idealized life, artifacts, and architecture descriptively and visually. We should revise drastically a second, parallel notion: that conscious reformulation of personal roles-"self-fashioning"-became possible only with the coming of the Renaissance because previously the individual, submerged in corporate man, lacked consciousnesS of self. Renaissance Caesarism in the English monarchs role is equalled, and partly effected, in the Middle Ages. Shakespeare does not privilege self-fashioning. Stephen Greenblatt's argument for the forging of new roles in Faerie Queene II is particularly flawed.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. X (1992), pp. 1-36.

Copyright © 1992 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Anthony Di Matteo, Spenser's Venus-Virgo: The Poetics and Interpretive History of a Dissembling Figure

Spenser's repeated allusions to the apparition of Venus as Virgo have conflicting, evolving meanings that work within and against the mystical interpretation of Virgil developed in the course of literary exegesis from Servius to Landino and Badius. These Virgilian references in "Aprill" of The Shepheardes Calender and variously throughout The Faerie Queene explore Venus-Virgo's association with the forest, with materia or hyle, as extensively posited by the commentaries on the Aeneid. By doing so, the poetry opens up enigmatic and turbulent perspectives upon interpretation, especially the symbolic or "integumentive" style of reading practiced by the commentators who split Venus into different personages. The changing contexts of these allusions also create undermeanings clearly problematic to imperialist readings of Spenser. The essay provides access to this Virgilian background and examines its implications for interpreting the poetry.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. X (1992), pp. 37-70.

Copyright © 1992 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Paula Blank, The Dialect of the Shepheardes Calender

E. K., in his letter to Gabriel Harvey, predicted that readers of the Shepheardes Calender would find Spenser's language the "straungest" part of the work. Modern readers of the poem, however, have disappointed him: Citing the many precedents for Spenser's use of archaisms, neologisms, and other variant forms in sixteenth-century literature, recent critics agree that E. K. greatly exaggerated his case. Modern efforts to demystify the language of the Calender, however, begs the question of why E. K. insisted so strongly on its strangeness, and why Spenser's earliest critics concurred with E. K.'s view. E. K. described Spenser's language as graceful, majestic, and full of ``auctoritie" on the one hand, and base, rude, and rustic, on the other. These contradictions, overlooked by modern readers of the poem, reveal a bold poetic strategy: Spenser, setting archaisms and other "literary" forms alongside rustic dialect, created a language calculated to disturb and provoke his audience. The inclusion of northern English in the Shepheardes Calender reveals how far the new poet was willing to travel in order to create the impression of novelty, and difference, even at the risk of alienating his "southern" readers. In an innovative scheme to manipulate the reception of his inaugural work, Spenser encouraged our sense of "estrangement" from the poem.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. X (1992), pp. 71-94.

Copyright © 1992 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Elizabeth Harris Sagasner, Gathered in Time: Form, Meter (and Parentheses) in The Shepheardes Calender

In The Shepheardes Calender, parenthetical phrases produce fleeting illusions of voice that induce us to experience the formal structures of the Calender as figuring arbitrary destructive, and secular forces. In the most intense instances, particularly in "November," the parentheses work within these formal structures to figure our perpetual acknowledgment of, and surrender to, the sway of time itself. Concerned with our actual reading experiences of Spenser's highly wrought, boldly non-dramatic style, this essay challenges the characterization of Spenser's form and meter as a testimony to the order and proportion of the cosmos and Gloriana's kingdom within it. Examining parentheses in the first major poem of a poet famous for his obsession with mutability constitutes a fresh approach to Spenser's striking and persistent disinterest in the vagaries of selflhood and poetic subjectivity at a time when other poets were increasingly invested in the production of dramatic voice.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. X (1992), pp. 95-108.

Copyright © 1992 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Lisa M. Klein, "Let us love, dear love, lyke as we ought": Protestant Marriage and the Revision of Petrarchan Loving in Spenser's Amoretti

For Spenser, the Petrarchan ethic of mastery in love is inimical to the Christian ideal of mutuality and concord within marriage. Hence in the Amoretti, a work which anticipates the celebration of the poet's own marriage in the Epithalamion, he undertakes a complete reformation of Petrarchan poetry and loving. In the process, he refigures the roles of poet-lover and mistress as gentle and loving husband and humble wife in accord with the advice of writers on marriage from the mid-sixteenth century through the early seventeenth century. Thus, Elizabethan conventional wisdom about marriage, in tension with conventional Petrarchan attitudes, shapes the Amoretti sequence. The Epithalamion celebrates the poet's achievement, his successful fashioning of the lady from a proud mistress into a humble bride who exhibits the richly suggestive "proud humility" that characterizes a virtuous Christian wife. This 1595 volume enacts Spenser's own self-fashioning as a Protestant-versus a Petrarchan-poet and lover. The conventions of Petrarchan poetry and loving are redeemed and overwritten by the ideals of sixteenth century marriage with its own unique paradox: that mutual love and responsibility can and ought to exist within the hierarchical relationship of marriage.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. X (1992), pp. 109-138.

Copyright © 1992 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Wayne Erickson, Spenser's Letter to Ralegh and the Literary Politics of The Faerie Queene's 1590 Publication

Because of its intimate and intriguing relation to The Faerie Queene, Spenser's Letter to Ralegh elicits responses from most students of the poem it purportedly defends and explains. Yet despite the Letter's provenance as Spenser's most complete literary critical statement, and despite its dynamic role in a notable publishing event of unparalleled significance to Spenserts career, it has not received the searching and comprehensive analysis it deserves. Too often assuming the Letter's transparent and unmediated relation to The Faerie Queene, critics either dispute the Letter's ``accuracy" or, more commonly, mine it piecemeal as an authoritative source of evidence to support interpretations of The Faerie Queene or readings of Renaissance critical theory. In my essay, I treat the Letter not primarily as a commentary on The Faerie Queene but as an independent pluralist text born out of a matrix of personal and professional responsibilities and animating a carefully planned and executed publishing event: a complex politico-literary act of damage control, cultural criticism, and rhetorical play by an inspired and informed Renaissance intellectual. I focus on a few literary, critical, and historiographical cruxes of the Letter in order to explore the ways they illustrate Spenser's masterful manipulation of his cultural personae.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. X (1992), pp. 139-174.

Copyright © 1992 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

James Schiavone, Predestination and Free Will: The Crux of Canto Ten

Book I Canto x of The Faerie Queene begins with what many critics take to be the most theologically Protestant, not to say Calvinistic, stanza of the entire poem, yet the canto goes on to present the most blatantly Catholic images in Spenser's epic. The combination of Calvinist theology and Catholic imagery forms part of a larger pattern of divine predestination and human effort in Book I, a pattern in which predestination and free will paradoxically work together in the process of justification and sanctification. Whenever Spenser shows Red Cross Knight putting forth effort, the poet adds a phrase or a passage which reminds the reader of God's sovereignty and initiative. Canto x reverses the pattern, beginning with a stanza emphasizing God's sovereignty, then proceeding to suggest, through the most convenient imagery available, the contribution that human effort and free will have to make. Spenser found Catholic images suitable vehicles to suggest human effort because Catholicism insisted so strongly, through its doctrines of free will, sacramental efficacy, and salvation by faith and works, on human effort cooperating with grace. The paradoxical coexistence of predestination and free will came to Spenser from St. Paul by way of St. Augustine. If my thesis is correct, the theology of Book I is more Augustinian than specifically Calvinist or Catholic, for Calvin denied free will, and Catholicism, by the time of the Council of Trent, had deemphasized (though not denied) predestination; but Augustine's theology contains a strong emphasis on both.

That Spenser was unaware of the discrepancy between the Calvinist opening and the Catholic content of Canto x seems unlikely, for he was well-versed in the theological disputes of the Reformation. Spenser wrote his epic hard on the heels of Calvin's revised Institutes of the Christian Religion, the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England, and the Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent. The Faerie Queene responds to those texts not by denying predestination or free will but by juxtaposing them, thus suggesting that they are not mutually exclusive.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. X (1992), pp. 175-196.

Copyright © 1992 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Christopher Martin, Turning Others' Leaves: Astrophil's Untimely Defeat

Astrophil and Stella is the work of an author keenly sensitive to time's constraints and the hazards of missed occasions. The sequence's thirty-third sonnet focuses a unique predicament which I propose governs Astrophil's pained self-revelation: he stands pathetically aware of his status as a lover who has had the chance to gain his lady, but has unwittingly allowed the opportunity to pass. This peculiar twist transforms the poems from conventional exercises in courtly seduction to components in a poignant and emotionally complex project of recovery, a quest shadowed by the bitter recollection of past failure. The approach helps delineate time's subtle yet pervasive role in the sequence, and glances finally toward the circumstances which perhaps inspired Sidney to organize his persona's psyche around this distinctive armature.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. X (1992), pp. 197-212.

Copyright © 1992 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Greg Walker, "Ordered Confusion"?: The Crisis of Authority in Skelton's Speke, Parott

Most accounts of John Skelton's anti-Wolsey satire Speke, Parott acknowledge the confused and chaotic nature of the text, but see its apparent incoherence as simply tactical, a shield to conceal the poet's dangerous political intentions. This essay, while accepting the care and subtlety with which Skelton created the text, looks more closely at the nature of the disorder exhibited in the poem, and examines the opposition enacted within Parott's monologue between authorities of various kinds and the notion of '`riot," or anarchic disorder. It examines the parallels which the poem draws betvveen events in the political world and those in the world of philology, chiefly between the rise of Wolsey as Henry Vlll's chief minister and the expansion of humanist Greek scholarship in the schools and universities. This essay claims that the struggle between authority and riot, rationality and wilfulness plays a fundamental role in the poem's political strategy. Yet ultimately, it is suggested, Skelton was forced to watch the political instrument which he had created turn in his hand. So resistant is the sense of crisis within the text that it finally frustrates the attempt to use Parott as an effective political mouthpiece.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. X (1992), pp. 213-228.

Copyright © 1992 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Roland Greene, Calling Colin Clout

John Skelton's "Collyn Clout" delivers a number of important literary and cultural issues to its audience's attention, even apart from its polemical mission against Cardinal Wolsey. "Collyn Clout" fashions a deliberately factitious and empty speaking voice-the speaker named Collyn Cloute-through whom the poet shrewdly manages the play of credibility and authority needed for a potent indictment of ecclesiastical and political abuses; its foregrounding of Collyn Cloute indicates the social and institutional marginality of the English poet in Skelton's time, and makes bringing this poet-speaker nearer to the center of things part of its program; and the poem reminds us at every turn that its workings are entirely a textual effect, in which by the end the distances between the various standpoints-poet, speaker, object, and audience-have been rendered shorter. Through an approach on these terms, one begins to see what Spenser saw in Skelton's poem that compelled him to use the same fictitious speaker for his own purposes near the end of the century.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. X (1992), pp. 229-244.

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Elizabeth Fowler, Misogyny and Economic Person in Skelton, Langland, and Chaucer

ohn Skelton's "The Tunnyng of Elynour Rummynge" cites Piers Plouwman and Chaucer's Wife of Bath and Shipman's Tale in order to establish its metaphorical structure, in which economic value and women's sexuality work in tandem to degrade human agency. In a series of transactions that liquidate commodities into instantly depreciating value, Elynour's ale stands in for the economic general equivalent. Skelton's misogynistic tirade develops into a critique of the model of person usually adopted in economic writing: with its dramatization of the market, the poem counters canonical economic texts by portraying economic person in terms of drunken female consumers rather than the traditional male producers of useful commodities. The topos of Skeltonic economics is consumption rather than production. The marketplace encounter with the general equivalent is not the socially binding, productive moment described by canon law: instead, economic exchange causes a degradation of value and an impairment of the subject, whose agency is adulterated by the agency of money. Similar kinds of partial subjects reappear throughout Skelton's poetry, providing models for Spenser's investigations of the social construction of person. Skelton's technically innovative voicing and characterization fragment the highly symbolic personification employed by Langland without recreating the unified, narrative interiority with which Chaucer endows the Wife of Bath. Skelton invents a representation of person that can express the effects of subjectivity while still retaining the capacity to combine and analyze distinct discursive traditions that was deveoped in allegorical personification.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. X (1992), pp. 245-274.

Copyright © 1992 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


Nathaniel Wallace Talus: Spenser's Iron Man

Copyright © 1992 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Volume IX, 1991

Bruce Thornton, Rural Dialectic: Pastoral, Georgic, and The Shepheardes Calender

The distinction between pastoral and georgic has not been observed rigorously enough by critics writing on literature that takes the rural world as its subject. This confusion has led to the inaccurate categorization as pastoral of works more accurately described as georgic. If we redefine these two modes as they are understood in Hesiod, Virgil, and Theocritus, we discover that each mode has a vision of the natural world and a corresponding ethic that contrasts with the others'. Pastoral sees the natural world as harmonious with human desire, making possible an ethic of otium or leisure conducive to love and art. Georgic, on the other hand, sees the natural world as fraught with potentially destructive forces requiring from humans an ethic of labor, the work that makes civilization and human identity possible. Most works on the rural world put both these modes in a dialectical relationship in which the attractions and strengths of one counterbalance the inadequacies and weaknesses of the other. Spenser's Shepheardes Calender, universally categorized as pastoral, uses just such a rural dialectic to develop the various concerns of religion, morality, and art.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. IX (1991), pp. 1-20.

Copyright © 1991 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Louis Waldman, Spenser's Pseudonym "E.K." and Humanist Self-Naming

The use of the name "E. K." to designate the author of the critical apparatus of The Shepheardes Calender can be explained by referring to the practices of selfnaming prevalent among sixteenth-century literary scholars. The most favored of these was hellenization of the literal meanings of surnames. If Spenser had chosen to hellenize his own name, then in everyday use as a synonym for "steward," he would probably have translated it as "Edmundus Kedemon," which, abbreviated, would be "E. K." Though such a device would have been obscure to all but his intimate circle, Spenser's correspondence with Harvey reveals several similar transmutations of their names. Contemporary sources reveal that onomastic riddles were highly fashionable in Elizabethan England, at Court and in all classes of society. Spenser's use of such a name as his pseudonym clearly alluded to Renaissance editions of the classics, thus affirming his symbolic poetic lineage (like his other pseudonym, "Immerito") and his self-proclaimed position as the new English Virgil.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. IX (1991), pp. 21-31.

Copyright © 1991 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Shohachi Fukuda, The Numerological Patterning of Amoretti and Epithalamion

Increasing awareness that numerological analysis is crucial to an understanding of Spenser's work has led to an extension of this approach to the jointly published Amoretti and Epithalamion. The latter poem, previously considered separately in Hieatt's seminal analysis, is now shown to be integrally related to the former in a complex pattern of pairs, symmetries and symbolic numbers whose significance is here explored in detail. This underlying structure is seen to have influenced-dictated, even-the form of the poems and, arguably, some elements of their content.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. IX (1991), pp. 33-48.

