By Bart Van Es

This ebook offers an authoritative advisor to discuss on Elizabethan England's poet laureate. It covers key subject matters and offers histories for the entire fundamental texts. a few of modern so much widespread Spenser students supply debts of debates at the poet, from the Renaissance to the current day. crucial for these generating new learn on Spenser.

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Additional resources for A Critical Companion to Spenser Studies

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Competing, shiftingly defined social placements and markers of identity that the life and career of this dually employed poet/bureaucrat took their extraordinary shape” (14). Even so, critics continue to be interested in Spenser’s literary career. Anne Lake Prescott (1996) foregrounds an important methodology for biographical and career criticism: the poet’s own intertextual reading of other authors. She shows how Spenser’s engagement with the works of du Bellay can help chart the shape and chronology of Spenser’s development as an artist.

He excelled all other Ancient and Modern Poets, in Greatness of Sense, Decency of Expression, Height of Imagination, Quickness of Conceit, Grandeur and Majesty of Thought. (Cummings 1679, 326) Whoever penned these eloquent lines, they powerfully speak to Spenser’s own self-portrait in the “November” eclogue; as the shepherd Thenot tells Colin: in England and throughout Europe, Spenser is the “Nightingale . . souereigne of song” (25). Two subsequent works valuably augment Cummings: Wells (1971, 1972), printing 205 works alluding to Spenser between 1641 and 1700; and an update by J.

Yet, if in one way the Cambridge convention can be taken as a picture of intellectual stability, in another it also holds the seeds of new developments. The theme of the conference was ‘The Place of Spenser’, and work on ‘places’ (in multiple senses, from the geographic to the institutional) have come to stimulate fresh thought on the poet’s writing in recent years. As the boundaries defining ‘the Renaissance’ and ‘English Studies’ receive ever more sceptical scrutiny, that ‘place’ looks to be increasingly, and productively, uncertain.

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