Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, written in a stanza form he invented and which bears his name, was published in two installments in 1590 and 1596. An eight-book Arthurian epic, whose intertwined quest narratives celebrate the principal moral virtues, it was admired by Pope, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Keats as an achievement to rank with Paradise Lost, while Yeats published, in 1902, a selection of Spenser’s work with a long, brilliant, perverse introduction. On Spenser’s death in 1599, Westminster Abbey was the obvious place to put him, next to Chaucer’s grave, with a monumental inscription on the wall, hailing him “prince of poets.” He is now, I suspect, the great unread poet of the Elizabethan age. Despite the pioneering advocacy of C. S. Lewis (“To read him is to grow in mental health”) and the existence of excellent...


A Message from the Editors

Your donation sustains our efforts to inspire joyous rediscoveries.

Popular Right Now