Copyright © 1991 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

James H. Morey, Spenser's Mythic Adaptations in Muiopotmos

After obtaining the raw materials for Daphnaida from the Book of the Duchess, Spenser imitates the structure of the same work in his own mythopoeic poem, Muiopotmos. The poems need to be considered in tandem as different responses by Spenser to his reading of Chaucer. The Ovidian materials in Muiopotmos appear in Chaucer's characteristic panel structure. I propose that we read Spenser's poem in the same way we must read Chaucer's-with attention to how the mythic adaptations relate to one another and to the poem as a whole. Changes in Ovidian and Virgilian material identify human envy and presumption as the main themes of Muiopotmos. Each of the perplexing first two stanzas corresponds to one of the two Ovid panels. The "mightie ones" are Athena and Arachne, and the "debate" is the weaving contest retold in the poem. Divine and mortal orders of being conflict, invariably to the disadvantage of the latter. The substitution of "rancour in the harts of mightie men" (line 16) for Virgil's "resentment in the minds of gods" (Aeneid I.11) signifies the human application of the poem. Aragnoll is another Arachne, consumed by envy, and Clarion is another Astery, both victims of envy. The themes of human envy and of the folly of imitating the divine are replayed in the story of Clarion. Aragnoll, the new source of envy, slays Clarion, the new imitator. Clarion is doubly doomed because he is a victim of the envy of a malignant power and because he aspires to the divine; here Spenser successfully combines his two Ovidian subjects, Astery and Arachne.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. IX (1991), pp. 49-59.

Copyright © 1991 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Margaret Christian, "The ground of Storie": Genealogy in The Faerie Queene

This paper approaches the "chronicle history" canto of The Faerie Queene as two alternate genealogies for Queen Elizabeth. By examining contemporary commentaries on the Biblical "begats" and sermon references to the queen's family tree, it identifies Elizabethan methods of constructing and interpreting genealogies. The two uses Spenser's contemporaries had for genealogy were to establish a claim to the throne and to analyze a contemporary figure's character and place in history. These make excellent panagyric sense of "Briton moniments" and "Antiquitie of Faerie lond," freeing a commentator from the burden of distilling a consistent moral and political message from these pages, while still allowing them to be read as praise.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. IX (1991), pp. 61-79.

Copyright © 1991 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Donald V. Stump, The Two Deaths of Mary Stuart: Historical Allegory in Spenser's Book of Justice

Scholars have suggested that in Book V of The Faerie Queene Spenser twice presents the death of Mary Stuart: once when Britomart strikes down Radigund and again when Mercilla allows the execution of Duessa. It seems more likely, however, that the Radigund episode is altogether concerned with the early years of Mary's career, from Queen Elizabeth's aid to the Scottish Protestants in their rebellion against Mary's mother in 1559-60, to Mary's abdication and flight into England in 1567-68 and her subsequent role in the Rebellion of the Northern Earls and the Ridolphi Plot. Thus interpreted, the episode emerges as the first part of a consistent, chronological account of Elizabeth's long struggle with Mary. It serves not just as an illustration for the moral allegory of justice, but also as a major innovation in the genre of the epic: the representation of a living monarch as the subject of heroic myth.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. IX (1991), pp. 81-105.

Copyright © 1991 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Debra Belt, Hostile Audiences and the Courteous Reader in The Faerie Queene, Book VI

The echoes from contemporary prefatory addresses to the reader that fill Book VI supply a conceptual framework from within which to approach a book remarkable for its diversity of incident. These prefatory allusions and cross-references not only link the Blatant Beast to the figure of the observer critical of what he sees and hears, but act unmistakably to add the concept of "the courteous reader" to the poet's anatomy of courtesy. Focusing on the Priscilla-Aladine episode and the confrontation between Calidore and Colin Clout, it is demonstrated that prefatory definitions of courteous behavior serve alternately to justify the actions of the knight of courtesy and to pin down what he neglects to do when confronted with the vision on Mt. Acidale. Viewed from this perspective, Canto ix emerges not as an expression of despair that conditions essential to the practice of poetry are unavailable but as an effort to set forth a working model for the relationship between audience and piper that appears to the poet most likely to be mutually productive. Such efforts are consistent with Spenser's overall strategy in Book Vl: simultaneously to supply the receptive reader with examples of proper and improper ways to respond to the kinds of incidents that comprise the narrative and to drive home to him the potential consequences that adopting unfriendly or prematurely judgmental postures can carry. This strategy of accommodation marks Book VI as an attempt to deal reasonably with the series of critical audiences with whom Spenser has skirmished throughout the epic, an effort abandoned only in the poem's closing stanzas, where he assumes a more confrontational stance amounting to an outright declaration of war.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. IX (1991), pp. 107-135.

Copyright © 1991 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Stanley Stewart, Spenser and the Judgment of Paris

For centuries critics have recognized a link between Spenser and the Judgment of Paris tradition, which was very popular in Elizabethan literature, especially in renditions of Ovid's Heroides. In finely nuanced versions of the narrative, Spenser reverses many thematic arrangements well-established in literature and iconography of the subject, especially as they treated motifs of marriage and legitimacy. Spenser not only recreates Paris as a father, but as an exile from pastoral innocence who willfully abandoned the poetic craft as well. Paridell's claim that he is descended from Oenone would link him with Britomart, whose ancestry also leads back to the first family of Troy. In Spenser's retelling of the story, the situation is, compared to that in Heroides, morally ambiguous, eliminating, for instance, the ethical claims of Ovid's Helen. Spenser handles the elements of betrayal of craft and wife with masterful subtlety in the August Eclogue and in the Pastorella episode. In the latter instance, the familiar tableau of the Judgment of Paris-as represented by Cranach, Rubens, Carracci, and many others-emphasizes Spenser's emerging theme of the poet's need to transcend insular dependence on a single kind of love and a single kind of song. The Judgment of Paris is the inciting incident of a Fall-indeed, this is how we see it in George Peele, Richard Barnfield, Thomas Heywood, John Trussell, and many others late in Elizabeth's reign-a Fall from pastoral into moral and poetic error. But where Paris and Colin suffer only the necessary costs of misguided choice, the true poet transcends their limitations to explore in cosmic scope the full power of legitimate Love, whose "substance is eterne." He is the uncompromised heir to the region of Mount Ida: Edmund Spenser.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. IX (1991), pp. 161-209.

Copyright © 1991 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Anne Shaver, Rereading Mirabella

Attention to the lengthy but generally neglected Mirabella episode of Book Vl of The Faerie Queene reveals discomfort with any challenge to accepted hierarchies of class and gender. Surrounded in the Book of Courtesy by numerous erring women who are rescued, forgiven, and reformed, she alone is not only punished for her particular discourtesy, but is punished in such a way as to leave no hope for redemption. Even so, she refuses Prince Arthur's offer of help for fear of some "greater ill" than the endless penance imposed on her by Cupid. Tradition suggests this ill to be the dependency in marriage also avoided by Elizabeth: thus lowborn Mirabella is made to suffer for gender transgressions unpunishable in a queen.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. IX (1991), pp. 211-226.

Copyright © 1991 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Willy Maley, Spenser and Ireland: A Select Bibliography

Spenser's Irish experiences have traditionally been considered as tangential to his poetics, even to his politics. As the more familiar sources of Spenser criticism begin to dry up, a turn towards the poet's Irish context suggests itself as one way of sustaining interest in his work. The purpose of the present survey of material on Spenser and Ireland is to help bring in from the margins of the literary canon an aspect of the poet's life hitherto confined to specialist monographs in learned journals, namely the question of his planter status and the manner in which it impinges upon his writings. Taken as a whole, this material allows for a broad contextual view of an author whose Englishness has always been qualified to a certain degree by his close involvement, for the entirety of his literary career, with England's first colony. The bibliography offered here comprises five basic types of evidence: contemporary descriptions of Ireland and the Irish; modern historiography of the period; secondary criticism of Spenser and Ireland; items relating specifically to Munster, the province with which the poet was most intimately associated; and, finally, biographical information on patrons and acquaintances of Spenser active in Elizabeth's viceregal administration.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. IX (1991), pp. 227-242.

Copyright © 1991 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


A. Kent Hieatt Arthur's Deliverance of Rome? (Yet Again)

Copyright © 1991 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


Ruth Samson Luborsky The Illustrations to The Shepheardes Calender: II

Alex A. Vardanis The Temptations of Despaire: Jeffers and The Faerie Queene

Copyright © 1991 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Margaret P. Hannay, "My Sheep are Thoughts": Self-Reflexive Pastoral in The Faerie Queene, Book VI and the New Arcadia

Conscious that direct speech risked the queen's disfavor, Sir Philip Sidney and Edmund Spenser attempted to teach Queen Elizabeth to read their pastoral fictions aright. In the New Arcadia and in The Faerie Queene, Book VI they mirror the queen's act of reading within the narrative by dramatizing the process of teaching a princess to read a pastoral fiction. In the New Arcadia there are three knights who present self-conscious fictions to princesses: Pyrocles, Musidorus, and Amphialus. In Book VI of The Faerie Queene, Spenser ignores the tale of the Amazonian Pyrocles entirely, echoes the tale of Musidorus, and incorporates an ironic element from the tale of "the courteous Amphialus" which may help to explain the dubious success of Calidore, the knight of courtesy. As each shepherd/knight wishes to demonstrate his real status to the princess to win her heart, so the poet/courtier wishes to demonstrate his real worth to the queen to win a position at court. For both poets the problem of Right Reading is given urgency by their own experience of envy and resultant slander, embedded in the narrative by Sidney through the Cecropia/Amphialus plot, allegorized by Spenser in the Blatant Beast.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. IX (1991), pp. 137-159.

Copyright © 1991 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Volume VIII, 1990

Roland Greene, The Shepheardes Calendar, Dialogue, and Periphrasis

The most immediate plot of The Shepheardes Calender concerns the recuperation of Colin Clout as the lyric voice of his society by the shepherds' collective efforts. This generic plot entails a vision of Iyric discourse as potentially dialogic in several senses: within itself, between speakers in a culture, and among its extramural contexts. Because it amounts to a critical statement about the conditions of poetry in its time, the Calender has the discursive status of a periphrasis. It does not exemplify the properties it urges for lyric, except locally and intermittently (as in the elegy for Dido in "November"), but surrenders some of its own efficacy in order to define the conditions of a hypothetical discourse at odds with much of the poetry of its time. This essay provides a brief reading of each eclogue in view of this generic plot, and offers fresh interpretations of certain episodes-notably the fable in "Februarye," and the roundelay in "August"-as important to the work's periphrastic polemic.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VIII (1990), pp. 1-34.

Copyright © 1990 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Robert Cummings, Spenser's "Twelve Private Morall Virtues"

I propose a source in the Corpus Hermeticum for Spenser's characterisation and disposition of the moral virtues in The Faerie Queene. To be more than trivial, the analogy requires a reassessment of Arthur's role as Magnificence. The second part of the paper accordingly attempts a more serious reading than is customary of the relationship between Magnificence and Glory. The third part offers a sketch of the six Books of The Faerie Queene using the Hermetic terminology to gloss Spenser's.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VIII (1990), pp. 35-60.

Copyright © 1990 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Anthony M. Esolen, Irony and the Pseudo-physical in The Faerie Queene

Spenser's irony is often characterized by an inappropriate or irrelevant concentration upon the physical nature of an allegorical figure. Errour, dame Nature and her sergeant Order, Munera the bribetaker of book five, and the nude young ladies in the Bower of Bliss all provide examples of how Spenser can produce irony by allowing his allegories to slide tantalizingly close to physical reality. The result does not necessarily undermine Spenser's didactic messages, however. Sometimes, as in the case of Nature, a too-physical presentation of a character allows for greater provisionality and variety in interpretation; at other times the irony arises from Spenser's allegorical affirmation of an action that would be impossible or immoral if performed in our physical world. Such irony may serve any purpose, and must neither be ignored nor taken as simply subversive of Spenser's philosophical or political views.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VIII (1990), pp. 61-78.

Copyright © 1990 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Richard T. Neuse, Planting Words in the Soul: Spenser's Socratic Garden of Adonis

he Garden of Adonis does not "solve" the problems of chastity, or of love, posed by Book III. However, even as it subverts the idea of the mirror self and the associated, Petrarchan idea of love as a form of image magic or bondage, it serves to recast the idea of the self in such a way as to allow Britomart to resolve the questions of love and chastity with which she is confronted in the House of Busyrane. A major subtext of the Garden of Adonis is Plato's Phaedrus, a dialogue about love and dialogue, in which, while discussing the relative value of writing and speaking, Socrates makes a dismissive reference to gardens of Adonis. Penetrating through the Socratic irony, Spenser "rehabilitates" these gardens and turns them into a myth of the human self or soul. To the narcissistic and imprisoning mask/masque of selfhood that the society of Book III takes for granted, the Garden of Adonis opposes a symbolic self which has no fixed role or identity but instead defines and discovers itself in its dialogical relation to other persons and to the world. During the absence of the heroine from the narrative, the Garden represents and anticipates a crucial moment in her spiritual evolution when she recognizes the radically symbolic dimension of human destiny. It is by achieving this understanding that she is able to free Amoret from the enchanter Busyrane at the climax of her quest in Book III.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VIII (1990), pp. 79-100.

Copyright © 1990 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Mark Heberle, The Limitations of Friendship

Book IV has been characterized as relatively simple in its moral allegory, presenting a conventional virtue conventionally through a series of satisfying resolutions that satisfy the problematical, incomplete love quests of Book III. Like all of Spenser's books, however, the Legend of Friendship allegorizes the difficulty and imperfection of human ethical virtue rather than an achieved ideal. Spenser reminds us of the limitations of friendship through contrasting foreground and background narratives, through defining friendship as a relationship between men and women, and by establishing connections between friendship and justice, the virtue that extends his moral allegory. Friendship is fully realized only in episodes that are characterized as fictions, myths or stories that are completed within the book itself: Spenser's Squire's Tale, his analogue of thc Amis and Amiloun story, and the epithalamion of the Thames and Medway. By contrast, friendships between recurrent male and female characters (Britomart and Artegall, Timias and Belphoebe, Scudamour and Amoret, Amoret and Arthur, Marinell and Florimell) are uneasy, unstable, or incomplete and represent the problem of reconciling virtue and desire in heterosexual love, Spenser's highest form of friendship. The internal and external threats to such friendship must be overcome by the rigorous exercise of justice, which both protects and politicizes love between men and women, as the relationship between Books IV and V indicates.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VIII (1990), pp. 101-118.

Copyright © 1990 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Julia Lupton, Home-Making in Ireland: Virgil's Eclogue I and Book VI of The Faerie Queene

In the Faerie Queene, Spenser pastoralizes the iron age Ireland of Book V into the golden world of Book Vl through two interlocking versions of Virgil's Eclogue I. First, in Meliboe's tale of his trip to the city and home again, Spenser rewrites Virgil's story of exile into a narrative of return. Meliboe's construction of "home" out of distance from city and court parallels Spenser's two-fold position as a kind of exile from England and a home-making colonizer in Ireland. Second, in the story of Meliboe's murder at the hands of the Irish-like Brigants, this "lawlesse people" appears as the agent rather than the victim of dispossession; Spenser softens the tragic Virgilian fate of his character by restoring the pastoral lands to young Coridon. In both cases, Spenser resolves Virgil's painful structural contrast between "exile" and home" into a redemptive narrative sequence of exile followed by return or repossession. In the "Argument" to Canto X, Virgilian dissonance momentarily returns, placing the poetic home-making of Mount Acidale beneath its "unheimlich" banner.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VIII (1990), pp. 119-146.

