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By Bart Van Es

This ebook presents an authoritative consultant to discuss on Elizabethan England's poet laureate. It covers key themes and offers histories for all the basic texts. a few of present day such a lot trendy Spenser students supply bills of debates at the poet, from the Renaissance to the current day. crucial for these generating new examine on Spenser.

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Patrick Cheney 31 John (8), that he had a sister named Sarah (9), and that he was educated at Merchant Taylors’ School in London (9) under head-master Richard Mulcaster (15). At Cambridge, we learn further about the religious debates between Whitgift and Cartwright (31–6). There is still, however, much imagination: “Warmhearted and interested in people, Spenser must have acquired other friends during his college days. One of these may have been Edward Kirke” (39). Above all, Judson’s life is congenial.

Accordingly, he concludes with a lament shared by subsequent biographers: “I wish I cou’d give the Publick a more perfect Account of a Man whose Works have so justly recommended him to the Esteem of all the Lovers of English Poetry” (340). This predicament forces biographers to rely on the works to structure the life. In sum, from these early documents two principal narratives emerge: the story of how the Elizabethan system of politics and economics broke the greatest poetic heart since Chaucer; and the story of how this system finally could not impede the poet’s own triumphal flight to immortality.

Judson includes detailed reports on the major figures of Spenser’s life, from Grey and the Earl of Ormond, to John and Thomas Norris, to Ralegh and Bryskett, to Ponsonby and the printer John Wolfe. ” Judson concludes with analysis and reproduction of three portraits that have been proposed for the author: the Kinnoull, the Chesterfield, and the FitzHardinge miniature (208–10). Given the dispute over them, Judson remarks, “we should probably do well to content ourselves with the vivid impression of his personality conveyed by his works and create an image of him from our own fancy”: And what a sharply defined personality emerges from a close study of his works and life!

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