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By Bart Van Es

This ebook presents an authoritative advisor to discuss on Elizabethan England's poet laureate. It covers key subject matters and gives histories for all the fundamental texts. a few of latest so much famous Spenser students provide money owed of debates at the poet, from the Renaissance to the current day. crucial for these generating new learn on Spenser.

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His poems are his best biography” (xv). , chapter 1: 1552–79). He relies on William Winstanley to locate Spenser’s birth in East Smithfield, London (xvi), and he rejects Collier’s identification of Florence as Spenser’s daughter (xxiii). He does not yet know the maiden name of Elizabeth Boyle, but he cites the incident, now notorious, in which Spenser quarreled litigiously with Maurice, Lord Roche over Irish land dominion (l–li). Like previous biographies of the time, Hales strings Spenser’s life together primarily through his poems and prose.

Readers interested in contemporary reception of Spenser will find Cummings’ volume indispensable. It includes important tributes (and occasional criticism) from such important authors as Sidney, Ralegh, Samuel Daniel, Michael Drayton, Ben Jonson, Francis Beaumont, John Milton, John Dryden, and Alexander Pope. Most pertinent here is Cummings’ final section, “Biographical Notices” (315–41), which includes eleven documents, penned between 1600 and 1715 and ranging from short passages by William Camden and Thomas Fuller to the first two official biographies already mentioned, the 1679 folio and the Hughes edition, both of which occupy only a matter of pages (324–7, 334–41).

Grosart identifies Rosalind as Rose (or Elisa or Alice) “Dineley or Dynley or Dinlei” (50); he includes detailed information on Jan Vander Noot (15–43), John Young, the Bishop of Rochester, and the Spenser–Harvey letters (61–76); and he explores Spenser’s life in Ireland (140–71). Of particular interest is Grosart’s polemic project to overturn the “deplor[able]” narrative that “allege[s]” Spenser’s “dying of a broken heart and in beggary” (vi; see 235–41): “it is mere idle fiction to write him as dying broken-hearted.

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