Copyright © 1990 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Michael Trainer, "The thing S. Paule ment by . . . the courteousness that he spake of": Religious Sources for Book VI of The Faerie Queene

The word "courtesy" is used repeatedly to name a religious virtue in texts well known to Elizabethans, most notably in sixteenth-century English translations of the Bible and of the writings of John Calvin. No critics have noticed that the word "courtesy" appears in these texts, possibly because the word essentially disappears from later, more familiar English translations. These texts provide straightforward sources that explain Spenser's use of a term that has seemed to most critics either unworthy of being in the company of "holiness" and "justice" or idiosyncratically redefined by Spenser. Moreover, they allow us to see that Book Vl is based on the theology of grace that is at the center of Elizabethan Protestantism.

In sixteenth-century religious texts, courtesy is a virtue that characterizes the ideal Christian community. Since for Elizabethan Protestants the human will is utterly sinful, such a community can be built only by God's taking control and causing humans to have proper relationships. God does this through his "graces," parts of God placed inside humans, "heavenly seedes" implanted in human flesh. A courteous community grows from these seeds, in two steps: first, a group of sinners are gathered together through mutual recognition of the seeds of grace within them; second, once the community is formed, courtesy becomes the nurturing and sharing of the "fruits" that grow from those seeds of grace. Book Vl is organized to show these two steps: in the first seven cantos and half of the eighth, Spenser shows knights and religious hermits and even the God of love recognizing the seeds of grace in despised persons, in savages and sinners, and thus bringing them into the community of the faithful; then, in Canto viii, Spenser turns to contrasting the ways three different communities (the Cannibals, the shepherds, and the Brigants) attempt to keep growing and share in the graces of those in their communities. Calidore's tale, running throughout the book, shows the essential difference between a secular or humanistic notion of courtesy and one based on Protestant concepts: Calidore is transformed from a person trying hard to make himself courteous into a person driven, rather against his will, to do what God intends him to do.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VIII (1990), pp. 147-174.

Copyright © 1990 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Kenneth Borris, "Diuelish Ceremonies": Allegorical Satire of Protestant Extremism in The Faerie Queene VI.viii.31-51

Although this episode of The Faerie Queene explicitly focuses on abuse of religion, very little consideration has previously been given to its religious implications. It is another of Spenser's many allegorized theological satires, we find, for numerous details of language and imagery have an allegorically satiric significance relating to doctrinal and other aspects of Elizabethan religious conditions. Study of the episode thus helps resolve the two fundamental current controversies about Book Vl: whether it is more literal or more subtly allegorical than the preceding books, and whether Spenser's Courtesy, the titular virtue of Book Vl, is secular or semi-theological. The Savages episode is indeed a complex allegory in which Courtesy has a religious application, in keeping with some medieval precedent. However, whereas religious satire in Books I to III of The Faerie Queene is mostly aimed at Roman Catholicism, Spenser turns to attack Protestant extremists, and especially Puritans in a broad sense, in this part of his final instalment. Hence the episode further reveals that Spenser's religious affinities were conservatively Protestant in at Ieast his later career, for it constitutes a devastating, blackly comic rejection of the whole radical Reformation. In this way the episode is a significant expression of late Elizabethan attitudes toward nonconforming Protestants and their doctrines, besides being an unusually fine and intriguing example of both allegory and religious satire.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VIII (1990), pp. 175-210.

Copyright © 1990 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Patrick Cheney, The Old Poet Presents Himself: Prothalamion as a Defense of Spenser's Career

According to a critical "commonplace," Spenser in his late work becomes disillusioned with the humanist idealism informing his earlier poetry. Yet evidence from his last published poem, Prothalamion, may help us revise this view. The poem has a three-part structure: Part 1 (Stanza 1) shows the poet withdrawing from "Princes Court"; Part 2 (Stanzas 2-7) shows him "chanc[ing] to espy" an idealized vision: a "Flocke of Nymphes" deck "two Swannes of goodly hewe" with "flowers" and "Garlands"; Part 3 (Stanzas 8-10) shows the swan procession entering "mery London," prompting him to celebrate the national ideal inspired by Essex's heroic service to Elizabeth. This peculiar three-part structure enacts the humanist ideal The Faerie Queene promotes: it presents a meta-allegory of the allegorical process in order to defend the poet's power to "fashion" virtuous readers. Part I traces the first stage: frustrated with court politics, the poet withdraws into pastoral otium to "ease" his "payne." Part 2 traces the second stage: through grace augmented by faith, the poet sees an imaginative vision in which he symbolically witnesses the virtuous effect of his own poetry, figured when the swans overcome their fear of marriage through inspiration from a "Lay" of wedded love sung by one of the Nymphs. Part 3 traces the third stage: inspired by the idealized vision, the poet and his readers (the swan-brides) return to actuality transformed, signaled when the "birdes" of the earlier stanzas suddenly become "brides" in the last stanza. In addition to the poem's structure, its strategy of imitation supports the humanist ideal. Allusions to the Ovidian myths of Leda and the swan, Apollo and Daphne, and Orpheus and Eurydice, and to the Virgilian myth of Venus and her swans show Spenser presenting himself as an Orphic poet serving a national ideal of wedded love. In Prothalamion an occasional poet does more than passively celebrate a double marriage: at the end of his career, a major poet responds to his frustration by offering a defense of allegorical love poetry in the national epic itself, and in so doing offers an apologia for the humanist program inspiring his poetry. Prothalamion functions as a defense of Spenser's career.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VIII (1990), pp. 211-238.

Copyright © 1990 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

S. K. Heninger, Jr., Spenser and Sidney at Leicester House

Unfortunately, no abstract is available for this article. Please see the printed volume:

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VIII (1990), pp. 239-250.

Copyright © 1990 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Roger Kuin, The Gaps and the Whites: Indeterminacy and Undecideability in the Sonnet Sequences of Sidney, Spenser, and Shakespeare

The only way to write about gaps in the sonnet-sequences, and to "accomplish the plural of the text" (Barthes) is to engage oneself completely, and to dis-concert. Here, a performance of gaps attempts to make visible the undecideable, and simultaneously to question our discourse. Four kinds of gap are explored in (a) sequence: Ingarden's Gap, Iser's Gap, Derrida's Gap, and the White Gap. The sonnet-sequence is shown (not) to contain these: due perhaps to its unusual nature as a form carefully practiced but never theorized, its gaps overflow, in all directions. This (indefinite) article tries not to stem the flow but to cross it. The Duke of Portland's under-gardener, when a housemaid upset a vase of flowers five minutes before a dinner honoring the Queen of Rumania, arranged the blooms to follow the water-courses along the damask, and was complimented by Her Majesty.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VIII (1990), pp. 251-286.

Copyright © 1990 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Greg Kucich, The Duality of Romantic Spenserianism

During the Romantic period, Spenser's influence and popularity reached a zenith that is unparalleled in the history of his reputation. The Romantics' enthusiasm for him has been disparaged by most twentieth-century Spenserian scholars because of its seemingly reductive and distortive celebration of his beauty to the utter exclusion of his thought. However, such a conventional idea of the Romantics' Spenser comes out of our limited focus on a small body of their most sensational responses to him, which are usually taken out of context and presented reductively as the Romantics' definitive notion of his art. A satisfactory examination of the full range of their Spenserianism-as it appeared in a voluminous amount of imitations, biographies, critical essays, casual discussions, and annotations of Spenser texts-has never been attempted. I wish to suggest, here, the important outlines such a project might take by showing how the Romantics learned to appreciate a dialectical cast of mind in Spenser, a "play of double senses," that anticipates some of our most innovative ways of approaching his peotics. By coming to recognize their tendency to find in his drama of contraries an empowering agency for their own poetics of modern experience, we may better understand the nature of his achievement and its relevance for post-Renaissance poets.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VIII (1990), pp. 287-308.


Joseph Loewenstein A Note on the Structure of Spenser's Amoretti: Viper Thoughts

Carol Kaske Rethinking Loewenstein's "Viper Thoughts"

John N. Wall, Jr. Orion Once More: Revisiting the Sky over Faerieland

Copyright © 1990 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

A. Kent Hieatt, Thomas P. Roche, Jr. A Reponse to A. Kent Hieatt

The Projected Continuation of The Faerie Queene: Rome Delivered?

Copyright © 1990 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Volume VII, 1987

Richard Mallette, The Protestant Art of Preaching in Book One of The Faerie Queene

An awareness of Reformation homiletics casts a bright light on Book One, particularly in the remarkable amount of advice-giving. The various pieces of counsel, mostly directed at Redcross, form a pattern worth examining in relation to homiletic texts. As the first half of the Book demonstrates unmistakably, Redcross knows neither how to hear nor to "read" properly, and he therefore lacks the "hearing of the heart" demanded by Protestant divines. In the second half of the Book two crucial episodes rely on the art of preaching: that with Despaire and that in the House of Holiness. The advice of Despaire parodies Reformation sermons, especially those based on Calvinist understandings of human nature. In the House of Holiness, and especially in the apocalyptic preaching of Contemplation, Redcross continues to hear a wealth of homilies, and he develops, in William Perkins's phrase, that 'sauing hearing which bringeth eternal life."

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VII (1987), pp. 3-26.

Copyright © 1987 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Shirley Clay Scott, From Polydorus to Fradubio: The History of a Topos

In Aeneid III, Virgil describes a monstrum: a tree that bleeds and speaks to reveal the murder and subsequent transformation of Polydorus, the youngest son of Priam. The motif derives from folklore, but its literary form is Virgil's invention-and one that compelled imitation by a formidable list of poets. The topos appears twice in Ovid's Metamorphoses; it is one of the few extended passages of the Aeneid recapitulated by Dante. After Dante, Italian poets who traced their derivation from the classical past through him seemed obliged to imitate this topic. Boccaccio's imitation is a deferent one; Ariosto's parody questions the assumptions of Christian appropriations of classical past. Spenser, conscious that he "comes after" the Italians, nevertheless intends to overgo them and employs the topos to articulate an enabling myth of earliness. As theorists of influence and imitation have argued, there are anxieties and tensions inherent to imitation that is also emulation, and the topos that Virgil invented had peculiar capacity to register them. This paper demonstrates how these tensions inform each text, animate it, and become part of its meaning.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VII (1987), pp. 27-58.

Copyright © 1987 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

T. M. Krier, The Mysteries of the Muses: Spenser's Faerie Queene, II.3, and the Epic Tradition of the Goddess Observed

Spenser's famous description of Belphoebe in The Faerie Queene II.3, and the comic episode in which it is set, are the first large-scale classical imitations in the poem. They appropriate important passages from Aeneid I, episodes of the numinous woman beheld, and the dramatic situation parodies the dynamics of gods' desires for nymphs in Ovid's Metamorphoses. This essay first discusses the salient passages in Vergil and Ovid, and how they define vision and desire, important themes through which Spenser develops his own imitative interests. Then I turn to the Belphoebe episode in order to consider the ramifications of Spenser's imitative practice. These include consequences of several kinds: 1) tonal, as Spenser circumvents Vergilian pathos with Ovidian comedy; 2) generic, as the moral-allegorical epic of Book II contains Vergilian intimations of romance epic; 3) political, since the rhetoric necessary to account for Queen Elizabeth's role in the book disrupts the ethos of the allegorical epic and deflects Spenser's orientation from father poets to the feminine image of love and order.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VII (1987), pp. 59-92.

Copyright © 1987 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

John N. Wall, Jr., Orion's Flaming Head: Spenser's Faerie Queene, II.ii.46 and the Feast of the Twelve Days of Christmas

Spenser's Letter to Ralegh defines the originating event for the twelve knightly quests to be narrated in The Faerie Queene as the Queene of Faeries' "Annuall feaste xii. dayes" In The Faerie Queene II.ii.42, Sir Guyon asserts that this feast contains the "day that first doth lead the yeare around." These clues have led scholars to propose a number of days observed by Elizabeth's court as feasts and festivals, most notably November 17th (the anniversary of Elizabeth's accession to the throne) and March 25th (the beginning of the calendar), as candidates for the occasion to which Spenser refers. Yet Guyon also says that approximately three months have passed since he was at Gloriana's court, and the narrator tells us that as Guyon tells his story, "Night" becomes "far spent" and "Orion ... in Ocean deepe / His flaming head did hasten for to steepe (FQ II.ii.46), conditions which occurred in the Elizabethan sky only in late March or early April. Thus, astronomical evidence supports an older claim that the Faerie Queene's twelve-day feast is the Elizabethan Feast of the Twelve Days of Christmas, kept with great festivity each year in Elizabeth's court. This identification is supported by the fact that the Twelve Days of Christmas came to Spenser already associated with Arthurian narratives, was often celebrated by performances of the legend of St. George and the Dragon, and was an occasion for the presentation of formal gifts to Elizabeth by her courtiers. Since the first edition of The Faerie Queene was entered in the Stationers' Register on December 1, 1589, and was published shortly thereafter, we may view the poem as Spenser's Christmas gift to his Queen.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VII (1987), pp. 93-102.

Copyright © 1987 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Philip Rollinson, Arthur, Maleger, and the Interpretation of The Faerie Queene

The interpretive problems with the Maleger episode illustrate a problem of Spenserian interpretation generally-a tendency to avoid close attention to the traditional ethical contexts underlying The Faerie Queene. The gradual Christianization of the interpretation of Book II in this century has led to serious misinterpretations of Maleger as sin and Arthur as God's grace-whereas the text identifies Maleger as "Misrule," who leads the attack of the base passions against the well-governed, temperate body, Alma's Castle. Arthur's magnificence is explicitly associated with one of two integral parts of temperance (honestas/Prays-desire), the desire to be a leading exemplar of temperate behavior. The probably intentional association of Maleger with the Hercules/Antaeus story and its traditional interpretation (Hercules as virtue, Antaeus as libido, and the earth flesh) reinforces Maleger as the misrule of the passions, since libido is the most dangerous enemy of temperance in the ethical tradition known to Spenser. Since Maleger's army is explicitly the base passions, the seven companies attacking the Castle gate are probably not the seven deadly sins, because, although related to sins, the base passions are in fact distinct from them. Neither is Maleger sin, which cannot really be tempered, although the passions can and should be by the moderating rule of temperance.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VII (1987), pp. 103-122.

Copyright © 1987 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Kenneth Borris, Fortune, Occasion, and the Allegory of the Quest in Book Six of The Faerie Queene

As courtesy at best involves appropriate response to whatcver social circumstances arise, so Spenser's Legend of Courtesy deals extensively with Fortune and the related concepts of occasion and chance as they relate to apt attunement with the moment. Some consideration has previously been given to the narrative in this regard; but the quest in Book Vl is itsclf a complex allegory about timeliness as a part of Courtesy, based on traditional symbolism of Fortune and Occasion that Spenser modifies in keeping with his conception of the virtue. Attention to this aspect of the poem reveals that, contrary to most recent studies of Book VI, it optimistically affirms a Boethian, transcendental view of man, in which adherence to such high, contemplative standards of virtue properly informs man's endeavours in this world, placing him at last beyond the vagaries of Fortune's realm, and all that the Blatant Beast stands for. Much of The Faerie Queene at least indirectly confronts the difficulty of exercising virtue in an imperfect, unpredictably changeable world; in this sense, Book Vl, which deals with the titular virtue most capable of broadly based, sensitive response to contingencies, is a summation effectively rounding off the poem in the sphere of human enterprise and naturally leading into the Mutabilitie Cantos, which look beyond the flux of temporal existence to a divine standard that is eternal.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VII (1987), pp. 123-146.

Copyright © 1987 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Jeffrey P. Fruen, True Glorious Type: The Place of Gloriana in The Faerie Queene

One of the least transparent, yet least discussed, enigmas of The Faerie Queene has been presented by the very title of the poem: for it is hardly clear that so marginal a character as the faery queen deserves to be singled out as the principal figure of a narrative in which she is conspicuous chiefly by her absence. Of the few critics to have seriously engaged the problem, most claim either that the poet's neglect of his titular heroine is part of a subtle strategy for the praise of Queen Elizabeth or that it manifests the fundamentally Platonic underpinnings of his allegory. Yet the evidence of both narrative pattern and verbal allusion suggests that the chief basis for the virtual exclusion of the faery queen from Spenser's text lies in a deliberate imitation of the pattern of biblical typology: we are invited to see the long-withheld Gloriana as his poem's "argument" in much the same sense in which Christ was held to be the one pervasive subject of the Scriptures.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VII (1987), pp. 147-174.

Copyright © 1987 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Richard C. Frushell, Spenser and the Eighteenth-Century Schools

Many Spenser imitators in the eighteenth century seem to have been introduced to the poet as early as their school years. While not part of the curriculum at Westminster, Winchester, and Eton, Spenser was likely encouraged as model by teachers such as Robert Lloyd (student, Usher, Master at Westminster) and Joseph Warton (student, Usher, Master at Winchester), themselves Spenser imitators. Certainly Spenser editions were available in the schools, and some imitations have as their subject school and schooling. Most imitators were early readers of Spenser; many imitations have the spiritedness of youth. This paper assays something of how Spenser was first experienced in the eighteenth century.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VII (1987), pp. 175-198.

Copyright © 1987 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Roy Neil Graves, Two Newfound Poems by Edmund Spenser: The Buried Short-Line Runes in Epithalamion and Prothalamion

A. Kent Hieatt, in Short Time's Endless Monument: The Symbolism of the Numbers in Edmund Spenser's "Epithalamion" (Columbia University Press, 1960; rpt. Port Washington, N. Y.: Kennikat Press, 1972), explicates the pervasive, previously undetected numerological scheme that undergirds Spenser's famous marriage poem. In a complex "suppressed design" of the sort that Renaissance artists enjoyed, a system into which other formal details fit neatly, Hieatt finds Spcnser's 68 "short lines" problematical but still assumes that they are formally significant-"like an undersong," he says, using Spenser's word. Pursuing Hieatt's hint, within the larger context of my ten-year investigation into lost coterie writings embedded in medieval and Renaissance texts, my essay recomposes, "edits," annotates, and comments on the previously unknown "Short-Line Rune" systematically tucked into Epithalamion, a complicated and playful 68-line poem that likens itself to a "bride" in Hades whom members of a lusty "band" are to help "prepare" for an initial reappearance in the upper world. Puns and bawdry (and a double-columned arrangement congruent with Hieatt's scheme) complicate the recomposed poem, as do extravagant conceits and slippery wit. My essay also establishes an edited 41-line text for the lost "Short-Line Rune" in Spenser's Prothalamion, cautiously reading the rune (or round) as a comic account of an 'Outing" in which subtextual urinary bawdry expands on the "watery excursion" of the apparent text. The two newfound poems, concrete artifacts inviting study, are somewhat like erased palimpsestic strata. Finding them invites revaluation of details (especially arcane allusions to the embedding game) in the larger works that they share lines with, calls into question purely sober readings of the surface poems they undercut, and invites general reconsideration of Spenser's tone-of Spenser as humorist. No witty aberrations, the two subtexts reappear as conventional examples of a long-established but practically-lost medieval "mystery," the practice of writing secretly to entertain peers (and pull the long leg of the world) that I have discussed elsewhere, especially in essays which offer newly recomposed metrical artifacts from the Anglo-Saxon riddles, the works of the Pearl/Gawain poet, and Shakespeare's sonnets as evidence of a pervasive coterie practice in earlier English literature.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VII (1987), pp. 199-238.

Copyright © 1987 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Christopher Martin, Sidney and the Limits of Eros

The power and charm of Sidney's poetry lie for most readers in the artist's witty anatomy of Petrarchan convention. Though commonly ignored by critics, his first collection, the Certain Sonnets, shares the fundamentally skeptical approach to courtly love elaborated in a work like Astrophil and Stella. In an effort to reevaluate the dynamics of this early text, the essay demonstrates how Sidney challenges Petrarchism in terms of a neo-Roman ideal of moderation. The translation of Horace's Rectius uiues-conspicuous as the only non-amatory poem in the series-serves as a kind of touchstone against which we measure the surrounding lyrics. By analyzing the Certain Sonnets' internal division in this way we are better able to understand the ideas informing Sidney's artistic approach earlier on, and can perhaps clarify the attitudes that he would reformulate in the work's more famous successor.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VII (1987), pp. 239-260.

Copyright © 1987 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Peggy Muñoz Simonds, Eros and Anteros in Shakespeare's Sonnets 153 and 154: An Iconographical Study

Three separate strands of allusion appear to be woven into the fabric of Shakespeare's Sonnets 153 and 154: the myth of Cupid's stolen brand as found in an epigram by Marianus Scholasticus, the topos of Eros and Anteros with its differing classical and humanist interpretations, and finally a Neoplatonic story of two separate hot baths in Gadara, Palestine, each with its resident Cupid. The humanist version of Eros (lust) and Anteros (love of virtue) introduced to Renaissance poetry by the emblematist Andrea Alciati symbolizes the struggle for domination between physical love and spiritual love. Deriving from Plato's two loves, who were mentioned in the Symposium and the Phaedrus, Eros and Anteros help to explain the subtle differences between Shakespeare's last two sonnets, one of which is obviously obscene while the other is a song to "The little love god" whose brand-"by a virgin hand disarm'd -perpetually warms a curative bath as a "healthful remedy for diseased men.' The last line of Sonnet 154 has been shown to reflect the promise of the Song of Songs that spiritual "love is strong as death. " Although the presence of the Eros and Anteros topos in the sonnets suggests thc need for a Neoplatonic reading of the sequence as a whole, it also points out the difficulties for any poet in communicating the Platonic vision of Beauty, Goodness, Truth, and Justice through an art which is thoroughly dependent on ambiguous words and on images drawn from the material world of Eros and earthly Venus. The opposition between Eros and Anteros provokes the tension that makes the sonnets such powerful poetry, but it results as well in a poetry of double vision which is not altogether "true," as the poet-lover's eye glances frenetically "from heaven to earth, and from earth to heaven." Only the bath of Anteros as divine love in Sonnet 154 can offer a cure.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VII (1987), pp. 261-286.

Copyright © 1987 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


Anne Lake Prescott

Response to Deborah Cartmell (Volume VI)

Copyright © 1987 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


James Vink

A Concealed Figure in the Woodcut to the "January" Eclogue

Copyright © 1987 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Volume VI, 1986

John N. King, Was Spenser a Puritan?

It is inaccurate and anachronistic to label the ecclesiastical eclogues of The Shepheardes Calender("May," "July," and "September") as a manifestation of Puritan zeal. Language that in modern times may seern to have an unorthodox tinge often fell into the broad area of consensus shared by moderate Puritans and English Protestants loyal to the Elizabethan Settlement. Spenser's thought was in alignment with that of the progressive faction led by the Earl of Leicester and Sir Francis V/alsingham, and to ignore that Protestant commitment to continuation of church reform both in England and on the Continent flattens the dialectical interplay of the eclogues to one-dimensional tractarian argument. Protestant ideology governs Spenser's use of the language of biblical pastoral, his imitation of the "Chaucerian" tradition of native bucolic satire, the introduction of anagrams and nicknames identifying a circle of reform-minded bishops close to Edmund Grindal, the recently suspended Archbishop of Canterbury, and the narration of fables concerned with religious issues facing the mid-Elizabethan church.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VI (1986), pp. 1-31.

Copyright © 1986 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Anne Lake Prescott, The Thirsty Deer and the Lord of Life: Some Contexts for Amoretti 67-70

Spenser's love sonnets, now widely believed to refer to the church calendar, can be shown to have additional ties to the Christian liturgy. The hind of Amoretti67 has many relatives in scripture and in biblical Commentary, deer which appear also in the liturgy at the end of Lent, especially in the Sarum rite; one commentary on Psalm 42 even anticipates Spenser's wording. Spenser was not the first to show a deer giving itself up just before Easter or to follow this immediately with a poem in some way associating the Resurrection with erotic love. Marguerite de Navarre had done the samc in a sequence of lyrics with striking parallels to Amoretti67-70. Finally, there may be an indirect liturgical allusion in the number of Spenser's sonnets, for the 1559 prayerbook also has 89 "days" in its set of communion readings.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VI (1986), pp. 33-76.

Copyright © 1986 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Deborah Cartmell, 'Beside the shore of siluer streaming Thamesis': Spenser's Ruines of Time

Instead of Du Bellay's Antiquitez, it is suggested that Spenser models his Ruines of Time on 'Super Flumina,' Psalm 137, the song of the exiles who refuse to sing in Babylonian captivity. Spenser's persona's refusal to sing the lament which Verlame asks of him equates him with the speaker of the 137th Psalm; however, unlike the Psalmist, Spenser's persona ultimately sings in his own voice and the final visions concluding The Ruines of Time suggest that he has overcome Verlame's domination and is able to produce an alternative lament to Sir Philip Sidney. Like his much missed patron, Spenser begins his own translation of the Psalms, but the 137th is translated into a contemporary context: The Ruines of Time re-enacts the movement from Babylon to Sion or from Marian to Elizabethan England and rather than a poem lamenting the fall of Roman England in the manner of Du Bellay's Antiquitez, Spenser's poem ultimately celebrates the English break with Rome as foretold by the Psalmist:

And Babilon, that did'st us waste, Thy self shalt one daie wasted be.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VI (1986), pp. 77-82.

Copyright © 1986 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Pamela J. Benson, Florimell at Sea: The Action of Grace in Faerie Queene, Book III

The fisherman's sexual assault on Florimell in Faerie Queene III.7 and 8 and her rescue by the lecherous Proteus are presented by Spenser as the result of the direct intervention of Providence and Grace respectively. In both cases God's action is problematic because it puts her in a dangerous situation; however, Florimell is able to withstand Proteus' challenge to her virtue, whereas she clearly would have been defeated by the fisher had Proteus not appeared. The difference in Florimell's response to the sexual challenge of her assailants is due to the action of grace. Just before Florimell enters the fisher's boat, she is determined to commit suicide to escape the witch's rapacious beast. Providence rescues her from this desperate spiritual and physical situation and removes her from her social context only to confront her with male sexuality in its roughest form. This time she abandons self-reliance and calls on God for aid; as a result, grace intervenes and, like an Ovidian god, transforms her. But the metamorphosis is spiritual, not physical, and is due to Florimell's recognition that she is not capable of achieving virtue on her own. Forced to suffer with no way out, not even suicide, Florimell finally asks for help. The outer sign of the efficacy of this prayer is the arrival of Proteus, the inner sign is her ability to withstand his spiritual attacks without fear; she has been changed from a terrified female fleeing male passion to a steadfast lady confidently resisting attack. The spiritual content of this episode explains the strangely tranquil, even humorous, tone of the narrator when describing the fisher's attempt at rape. Protected by Providence, Florimell can be initiated into male sexuality and fecundity without being in any real danger. The intervention of grace in this episode demonstrates that chastity depends on the gift of grace and not on the will of the individual, just as the intervention of grace in the eighth canto of each other book of The Faerie Queene indicates the dependence of each other virtue on grace.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VI (1986), pp. 83-94.

Copyright © 1986 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Harold L. Weatherby, AXIOCHUS and the Bower of Bliss: Some Fresh Light on Sources and Authorship

Whether, as Frederick Padelford believed, Spenser translated the 1592 (Pseudo-Platonic) Axiochus(attributed by Cuthbert Burbie to "Edw. Spenser") is a question still to be answered. After Padelford published the long missing book and presented his case for Spenser's authorship (in 1934), Bernard Freyd, Marshall Swan, and Celeste Turner Wright argued from strong external evidence that Padelford was mistaken, that the translator was in fact Anthony Munday, and the ascription to Spenser either Burbie's error or Munday's fraudulent attempt to profit from Spenser's popularity. In the Variorum, Rudolf Gottfried countered in defense of Padelford with internal evidence-a long list of parallels between the language of Axiochus and Spenser's poetry. Gottfried overlooked, however, the most striking resemblance in phrasing-between a description of the climate in Elysium (in Axiochus) and the weather in Acrasia's bower in FQ II, xii, 51. The similarities both in language and syntax are sufficiently exact as virtually to prove: (1) that if Spenser did not translate the 1592 Axiochus he was influenced by it; (2) that the translator of Axiochus(if not Spenser presumably Munday) was influenced by The Faerie Queene or (3) that Spenser wrote the translation as wel1 as the poem. Since we cannot date the translation (only its publication), neither of the first two possibilities can be eliminated from consideration. The third, however, seems the most probable, not only because of the traditional ascription but also because in the Bower of Bliss Spenser demonstrates knowledge not only of the 1592 English Axiochus but also of the Latin version of the dialogue by Rayanus Welsdalius, on which the English version was based. Spenser's combining peculiarities of both Latin and English phrasing in his poem argues strongly for his having an intimate acquaintance with both-precisely the sort of knowledge of two texts which a translation from one to the other would have afforded him. That the climate of the Bower also seems to echo the original Greek of the passage whereas the 1592 translation manifests no acquaintance with the Greek need not be taken as disproving Spenser's authorship. Padelford argued convincingly for a very early date for the translation, in the 1570s; Spenser could have learned Greek later and compared the original with the Latin and English versions. The stanza in The Faerie Queene is best explained as a composite of Welsdalius's Latin, Spenser's (perhaps school-boy English), his mature knowledge of Greek, and of course his equally mature poetic English.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VI (1986), pp. 95-113.

Copyright © 1986 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

David O. Frantz, The Union of Florimell and Marinell: The Triumph of Hearing

he ending of Book IV of The Faerie Queene can best be understood in terms of the neoplatonic debate over which sense is more elevated in apprehending beauty, the sense of hearing or the sense of sight. What Spenser gives us at the end of Book IV is a muted, momentary victory for the sense of hearing, for Florimell wins Marinell's love not when he sees her but when he overhears her complaint in Proteus's cave. This victory is fittingly ironic in Florimell's case, since she is one of the females so persistently pursued and assailed for the physical beauty that males see. Florimell and Marinell become exemplars for other lovers, most notably Britomart and Amoret, and their union embodies the three loves of Book IV, love of kindrcd, lover, and friend. The episode also prepares the reader for further investigation of seeing and hearing in Books V and Vl, culminating in Calidore's encounter with Colin Clout on Mt. Acidale, a moment that is both auditory and visionary, enabling us to gain access to the worlds of love, cognition, and art.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VI (1986), pp. 115-127.

Copyright © 1986 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Louise Schleiner, Spenser and Sidney on the Vaticinium

Both Spenser and Sidney included the vaticinium concept in their thinking about the importance of inspiration in poetic creation. In the Apology for Poetry and in The Shepheardes Calender's "October" eclogue, Sidney and Spenser's glossarist E. K. both follow Scaliger in fencing off a region of 'higher' from one of 'lower' genres. And both designate as corresponding kinds of poet the vates or poet of lofty divine inspiration and the "maker" or "right" poet. But "E. K." and Sidney differ markedly in the number of genres they consider vaticinally inspired (fewer for Sidney) and in their ways of reimporting inspiration into the lower region. "E. K."-and Spenser in the eclogue-follow Scaliger still farther in declaring the "maker" to be inspired by Bacchic power, so that for him as for the vates poetic matter is through "enthousiasmus . . . powred into the witte" and "adorned . . . with laboure and learning." Sidney, by contrast, pays inspiration a more grudging but therefore notable tribute, imaging it not as a liquid but as a necessary airy force puffing Icarus the "maker' into flight, where he must then rely on skill and rules as he creates a poem.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VI (1986), pp. 129-145.

Copyright © 1986 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

David J. Baker, 'Some Quirk, Some Subtle Evasion': Legal Subversion in Spenser's A View of the Present State of Ireland

Contrary to a recent claim, Spenser's A View ofthe Present State of Ireland was not suppressed by the Privy Council because it revealed the terrorism of official policy in the colony. Instead, official readers suspected this treatise because it exposed the vulnerability of English law to internal manipulation and subversion. Even within the precincts of the courts, the covertly rebellious Irish could exploit the indeterminacies inherent in common law procedure to indetectably evade or reconstrue the "truth" as officials saw it. For Spenser, no solution was possib]e but the immediate and definitive re-establishment of English law on the ground of absolute royal prerogative. Though later, under James, official hegemony could seem plausible, Spenser's proposal was a desperate denial of the conditions he faced in lreland, and he offered the View to Elizabeth as a last plea for the direct imposition of her transcendent authority.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VI (1986), pp. 147-163.

Copyright © 1986 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Margaret P. Hannay, Unpublished Letters by Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke

Four holograph letters by Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke, have recently come to light. Overlooked by Frances Young in her 1912 listing of Mary Sidney's correspondence, the basis for subsequent references to her letters, they have never been published. The first is an undated letter written to Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, on behalf of her husband, Earl of Pembroke, which sheds some light on the tortuous relationship between the two great Welsh lords. It was probably written just prior to Essex's Cadiz expedition in 1596 and may indicate that young William Lord Herbert accompanied Essex on that voyage.

The other three unpublished letters, written in 1603 and 1604, evidence the increasing frustration Mary Sidney felt in her attempts to obtain justice against her former employee Edmund Mathew, who had defied her authority in Cardiff, stolen her jewels, planned the murder of her trusted servant-and yet succeeded in convincing the new king that she was merely an hysterical woman. For recourse, she wrote first to Sir Julius Caesar, Knight of His Majesty's Requests, and then to her son's prospective father-in-law, the Earl of Shrewsbury. These letters clearly establish Mary Sidney's administrative duties in Cardiff, and the difficulties of the widow caught in the town's struggle to abolish the seigneurial hold of the Earls of Pembroke.

Although she was eulogised primarily as "Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother," those roles were more than they might appear. We have long known that as Sidney's sister, she edited his work, completed his Psalm translation, and encouraged the hagiography which established him as a Protestant martyr. We now know that as Pembroke's mother, she held the castle and borough of Cardiff until his majority, a position which involved this literary woman in struggles with determined advocates of self-rule, and with vandals, pirates, and murderers.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. VI (1986), pp. 165-190.

Copyright © 1986 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Volume V, 1985

Kathryn Walls, Abessa and the Lion: The Faerie Queene, I.3.1-12

The damsel Abessa first appears walking ahead of Una in the wilderness, bearing a pot of water on her shoulders. This water-pot is one of many allusions to Genesis 21, all of which indicate that the damsel is Hagar, the bond-woman whosc expulsion by Abraham was allegorized by Paul (in Galatians 4) as the spiritually reborn Christian's casting out of the rule of the law, the Old Covenant. To begin with, Abessa suggests the Jewish faith before the advent of Christianity; but having faced Una and fled, she represents the Jews in their failure to convert and recalls the fallen Synagoga of the medieval Ecclesia-Synagoga motif. Arriving in Corceca's house, Abessa suggests aspects of the Roman Church; the sequence of her roles implies that the contemporary Roman Church is heir to the vices of Judaism. Una's lion, whose mildness is not recognized by the terrified Abessa, seems to be a symbol of Christ, "the lion of the tribe of Juda." His initial fierceness is God's just anger, replaced with mercy through the incarnation.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. V (1985), pp. 3-30.

Copyright © 1985 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Jacqueline T. Miller, The Status of Faeryland: Spenser's 'Vniust Possession'

Spenser's emerging conception of the status of his Faeryland, as he attempts to delineate the relationship between history and poetry, fact and fiction, helps explain his growing disillusionment in the last books of The Faerie Queene. The major issues at stake are revealed in two specific sections of the poem where Spenser sets together two versions of a similar story: the paired chronicles Arthur and Guyon read in the House of Alma (the disruptive British history and the idealized Faeryland history) and the paired stories of union in Book IV (the harmonious wedding of the Thames and the Medway, and the more problematic uniting of Marinell and Florimell). Spenser endeavors to clear a space for his Faeryland where there are no pretensions to correspondence with actual experience and where, therefore, he can freely invent his ideal landscape; yet he also acknowledges a close association between his created world and the actual world that demands that he confront the unstable, disruptive nature of his fiction and its own remoteness from the ideal. The last books of The Faerie Queene, then, cannot simply be said to reflect Spenser's growing awareness that the actual world is antagonistic to his ideal Faeryland, for the poet sees congruence more than conflict between Faeryland and actuality. The poet does not just come to terms with the fallen state of the world-something he has always been aware of-but also comes to terms with the status of his own fiction, which subscribes to the actual and reveals his inability to create and sustain a golden world in poetry.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. V (1985), pp. 31-44.

Copyright © 1985 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

David W. Burchmore, Triamond, Agape, and the Fates: Neoplatonic Cosmology in Spenser's Legend of Friendship

The three sons of Agape have been said variously to represent the harmony of the "three worlds" united by love, the unity of man's tripartite soul; or the "threefold power" of love. All of these meanings are compatible and their combination in a single figure is sanctioned by the systems of triadic correspondence elaborated by syncretistic Renaissance Neoplatonists. The three Fates, who grant Agape's request to join her sons' lives, were also said to correspond with the three worlds or with the three parts of the world soul. In acceding to Agape's wish, they are performing the cosmic function assigned them by the philosophers, uniting the three parts of man's soul as well as the parts of the universe through the influence of love. The description of the Fates "all sitting round about / The direfull distaffe standing in the mid" is borrowed from Plato's Republic, and is also placed at the exact numerological midpoint of the first third of the book. It is balanced by the figure of Amoret "in the midst" of the Temple of Venus at the center of the last third. The midpoint of the central third is occupied by the Cave of Lust. The placement of these three figures (Agape, Amoret, and Lust) embodies in the structure of the book the tripartite division of love (divine, human, and bestial) which is its subject.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. V (1985), pp. 45-64.

Copyright © 1985 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

R.j. Manning, 'Deuicefull Sights': Spenser's Emblematic Practice in The Faerie Queene, V.1-3

Critics have dismissed the first three cantos of Book Five as rebarbative, as a "false start," or even as "largely irrelevant" to the Legend of Justice. While Spenser indicates that these cantos form an independent structural unit within the book as a whole, he also asserts that these cantos "agree" with his present treatise, and their purpose is "true vertue to aduaunce." The methods he employs are consistent with his practice elsewhere: he inserts into his narrative the traditional emblems of the book's titular virtue: in Canto One, the headless Lady is an ancient hieroglyph of Justice, while the knight's broken sword was used to symbolize over-rigorous severity; Canto Two deals with economic abuses, and contains the emblem of "handless Justice," while the Giant's broken scales show the damaging effects of corrupting avarice; Canto Three introduces the sun and the bridle, attributes of Nemesis, who restrains the emotional excesses of pride and anger which threaten the right administration of Justice. These cantos thus form an exemplary statement of the virtue of Justice. Indeed, Spenser goes further, and displays the preeminence of Justice over the other Moral virtues. Justice is allied with Wisdom in Canto One, with Fortitude in Canto Two, and Temperance in Canto Three, Justice always characterizing the most perfect expression of each virtue.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. V (1985), pp. 65-89.

Copyright © 1985 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Seth Weiner, Minims and Grace Notes: Spenser's Acidalian Vision and Sixteenth-Century Music

In a celebrated but misunderstood instance of musical wordplay, Spenser refers to the Acidalian vision in Book VI, Canto X of The Faerie Queene as a minim. Treatises on practical music in Spenser's time defined minim as the note on which the musical beat was based. Spenser's use of the term wittily implies that the Acidalian vision, inspired by a simple country lass rather than by Gloriana, is at once a mere trifle and an episode of first importance-a truancy but also the vital beat or pulse informing the whole poem. The beat, again according to contemporary musical treatises, could bc subdivided by two or by three, thereby producing what was known as imperfect time or perfect time, also called minim time. Spenser's vision consists of the three classical Graces moving about one country lass, a dance suggestive of perfect, or minim time. Accordingly, the relationship of the Graces to the lass, and of the whole inner cluster of figures to the outer ring of one-hundred maidens, can be described numerologically in terms of a series of ingenious triadic unfoldings and infoldings. The triads all point toward common-places of Pythagorean cosmology that complement the iconography of the Grace's dance as explained by art historians-namely, that it concerns the unfolding of inward courtesy, private and deep in the soul's inner sanctum, into the civilities and shared decencies that make society an ongoing concern. Spenser is telling us, in effect, that the music of the universe resonates in minim time with the music of civilized institutions. The final portion of this essay applies the last stated idea to the vexed question of the choreography of the dance and suggests (citing precedents in Renaissance art) that the Graces are all facing outward. This configuration fulfills all the usual requirements of the Senecan and Servian models for the good civil life and also suggests the process of triadic unfolding and infolding. It thus corroborates what the art historians have taught us in terms of the other sister art, music.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. V (1985), pp. 91-112.

Copyright © 1985 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Harold L. Weatherby, The Old Theology: Spenser's Dame Nature and the Transfiguration

When in "The Mutabilitie Cantos" Spenser identifies Nature with the "God of Nature" and then draws an analogy between Nature and the transfigured Christ, he raises questions of interpretation which deserve better answers than they have hitherto received. Though the numerous sources conventionally cited for these passages (from Pythagoras to Chaucer) may have influenced Spenser's conception, they do not provide adequate precedents for identifying Nature with the specifically Christian God nor for comparing her beauty with that of Christ in the Transfiguration. Precedents are, however, to be found in the Greek Church Fathers. In the theology of Athanasius, of the Cappadocians, and of John of Damascus, the theosis of man and, through man, of the rest of Nature is a recurrent motif. Several classical statements of this doctrine were available in the sixteenth century in recently published continental editions of the Fathers. Most notable among these is a 1577 Parisian edition of St. John of Damascus's opera which includes his treatise on the Transfiguration-a homily which recapitulates the earlier Eastern teaching on the subject and makes a detailed connection between the deification of Nature and the manifestation of that deification on Mt. Tabor. Furthermore John of Damascus links to the Transfiguration another motif clearly visible in "The Mutabilitie Cantos"-the eschatological expectation of the end of time and change. In St. John's discourse, as in Spenser's poem, the epiphany of a divinized Nature prompts the expectation of a time "when no more change shall be."

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. V (1985), pp. 113-142.

Copyright © 1985 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Carol A. Stillman, Politics, Precedence, and the Order of the Dedicatory Sonnets in The Faerie Queene

The dedicatory sonnets present one of the 1590 Faerie Queene's few editorial problems, since the two impressions print two quite different series, the first with only ten sonnets, the second with the full seventeen. Editors and bibliographers have assumed that the order is confused because it did not really matter. On the contrary, the sonnets are arranged in exact accordance with the heraldic rules for precedence. The strictness and importance of the rules can be gauged by the fact that the printer took the trouble and expense to add the omitted seven sonnets by inserting a four page cancel instead of simply tacking them on to the end of the first series.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. V (1985), pp. 143-148.

Copyright © 1985 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Douglas Anderson, 'Vnto My Selfe Alone': Spenser's Plenary Epithalamion

The prevailing sense of marital "jocundity" that critics have found in Epithalamion has tended to overshadow elements of the poem that are less markedly joyful. Spenser's poetic celebrant sings only to himself in the opening stanzas and identifies himself with the elegiac tradition of Orpheus. The bride whom he later addresses is a mysteriously silent and passive figure, removed from the poet in being and in time as well as in virtue. The wedding day that is the poem's occasion is colored by experiences of "payne and sorrow," resignation and loss, that are not clearly and decisively eclipsed by the joys of matrimony. Spenser found expressive opportunities in his poetical marriage gift to Elizabeth Boyle that led him to explore a range of both secular and religious ambiguities in the theme of marriage. These ambiguities pervade not only Epithalamion itself but the Anacreontic songs at the end of the Amoretti and, along with the joyous tone that so many readers have noted, give to Epithalamion its unusual complexity and fullness.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. V (1985), pp. 149-166.

Copyright © 1985 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Seth Lehrer, The Rhetoric of Fame: Stephen Hawes's Aureate Diction

Stephen Hawes's Pastime of Pleasure(1509) offers a theory and practice of aureation which distinguish him from earlier, fifteenth-century Chaucerians and which link him to continental Humanist thought. Hawes's interest in the relationship of himself to his reader articulates itself in several ways: in the narrative presentation of Grande Amoure as a reader of engraved texts and gilded pictures; in the poet's digressions on his own literary posterity through printed books; and in the poem's allegorical presentations of Fame. Aureate diction is thus not merely ornamental; rather, in its immutability and purity, it can serve as the ideal vehicle for the preservation of printed literature and for the expression of courtly ideals. Hawes takes the technical language of Ciceronian faculty psychology and mnemonic theory, combines it with the imagery of printing, and develops a language of "impression" which metaphorically can express concepts of poetic inspiration. These elements combine to provide Hawes with a vocabulary of replication and preservation, and they serve to associate his poem with several developments of late fifteenth-century continental thought: the "place logic" of educational theorists; the ethos of public lite and literary fame; the new sense of textual integrity defined by editors of the classics.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. V (1985), pp. 169-184.

Copyright © 1985 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Mason Tung, Spenser's 'Emblematic' Imagery: A Study of Emblematics

There are two reasons why Spenser's images often appear "emblematic." One is that both Spenser and the emblematists draw from the same sources, e.g., natural history, Aesop's fables, proverbial lore, and mythology. Consequently, parallels between Spenser's images and emblem books are the result not of direct borrowing but of drawing from the same sources, some of which are "emblematized," making it easier to establish coincidental resemblances. The other reason is that poetics and emblematics share many rhetorical concerns, such as the mixing of dulci and utile, ut pictura poesis, the ideal of expressing similitude with vividness (enargeia and energeia), the revealing of the intelligible in the visible, and the doctrines of imitation and representation. Spenser achieves the "emblematic" mode, not necessarily by borrowing from emblem books, but by realizing some of the common rhetorical ideals, especially those of imitation and energeia propounded by Aristotle. A case in point is in his treatment of the Graces' dance in Book Vl of The Faerie Queene. The popular and traditional dance of the three Graces has been transformed into a unique image that not only meets all of Spenser's particular allegorical needs, but also fulfills the many rhetorical goals that are common to both poetics and emblematics.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. V (1985), pp. 185-207.

Copyright © 1985 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Thomas P. Roche, Jr., Autobiographical Elements in Sidney's Astrophil and Stella

This essay is an addendum to my "Astrophil and Stella: A Radical Reading," Spenser Studies III, in which I tried to establish a distance between Sidney as artist and his fictional spokesman Astrophil. In this essay I try to account for the obvious references to Sidney's name, arms, and family (title, sonnets 83, 30, 70, 65), to the Devereux arms (sonnet 13), to Lord Rich (sonnets 9, 24, 35, 37) and Gifford's reportage of Sidney's dying comment of a "vanitie" that separated him from Christ: "It was my Ladie Rich." I argue that the "Vanitie" is not autobiographical but literary convention analogous to the retraction of Chaucer, citing as proof the imitations of Sidney's sequence by Barnabe Barnes, Henry Constable, Alexander Craig, and the elegies in Spenser's Astrophel volume.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. V (1985), pp. 209-229.

Copyright © 1985 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

E. Malcolm Parkinson, Sidney's Portrayal of Mounted Combat with Lances

In his revised Arcadia, Sidney vividly portrays jousting, covering the entire sequence of events from the moment the horses move forward until the knights slow their steeds after a clash. Sidney depicts combat with lances from multiple viewpoints: of the knights, the unskilled spectator, and the skilled spectator. In doing so, he reveals the complexities encountered by the combatants and the onlookers in determining precisely what occurred when two knights clashed. These complexities not only indicate that certain knights, such as Lelius, who may represent Sir Henry Lee, could run rigged courses to deceive onlookers at a tournament, but also continue a significant theme in the Arcadia, the difference between appearance and reality.

Sidney's verisimilar anatomies of jousts and of running at the ring show the technical skill of the accomplished knight and so explain why Amphialus, for example, deserves his reputation as a formidable combatant in the lists. Moreover, since it was so unusual for a practicing jouster to write about jousting with such sustained authenticity of detail, the Arcadia forms an outstanding complement to formal records and heraldic descriptions of the Accession Day Tilts, held during Elizabeth's reign, by revealing some of the psychology and tactics of knights in tournaments.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. V (1985), pp. 231-251.

Copyright © 1985 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Jeffrey L. Spear, 'The Gardin of Proserpina This High': Ruskin's Application of Spenser and Horizons of Reception

If, as H. R. Jauss argues, the life of a literary work is not intrinsic but an interaction between the work and its readers, then literary criticism is less a progress toward definitive readings than the record of historically conditioned meanings as revelatory of readers as of their chosen texts. The "outdated" readings that so often serve as foils for the latest ones thus reveal not the history of error but the historical horizons of earlier periods and become clues to understanding them. Sympathetic understanding of Ruskin on Spenser requires recognition of the historical and linguistic distance between our world and Ruskin's, a distance as real, if less extreme, than that between the sixteenth and the nineteenth or twentieth centuries. Read in an evangelical context, Ruskin emerges as a belated figure in a Protestant tradition in which Spenser figures as both poet and teacher. While his reading of Spenser anticipates modern iconographic studies, it also questions the aesthetic bias underlying our secular interpretations of such episodes as the destruction of the Bower of Bliss. Finally, Ruskin's reading of Spenser provides an insight into his own mythopoetic criticism of Victorian society and the works of J. M. W. Turner in Modern Painters.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. V (1985), pp. 253-270.

Copyright © 1985 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Volume IV, 1984

Donald Cheney, Spenser's Fortieth Birthday and Related Fictions

Spenser's remarriage shortly after his fortieth birthday is made part of a series of biographical fictions which explore the conditions of poetic identity and personal survival. In Amoretti and Epithalamion, a midlife crisis conspicuously different from that of a Dante or a Petrarch is charged with anxieties more appropriate to the histories of Spenser's aristocratic fellow poets at court, who incurred the wrath of their queen when they ventured to marry an earthly Elizabeth. The poems published after 1590 trace Spenser's changing poetics by means of a series of alternative stories of poetic survival: Sir Arthur Gorges brooding on his wife's death; the dead shepherd, Sir Philip Sidney, transformed along with his Stella into the flowers of other poets' verse; Sir Walter Ralegh, the Shepherd of the Ocean, whose involvement at court exposes him to the stormy bouts of disfavor which Spenser eludes by keeping his distance and celebrating a private marriage in distant Ireland. Colin's attainment of his Irish home is made a condition for his precariously balanced love of all the Elizabeths in his life; like his neighbor Bregog he wins his love at the price of a more public name for himself. The story of Timias in the 1596 Faerie Queene is a contrasting one of irreconcilable conflicts: Belphoebe, Amoret, and Arthur make absolute and exclusive demands on his loyalty, and he can be true to one only by being false to the other two. His quandary is symptomatic of the disintegrating public world of Spenser's later poetry, and contrasts with the quest for a private, separate peace.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. IV (1984), pp. 3-31.

Copyright © 1984 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

William A. Oram, Elizabethan Fact and Spenserian Fiction

Instead of idealizing his contemporaries in his poetry, Spenser typically seizes on the problems that they raise-psychological, moral, or political. In order to analyze these problems, he often fragments the historical persons into several distinct fictional characters, each fictional figure embodying an aspect of its original. This fragmentation of historical characters leads to a typically Spenserian play with perspectives, a portrayal of character or situation from several points of view. The most elaborate instances of fragmentation and perspectivism appear in the allegory of Lust, Amoret, and Timias in FQ IV.vii.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. IV (1984), pp. 33-47.

Copyright © 1984 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

James P. Bednarz, Ralegh in Spenser's Historical Allegory

Through the allegory of Timias and Belphoebe, which traverses the 1590 and 1596 editions of The Faerie Queene, Spenser comments on two phases of Sir Walter Ralegh's career in Elizabeth's service. In the first, Timias's conquest of the wicked "fosters" celebrates Ralegh's part in helping to crush the Desmond Rebellion of the early 15S0s and his heroism upon being ambushed by rebels at a ford. Spenser then introduces Belphoebe, who simultaneously heals and wounds Timias, as an analogue for Queen Elizabeth in the period that Ralegh described as his "sorrowfull success," an era of mixed fortune, extending to 1592, during which his power was eroding under pressure from the queen's new favorite, the earl of Essex. In the second edition, Spenser alludes to Ralegh's first major disgrace, when the queen discovered that he had impregnated and then secretly married one of her maids-in-waiting, Elizabeth Throckmorton. Spenser's complex treatment of this event reveals his immense sympathy with both Elizabeth and Ralegh; he hints at Ralegh's culpability, but also shows him as a victim, more worthy of pity than of censure. Book IV centers on his rejection and posits a later reconciliation, while Book VI charges Ralegh's enemies at court with malice, even as it suggests that he is partly responsible for his own dilemma.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. IV (1984), pp. 49-70.

Copyright © 1984 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Thomas P. Roche, Jr., The Menace of Despair and Arthur's Vision, Faerie Queene I.9

This essay is an attempt to deal with the interrelationships of the three stories told in the Despair canto: Arthur's narrative of his visitation by the fairy queen, Trevisan's narrative of Terwin's succumbing to Despair, and Redcross's encounter with Despair. It asks the question why Arthur's love vision should be included in the same canto as the Despair episode, and why Spenser had to mediate these two stories with the Trevisan-Terwin story, which I suggest is linked to the plight of the poet-lover of the sonnet sequence. In the English sequences the poet-lover almost always ends in a state of despair. Through an analysis of repeated rhyme words used in all three stories, I hypothesize another kind of linkage in cantos going beyond characterization and narrative technique to make sense of Spenser's inclusion of these incidents in this canto.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. IV (1984), pp. 71-92.

Copyright © 1984 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Hugh Maclachlan, The Death of Guyon and the Elizabethan Book of Homilies

The nature and significance of Guyon's "faint" after his experience in the Cave of Mammon is complicated by the fact that Guyon is not merely described as unconscious but is discussed, by characters who know better, as though he were dead. The image of the man, self-consciously aware as Guyon is of his consummate good deeds (II.vii.2), who nevertheless is spiritually "dead," was well known to Spenser's English readers. The "Sermon on Good Workes" from the Elizabethan Booke of Homilies identifies two forms of faith-a dead faith and a true and lively faith. Those morally good works done without a spiritual basis are sterile and "for a similitude...they which glister and shine in good workes without fayth in God, bee like dead men...He that doeth good deedes, yet without faith he hath no life." A dead faith reveals itself as grounded in self-confidence, while a true and lively faith reveals confidence in God as man's support against temptation. This may be the one flaw in Guyon's otherwise admirable character: he professes what he does not ultimately believe, because he views the world essentially ethically but not spiritually, and he views himself as beyond the usual human predicament. With his acknowledgement of Arthur as the "Patrone of his life" (II.viii.55), however, Guyon acknowledges God as his necessary protector and defender-his patron.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. IV (1984), pp. 93-114.

Copyright © 1984 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Russell J. Meyer, "Fixt in heauens hight": Spenser, Astronomy, and the Date of the Cantos of Muabilitie

Little attention has been given to Spenser's acquaintance with contemporary astronomers or his knowledge of the "new science" which developed so rapidly in his lifetime. Through Ralegh and his circle, as well as through Gabriel Harvey and his brother Richard, Spenser would have been familiar with the recent discoveries in astronomy which were challenging the Aristotelian and Ptolemaic views of the universe. These discoveries, in fact, appear to be at the heart of the Cantos of Mutabilitie, where Spenser describes a lunar eclipse. An awareness that Spenser is describing an actual event provides for a better understanding of the significance of the Cantos; but more importantly, a comparison of the details of that description with the actual celestial phenomena indicates that the date of the Cantos is after April 1595.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. IV (1984), pp. 115-129.

Copyright © 1984 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Elizabeth Bieman, "Sometimes I...mask in myrth lyke to a Comedy": Spenser's Amoretti

The uniqueness of the Amoretti in their occasion and their ending in throwing emphasis upon the autobiographical elements has had the unfortunate effect of deafening readers of the sequence to witty and frequently bawdy intricacies of language. Such effects may derive from a rhetoric of indirection prescribed in Ramist theory for circumstances in which the rhetorician cannot count on the ready assent of the object of his exercise in persuasion. When readers are prompted to notice certain disguised attributions of sexuality to the lady they find her poetic configuration, appropriately, more similar to that of Britomart than to the conventional lady of the sonnet tradition.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. IV (1984), pp. 131-141.

Copyright © 1984 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Mary I. Oates, Fowre Hymnes: Spenser's Retractions of Paradise

Spenser's Fowre Hymnes form a unified narrative of the erotic and religious development of a fictional poet-lover, whose spiritual career follows one of the patterns recently described by Ana-Maria Rizzuto, a psychoanalyst who charts the evolution of the "god idea" from early infancy into adult life. The Hymnes are additionally unified by the relation of each to a "sense" of medieval exegesis and by their numerological symbolism ("four" was, for example, the Platonic number of "cosmic concord"). The dedication, also, which has seemed paradoxically to "recant" the first two hymns by way of an introduction to their reissue, can be better understood when "retractation" is read in its sixteenth-century sense of "revision" and when the dedication's numerological puns are deciphered.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (New York: AMS Press, Inc.), vol. IV (1984), pp. 143-169.

Copyright © 1984 AMS Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Volume III, 1982

Seth Weiner, Spenser's Study of English Syllables and Its Completion by Thomas Campion

The so-called quantitative movement in Elizabethan poetry, like Renaissance prosodic thinking in general, derives from (1) a quasi-religious conception of speech supposed to have been uttered instinctively by the earliest men and everwhere informing the Hebrew scriptures; and (2) a rigorous mathematical description of this speech (called rhythmos) gleaned from ancient Greek sources and passed on by St. Augustine, notably in his De musica(ca. 387). In the Renaissance, the long and short syllables of classical verse were thought to embody this mystical, mathematical speech, so that writing vernacular quantitative verse was tantamount to linking one's national poetry with "original" poetry. Against this background, the technical minutiae in the documents I examine take on significance. The first, a set of letters exchanged by Edmund Spenser and Gabriel Harvey in 1579-1580, comprises the English quantitative movement's earliest detailed treatise. This correspondence illustrates the phonological uncertainities troubling not only Spenser and Harvey, but also experimenters like Richard Stanyhurst (1582), William Webbe (1586), and George Puttenham (1589), while many of the dicta in the last, belated tract in the series, Thomas Campion's Observations in the Art of English Poesie(1602), are simply codified versions of Spenser's earlier gropings. Finally, I trace in Campion's "Rose-cheekt Lawra" a complex pattern of Pythagorean mathematical operations mixed with biblical numerology.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. III (1982), pp. 3-56.

Copyright © 1982 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Andrew V. Ettin, The Georgics in The Faerie Queene

There is strong structural and thematic evidence that The Faerie Queene was shaped partly by Spenser's sympathetic familiarity with the Georgics. In such crucial passages as the proems to Books I and VI, the first edition's ending of Book III, and the introduction to the Pastorella episode in Vl, Vergilian motifs call our attention to the georgic themes of cultivation and effort applied to the world's complexity. Spenser's treatment of these themes reflects his view of his own responsibilities as a writer, and his view of his characters' responsibilities in the world of action.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. III (1982), pp. 57-71.

Copyright © 1982 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Harold L. Weatherby, "Pourd out in Loosenesse"

An anonymous English translation of St. John Chrysostom's homilies on Ephesians, published in London in 1581, contains remarkably exact parallels, both thematic and verbal, to passages in Book I, canto vii of The Faerie Queene. Chrysostom, like Spenser, exploits the Pauline metaphor of Christian armor in Ephesians 6, and also like Spenser he develops puns based on the etymologies of "dissolute" and "loose." For the former (diakechymenos), Henri Estienne's lexicon (1572) offers effusi, soluti, "poured out" and "loose"; Red Crosse, having discarded his Pauline armor, is described as "pourd out in loosnesse." A synonym of Chrysostom's for diakechymenos, the Greek hugros, yields by way of Estienne's etymologies the association of sloth and lust with a flowing stream, which Spenser develops in considerable detail. Chrysostom's word for "loose" (chaunos) entails the sexual innuendo attaching to Orgoglio's alteration between tumescence and flaccidity as well as Arthur's role as the megalopsychos, the magnanimous deliverer. Such resemblances suggest the influence upon Book I of both Chrysostom and Estienne. They also sustain A. C. Hamilton's case for Spenser's delight in words and especially in etymological puns.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. III (1982), pp. 73-85.

Copyright © 1982 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Donald V. Stump, Isis Versus Mercilla: The Allegorical Shrines in Spenser's Legend of Justice

In recent studies of Spenser's concept of justice in The Faerie Queene, most critics have regarded the Temple of Isis as the primary "house of instruction" and the Palace of Mercilla as a secondary locus in the allegory. Yet the evidence suggests that the Christian palace, not the pagan temple, represents Spenser's ideal of justice. In position and in function, it is similar to earlier houses of instruction in Books I and II, and it represents all the traditional parts of justice, of which the equity of Isis is but one. Throughout cantos vii and ix, the poet contrasts the two shrines through the symbols of silver and gold, moon and sun, darkness and light, and paganism and Christianity. His purpose in creating two allegorical shrines was probably twofold. First, he wished to contrast two periods in Queen Elizabeth's career. Canto vii, with its many allusions to Catholicism, represents Elizabeth in her weakness under the oppressive rule of Mary Tudor. By contrast, canto ix represents Elizabeth in her later strength as the defender of English and European Protestantism. Second, Spenser wished to distinguish classical equity from Christian mercy, as he does elsewhere. The trial of Duessa is an instance of equity, and the tears of Mercilla at its conclusion are an instance of mercy. In this case, weeping is the only expression of Christian mercy that is defensible. Mercilla's reign represents a return to the ideal justice of Astraea. From the Brass Age, represented by the harsh justice of Artegall early in the book, Spenser leads us to the Silver Age in the Temple of Isis and finally to the Golden Age in the Palace of Mercilla.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. III (1982), pp. 87-98.

Copyright © 1982 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Eamon Grennan, Language and Politics: A Note on Some Metaphors in Spenser's A View of the Present State of Ireland

When used in the practical context of a work like Spenser's View, certain conventional metaphors of Elizabethan political theory reveal their ontological weaknesses. Such apparently innocuous and seemingly illustrative or ornamental devices function in fact as a strategy of justification for the colonial enterprise. But the actual behavior of these metaphors under the kind of pressure exerted by their practical context reveals their insupportability as argument, so that Spenser must at intervals abandon their figurative language for the unambiguous discourse of fact (which in turn gives rise to problems which are simply ignored). The failure of this metaphorical language even in the hands of such a sophisticated employer implicitly invalidates a culturally sanctioned way of talking about (and justifying) one kind of political experience-that of colonial aggression.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. III (1982), pp. 99-110.

Copyright © 1982 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Donald Cheney, Tarquin, Juliet, and other Romei

Shakespeare's reading of Roman history informs the development of one of his major metaphors: the microcosmic view of an individual as besieged city or household, resisting an alien host but darkly longing to be possessed by it. Livy's treatment of early Roman history, which receives its fullest and most direct treatment in The Rape of Lucrece, describes patterns of civil strife which are also intensely intrafamilial and suggestive of psychic ambiguities in names: Tarquins banish other Tarquins. Livy's internalized Roman cityscape, together with the habit of parallelism exemplified so fully by Plutarch, provided Shakespeare with names and imagery which recur throughout his oeuvre, deepening and darkening the implications of the overtly Roman plays and stimulating much of the elaborate linguistic byplay in early works such as Romeo and Juliet where received versions of the feud are reshaped toward the internal psychologicai drama of man and woman, Protestant England and Catholic Italy, wayfaring pilgrim and the shrine at the end of his journey. Thus the dream of reconciling warring households which links Romeo to Antony and Cleopatra may share with the later play a common origin in the reading of the young Shakespeare: Livy, Plutarch, and Vergil.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. III (1982), pp. 111-124.

Copyright © 1982 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Dennis Moore, Philisides and Mira: Autobiographical Allegory in the Old Arcadia

In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, being out of favor often meant leaving court, whether because the queen formally denied someone the grace of her presence or because the courtier thought it best to disappear until the storm blew over. In 1580, after Elizabeth had banished the Earl of Leicester and others from court, Philip Sidney retired to the country, where he probably composed most of the original Arcadia. In that romance, he figured himself in the conventional character of a melancholy shepherd, Philisides, exiled in Arcadia for love of a cruel fair Mira. Love is a common allegorical vehicle for politics in Elizabethan poetry, and the agreement between the misfortunes of Sidney and Philisides suggests that Mira may figure the queen. The first Philisides poem in the Fourth Eclogues describes the mythological dream in which Mira first appeared to him, and the imagery of this vision confirms the connection between the poet's political problems and Philisides' complaints.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. III (1982), pp. 125-137.

Copyright © 1982 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Thomas P. Roche, Jr., Astrophil and Stella: A Radical Reading

This essay suggests a reading of Sidney's Astrophil and Stella that sees Astrophil in his role as unrequited lover not as a heroic figure but as a figure of man's obsessive concerns with his own desires, man creating for himself his own private hell, in which his every hope brings him closer and closer to the despair that engulfs the conclusion of the sequence. I read the poem as a negative example of how to go about the business of love. The first section analyzes the imagery of blackness, perversely presented as light, the equally perverse imagery of the uniqueness of his star, which becomes his sun and finally two black stars, and the relation of this imagery to the Morpheus sonnet (32). The next two sections deal with Homeric parallels, bawdy puns and blasphemous metaphors first in the sonnets and then in the songs, the latter never having been treated as an integral part of the sequence. The last section attempts to determine the structural principles of the sequence on the basis of nume~rological analyses of the placement of the sonnets and the songs to substantiate the earlier analysis of Fowler and Benjamin.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. III (1982), pp. 139-191.

Copyright © 1982 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

John Hollander, Observations on a Select Party

These postprandial remarks at the Spenser Society luncheon in Houston, 1980, address the general problem of Spenserian influence, or the lack of it, in modern American literature in order to introduce a backward glance at the mode of Spenserianism manifested in many of Nathaniel Hawthorne's tales. Many of these are not only allusive of Spenserian topoi, but seem to base their form of prose romance on The Faerie Queene's episodic structure. A little-known story, A Select Party, singled out by Herman Melville as being particularly Spenserian, is invoked as an interesting and curious example of a Spenserian pageant.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. III (1982), pp. 193-198.

Copyright © 1982 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Volume II, 1981

Ruth Samson Luborsky, The Illustrations to The Shepheardes Calender

The results of this investigation, the first to include all the woodcuts and to analyze them from the perspective of art history, show that the blocks were made especially for the Calender and are not restrikes as has frequently been assumed. While the designs are in the Flemish tradition, the cutting is English; at least three hands can be distinguished. We see elements from the calendrical-pastoral genre combined with features relating to the specific eclogue. This means that the designer(s) must have been given a set of directions to follow. The critical problem is to deduce this program. Although we find variation among the cuts both in the way each relates to its eclogue and in the level of detail, we see consistency in the way the poetic subject and the calendrical theme are stressed. This consistency means that the elements were prescribed. When the eclogue concerns the making or not-making of poetry, the subject is illustrated (seven cuts). The calendrical theme is shown obviously by the astrological signs, the labors of the month, and the quotations from previous calendrical illustrations; and subtly, through allusion to the meaning of the month's name or its characteristic activity. We see also direct quotation from fable books, and references to cuts in Barclay's Egloges and an emblem book. The manner of illustration is usually direct: what is depicted is what is described. While this manner is common in books aimed at a wide audience, it is surprising for a book of new poetry at the time. The depictive manner probably was chosen to refer back to the way Vergil's eclogues were illustrated from 1502 to the middle of the century.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. II (1981), pp. 3-53.

Copyright © 1981 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ronald B. Bond, Supplantation in the Elizabethan Court: The Theme of Spenser's February Eclogue

Both modern historians and contemporary observers agree that the Elizabethan court was an arena for envy, ambition, deceit, and tale-bearing. Spenser laments the vying for position at court in Mother Hubberds Tale and Colin Clouts Come Home Againe, and he composed the sixth book of The Faerie Queene with little enthusiasm for the courtly ideal. His anatomizing of envy and slander is part of a tradition, represented most strikingly, perhaps, by George Whetstone's The English Myrror(1586). That "Februarie," using the pastoral form, contributes to the tradition is clear from three considerations. The first is the significance of coldness and dryness in the theory of humors. The second is the fable's working out of a pun on "supplantation," a species of invidia, according to Gower and others. The third is Spenser's implied criticism of the husbandman, an addition to the Aesopic fable. "Februarie" warns the monarch about listening too readily to evil-speaking counsellors and makes a case for accepting one's lot, even in adversity.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. II (1981), pp. 55-66.

Copyright © 1981 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Louis Adrian Montrose, Interpreting Spenser's February Eclogue: Some Contexts and Implications

This commentary on the preceding essay by Professor Ronald Bond summarizes the essentials of his argument; questions some of his conclusions and their implications; and presents another perspective on "Februarie," its place in the Calender and in the context of Spenser's career. Clashes between generations and between ideologies of quiescence and ambition characterize not only "Februarie" but most of the other eclogues, the autobiographical fiction that frames the whole poem, and the social milieu of scholars and courtiers in which Spenser worked and hoped to advance himself. The "meaning" of The Shepheardes Calender is generated in the dialectic between the divergent experiences, attitudes, and achievements of Colin and Immerito. The paradoxical combination of humility and self-assertion that characterizes the whole poem reveals Spenser as neither a detached ironist nor an orthodox moralist but as a new poet and a young man with an acute sense of the contradictions in his social world and a profound concern to find his way among them. In The Shepheardes Calender, his way is through the elaborate strategies of poetic discourse. From this perspective, the workings of "Februarie" mirror in little the workings of the whole poem.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. II (1981), pp. 67-74.

Copyright © 1981 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

L. Staley Johnson, Elizabeth, Bride and Queen: A Study of Spenser's April Eclogue and the Metaphors of English Protestantism

The April eclogue of The Shepheardes Calender reflects the contemporary association between Elizabeth and Solomon as rulers whose virtue and wisdom had created a pastoral paradise. Elizabeth was compared not only to Solomon, but also to the pure bride of the Song of Solomon. An exploration of this contemporary way of addressing or of describing Elizabeth reveals the fears and ideals of the period; it also suggests that Spenser's eclogue portrays both the ideal of the Protestant bride and prince and those forces opposing the realization of this ideal. Hence, the eclogue describes two worlds: one, actual and fragmented, the other, possible and harmonious.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. II (1981), pp. 75-91.

Copyright © 1981 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

David W. Burchmore, The Medieval Sources of Spenser's Occasion Episode

Scholars have long sought to explain why the hag "Occasion" in The Faerie Queene lI.iv differs in appearance and function from the classical figure Occasio. The usual explanation assumes that Spenser combined the features of Occasio with those of other figures such as Envy, Discord, Allecto, or Poena, and that in doing so he also changed the meaning of the original icon. But all the characteristic features of Spenser's hag-not just her old age, ugliness, tattered clothing, and reproachful tongue, but her staff, limp, and forelock as well-were attributes of Misfortune (Fortune in her unpleasant aspect) in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Proper attention to the medieval sources of Spenser's iconography shows that his figure was not meant to be unorthodox or puzzling, but familiar and recognizable, and that her appearance is a more reliable guide to meaning than her name. The action of the episode, in which Guyon chains Occasion to a stake and later allows Pyrochles to release her, has a medieval source as well: the famous battle between Fortune and Poverty in Boccaccio's De casibus. Certain differences in Spenser's account, moreover, indicate that his conception of the struggle was influenced by the simplified illustrations of the story found in some manuscripts of the French translation; and in fact three of the four illuminated copies known to have been in England during the Renaissance contain such pictures.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. II (1981), pp. 93-120.

Copyright © 1981 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Walter R. Davis, The Houses of Mortality in Book II of The Faerie Queene

As Guyon moves from the House of Medina through the Cave of Mammon to the House of Alma, he experiences ever more fully what it is to be human. Similarly, as readers follow the hero through these places, they become more fully aware of the richness of significance involved in the act of reading or learning about humanity. Specifically, the House of Medina invites the reader to seek only the literal and tropological senses of traditional exegesis; the episode in the Cave of Mammon offers a grotesque parody of fourfold exegesis; and the House of Alma invites a reading that is both fully developed along all four senses and broad in its tonal range as well.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. II (1981), pp. 121-140.

Copyright © 1981 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

William A. Oram, Daphnaida and Spenser's Later Poetry

Daphnaida is less a traditional elegy than a warning portrait. Spenser portrays the grief of his pastoral mourner, Alcyon, as exaggerated and obsessive; his refusal to temper his sorrow betrays an impatience and a self-centeredness that contrasts with the narrator's self-control and his generous sympathy. The poem presents Spenser's mourning friend, Arthur Gorges, with an unfavorable portrait and asks, implicitly, if Gorges will continue to display the impatience of his pastoral surrogate. In its tendency to upset our generic expectations, its expanded role for the narrator and its fictive use of Spenser's biography, Daphnaida anticipates Spenser's later poetry.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. II (1981), pp. 141-158.

Copyright © 1981 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Carl J. Rasmussen, "How Weak Be the Passions of Woefulness": Spenser's Ruines of Time

The main speaker of The Ruines of Time, the genius of Verlame, is not a mouthpiece for Spenser but a character in her own right. The enemy of such historic English worthies as Pendragon and Boadicea, Verlame has affinities with the Roman Whore of Babylon and certain Old Testament ruin-haunting creatures. Moreover, she is possessed by the despair attendant upon sin, and her monologue is less an elegy than a complaint. Given that her theme is the grief arising from worldly loss, her plaint is indeed a perverse consolatio in that it casts the narrator into despair rather than consoling him. Because of her perversity, many of Verlame's ideas, including her famous defense of poetry as a medium for making its subjects eternal, are implicitly cast into question. Indeed, the structure of the poem itself reminds us that poetry should not eternize its subjects but work in time to heal, civilize, and elevate the reader. At the same time, Verlame, precisely because of her sinful nature, is a suitable vehicle for expressing grief, which from the Augustinian perspective of Protestantism is a weakness due to sin. Hence Verlame's lament for Leicester, Sidney, and others generates an aesthetic tension between the disorder of human grief (as expressed by Verlame) and the religious expectation of faith and hope. Only in the concluding two sets of visions does the poem become a true consolatio. The first set of visions, six scenes of worldly ruin, affirm the providential power of God at work amid the transcience of things. The second set of visions, six symbolic renderings of the apotheosis of Sir Philip Sidney, reminds us of St. Paul on resurrection and sets forth Sidney as an example of the risen elect. In this manner do the final visions answer and assuage the despair engendered in the narrator by Verlame.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. II (1981), pp. 159-181.

Copyright © 1981 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Andrew Fichter, "And nought of Rome in Rome perceiu'st at all": Spenser's Ruines of Rome

Spenser's Ruines of Rome is a meditation on history in the form of a series of thirty-three sonnets. We may read it for what it reveals of a Renaissance historical consciousness, so long as we take into account the implications of the literary form Spenser employs. The voice we hear throughout the Ruines is that of a persona (a literary descendant of the Petrarch of the Canzoniere, specifically, rime323), who vacillates between hope and despair as he contemplates the object of his obsession. On the one hand, in the guise of a modern Orpheus, he yearns to circumvent the fact of Rome's fall and retrieve the city-his Eurydice-from its ashes. On the other hand he resigns himself to Rome's demise, taking it as an occasion for utterances of moralistic disdain for all earthly beauty. We need not attribute to Spenser, however, the ambivalence of his persona. Indeed, the speaker's vacillations dramatize a failure to grasp the nature of history as Spenser conceives it, a providential plan, universal in scope, in which a fall and the possibility of regeneration are equally included. This and the persona's vision of history are most clearly juxtaposed in sonnet 30, in which the persona's lament for the fall of Rome ironically parodies Christ's parable of the coming of the Kingdom of God (Mark 4.26-29). Ultimately, the speaker's misapprehension of the nature of history stems from his failure to perceive the object of his meditation properly. He seeks to understand Rome in terms of itself ("Rome onely might to Rome compared bee") rather than look beyond, as sonnet 30 implies one should, to the spiritual paradigm of Fall and Redemption, which, for Spenser, gives history its meaning.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. II (1981), pp. 183-192.

Copyright © 1981 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Roy T. Eriksen, "Un certo amoroso martire": Shakespeare's "The Phoenix and the Turtle" and Giordano Bruno's De gli eroici furori

Shakespeare's enigmatic poem functions both textually and thematically as a poetic riddle or emblem of eternity unraveled when related to Giordano Bruno's De gli eroici furori. Technically the poem is a roundel which repeats key images and rhyme words chiastically around stanzas IX-X featuring the mystical wedding of the birds. Several verbal echoes from Bruno suggest that the turtle is a furioso as depicted in Bruno's emblems on the phoenix, possibly even Bruno himself. The poets who, as it were, stage a literary funeral service for a martyr of love, seem to act upon the advice of Bruno, who explicitly wished to be commemorated "nell'altare del cor de illustri poeti ed altri recitatori." Shakespeare's own contribution reveals how familiar he is with a constructivist compositional technique closely associated with contemporary Italian poetry.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. II (1981), pp. 193-215.

Copyright © 1981 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sybil Lutz Severance, "Some Other Figure": The Vision of Change in Flowres of Sion, 1623

William Drummond's conviction of change as the most characteristic feature of man's experience determines the theme, the imagery, and the numerological organization of Flowres of Sion, 1623. The poet's images-flowers, astronomical objects, triumphal monuments-show his double vision as they simultaneously represent man's mutability and God's permanence. Similarly, a series of temporal numbers, seven, twelve, and thirty-three, reveals sacred connotations while providing organization for the sequence. Drummond's numerological structure indicates to his readers the same possibilities for metamorphosis that his images proclaim. He fashions correspondences between the figures of his structure and the words of his images and thematic groups as he contrasts man's failings with Christ's triumph, human time with God's eternity. We can discover a new resonance and strength in Drummond's work when we see the poems as part of a carefully constructed whole rather than disparate pieces, randomly joined.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. II (1981), pp. 217-228.

Copyright © 1981 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Elaine V. Beilin, "The Onely Perfect Vertue": Constancy in Mary Wroth's Pamphilia to Amphilanthus

Twenty years after sonnet sequences were the fashion, Mary Wroth wrote Pamphilia to Amphilanthus, a work appended to her prose romance, The Countess of Montgomeries Urania. The sequence is Elizabethan in language and spirit, and yet the female sonneteer, Pamphilia, significantly alters the conventional cast of the sequence, primarily by removing the focus from the beloved and turning it to her own constancy. In the Urania, Wroth depicted a world of change created largely by the male characters. By contrast, in Pamphilia to Amphilanthus she makes a female world, centered on the constancy of Pamphilia. In a crown of sonnets at the end of the sequence, Pamphilia reveals that her constancy is to God rather than to man. The exalted nature of Pamphilia's constancy is reinforced by her several appearances in the Urania as a reflection of Elizabeth I, the ideal queen devoted entirely to her country.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. II (1981), pp. 229-245.

Copyright © 1981 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Volume I, 1980

Carl J. Rasmussen, "Quietnesse of Minde": A Theatre for Worldlings as a Protestant Poetics

Jan Van Der Noot's A Theatre for Worldlings(1569), the poems for which were translated by an adolescent Edmund Spenser, has been generally ignored by Spenserians. However, the prose commentary that accompanies this work is a remarkable piece of rhetoric that teaches us how to read the poems of A Theatre and in so doing suggests the lineaments of a poetics rooted in Van Der Noot's Reformed Protestantism. Van Der Noot states that his intention is to move the reader from vanity to spiritual knowledge. This concern with dispositions of the will encourages the reader to consider the speakers of the poems in the Theatre. In other words, the poems are dramatic monologues which explore spiritual states. The speakers of the Petrarch "Epigrams" and the Du Bellay "Sonets" (the first two groups of poems) are worldlings ensnared in illusion. The speaker of the four apocalyptic "Sonets" on the other hand, is the Christian visionary, St. John, whose visions are an allegory of conversion. Van Der Noot's extensive commentary on these final four sonnets is notorious for its virulent antipapal polemic, but this polemic has been misunderstood. For Van Der Noot, Rome is a metonymy for a spiritual condition: Rome is his allegory of vanity, and vanity is overcome not with violence (though Van Der Noot does not necessarily eschew violence) but with the Word, which engenders faith and "quietnesse of minde" in the faithful.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. I (1980), pp. 3-27.

Copyright © 1980 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ruth Samson Luborsky, The Allusive Presentation of The Shepheardes Calender

Two aspects of the first edition of The Shepheardes Calender have been noticed in the critical literature: The apparatus is said to imitate that of the newly edited classic, and this imitation is cited as an example of Renaissance self-consciousness. The research reported here extends the range of these observations by analyzing the entire presentation and by asking who directed it. What emerges as the result of a complex comparative method is that the first edition presents a unique appearance; it does not resemble the printer's other products nor any other single book of its time. The book looks the way it does for three reasons: its presentation (1) incorporates features from other books whose authors are referred to explicitly in the text or into whose genre the Calender fits, including chiefly Marot, the newly edited Vergil, the calender/almanac, and the illustrated fable book; (2) imitates the manuscript and early printed book by the way in which some of the decorative initials are placed; and (3) seems to imitate the annotated emblem book by means of the arrangement of the eclogue unit. Because of the originality of the idea of an allusive presentation as well as the complexity of the references, it is argued that we can infer authorial direction-that Spenser, "the newe poet," created a new book.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. I (1980), pp. 29-67.

Copyright © 1980 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bruce R. Smith, On Reading The Shepheardes Calender

For most twentieth-century readers The Shepheardes Calender is a less accessible work than The Faerie Queene, mainly because it draws on three distinct literary genres more familiar to sixteenth-century readers: classical eclogue, medieval moral almanac, Renaissance pastoral romance. These three genres share a pastoral scenario, but they differ markedly in formal structure, in the nature of the hero, in perceptions of time, in the sense of an ending, and, most importantly, in the intellectual and emotional responses they demand from a reader. The demands they make are, in fact, contradictory. A reader of the work is made to arrive at a reconciliation by working through three conflicting roles. The delicate poise of responses experienced at the end-sympathy for Colin Clout's passion and yet a detached awareness of the larger issues that Colin's career entails-reproduces exactly the artistic irony that Spenser the epic poet has achieved toward Spenser the amorous versifier. A reader finishes The Shepheardes Calender possessed of the special skills needed to read The Faerie Queene.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. I (1980), pp. 69-93.

Copyright © 1980 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Judith M. Kennedy, The Final Emblem of The Shepheardes Calender

The emblems of The Shepheardes Calender are of the kind of impresa or device known as the mot. These devices are characterized by enigmatic ambiguity and by personal application to the individual's inner intentions. The two words opposed in the final emblem, "Merce non mercede," have a common ancestor (merx, mercis: "reward") and in the Renaissance could to some extent be considered synonymous. The distinctions made by the contrasting negative in the final emblem are potentially enigmatic and require that the reader scrupulously meditate the kinds of reward being sought or rejected. The final emblem is unlike the other emblems of the Calender in that it is not attached to an eclogue or assigned to a character. In its place at the close of the poem the emblem invites meditation on its application to the amorous, poetic, and religious themes of the Calender as a whole. Because Spenser introduces it as the envoy to his book, we are invited to read it as referring to the author and as explaining his name, Immerito.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. I (1980), pp. 95-106.

Copyright © 1980 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Alexander Dunlop, The Drama of Amoretti

This reading of Amoretti is an attempt to synthesize the insights of traditionalists and numerologists by focusing on the psychology of the lover as poet-narrator. I suggest that we may profitably read Amoretti as a dramatization of the process of learning to love. The lover-poet in Amoretti progresses from a state of normal human ignorance to a state of relative wisdom concerning love. Because the lover, through his human limitations, is imperfect in his understanding of love, we cannot take his assertions at face value; hence, much of his ranting and complaining shows mainly the inadequacy of his understanding. The lover's education proceeds in three stages, relating to the religious framework of the sequence. The first is the long period of trial and preparation, which corresponds to Lent. The second state is that of revelation through Christ's example of perfect love. The third stage is that of the temporary physical separation of the lovers corresponding to the physical separation of man from God. Recognition of the limitations of the poet-lover enables us to see the important element of irony in Amoretti. The irony of the drama results from his inability to relate his personal experience to the larger context of religious values embodied in the symbolic framework that the reader can see, but that the lover cannot. The article includes also new insights into several of the problematical details of the sequence, such as the superscription over sonnet 58, the placement of 62 and the repetition of 35.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. I (1980), pp. 107-120.

Copyright © 1980 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Margreta De Grazia, Babbling Will in Shake-speares Sonnets 127-154

In this group of sonnets, language takes on the reductional or annihilative tendencies of the speaker's will. Its formal aspects mirror his murky desire to commit acts of darkness with a dark mistress. Common and proper nouns lose their affirmative value so that "fair" becomes "black" and "Will" is reduced to "nothing." Figurative language derives from privative states of absence, want, poverty, sickness. Syntax favors negative constructions even when making affirmations. Logic consists of fallacies rather than proofs so that assertions verge on nonsense. The speaker's discourse should be seen as Shakespeare's poetic rendition of nonlanguage, confused speech, or babble. Tradition taught Elizabethans that Pentecost held out hope of resolving Babylonic linguistic confusion, both that incurred by Nimrod and that made current by contemporary babblers. Reformation of language could be possible if accompanied by conversion of heart or will. The nature of this speaker's passion, however, rules out this possibility. He has given voice not simply to harlotry but to idolatry. His worship of black, flesh, and nothingness both parodies and, more grievously, denies God's Word. His language resists positive, affirmative formulation because it is based on an irrevocable denunciation of creation and Creator. The speaker's will and language are destructive and suicidal, but both remain desperately beyond repair.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. I (1980), pp. 121-134.

Copyright © 1980 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Hugh Maclachlan, The "carelesse heauens": A Study of Revenge and Atonement in The Faerie Queene

If man exists in a world in which there is no system of divine retribution, he is forced to bear responsibility for justice himself. And those who are capable of extracting justice must do so both for themselves and for others who are the victims of evil but too weak to retaliate themselves. This is the situation Spenser explores in the first eight cantos of Book II of The Faerie Queene. These cantos can be read as a study of the nature of blood vengeance as understood by Guyon, first from a pagan and classical perspective, and then from the perspective of Christian reconciliation-a movement from personal revenge to divine vengeance and ultimately to divine forgiveness in the figure of Prince Arthur. In the Book of Temperance, Spenser presents us with an anatomy of vengeance as both an ethical and a theological problem for man. And Guyon, a man who is ostensibly a Christian, though one who conceives the world in a classical and essentially pagan manner, must confront the spiritual and psychological problems inherent in a system of personal justice (and injustice), ultimately acknowledging both his own sinfulness and in Arthur a divine mediator upon whom God's wrathful vengeance against all mankind (including Guyon) is justly imposed.

Though wrath and vengeance can be controlled (to a large extent) by human temperance, and classical magnanimity (Guyon) can offer the best of men a paradigm of mercy to live by, in the end this view forgets that all men, including the best, need forgiveness. The Mystery of the Redemption, which Spenser questions at the beginning of canto viii, is solved with an understanding of divine magnanimity: grace freely given, not as just reward for the good man's goodness (for it would go to Pyrochles too, if only he would take it), but as an act of divine mercy in the face of human evil. And even divine vengeance in the end will be abated, if man will choose to accept in its stead divine love.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. I (1980), pp. 135-161.

Copyright © 1980 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Antoinette B. Dauber, The Art of Veiling in the Bower of Bliss

While recognizing its moral corruption, generations of readers have been distressed when Guyon destroys the Bower of Bliss without a twinge of regret. We cannot wholeheartedly applaud the triumph of an unimaginative, limited virtue over a work of art of compelling beauty. But while Guyon awkwardly defends temperance at all costs, Spenser, almost mysteriously, champions his own visionary poetry, exposing the bad faith of Acrasia's art and setting his knight's virtue in its proper place. The enchantress's art exploits the powerful suggestiveness of veils in order to deceive the viewer. Crystalline fountain and splashing damsels, both multiply veiled, hold out the promise of a divine vision. Guyon, the innocent, yields and is ensnared. While the knight fights back in a release of violence, Spenser, in two images unmistakably his own, traces gossamer nets and restores intimations of divinity to them. Following on the Bower's destruction, humbled by the ease with which art may be misused, the poet examines the relationship between mediator and vision in the proem to Book III. To the one-sided idea of veil as accommodation enunciated in the proem to Guyon's book, he incorporates new insights. The veil covering his divine queen is both a sign of separateness and a vehicle of union, the transitional zone in which self and other may dissolve. Boldly repudiating Guyon's vigilant restraint, the poet joyously succumbs to the seduction of a heavenly art: "My senses lulled are in slomber of delight."

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. I (1980), pp. 163-175.

Copyright © 1980 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Maren-Sofie Røstvig, Canto Structure in Tasso and Spenser

The new analytical approach illustrated here has its theoretical basis in Augustine's structural concept of unity. Unity is found in a symmetrical or graded arrangement of parts, and the linking between parts is supported by a conscious manipulation of the verbal texture. Both Tasso and Spenser employ significant patterns of verbal repetition to underline thematic or narrative developments (in the epic as a whole, in a single canto, or in a segment). Good examples of the compositional technique are found in the narrative segments on Corceca's house (FQ I.iii.10-21) and the escape from the Castle of Pride (FQ I.v.45-53). While there are many formal and thematic similarities between Tasso's Gerusalemme liberata15 and FQ II.x, in Spenser's chronicle of Briton kings the textual patterns are more elaborate, at the same time that they have the important function of revealing the presence of a unified pattern which flatly contradicts the impression that the course of history is chaotic. Especially noteworthy is the linking, by means of verbal repetition, of stanzas lI.x.9 (on the arrival of Brutus in England) and II.x.50 (on the incarnation), a linking which turns this forty-two-stanza sequence into a British analogue to sacred history.

Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry Annual (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press), vol. I (1980), pp. 177-200.

Copyright © 1980 University of Pittsburgh Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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