Spenser's Faerie Queene

Spenser, Edmund, The Faerie Queene, disposed into XII bookes, fashinoning twelve morall vertues, (London: Humphrey Lownes, 1609)

Library Call Number: PR2358.A1 1609

The Faerie Queene was a departure for English poetry, influenced by Arthurian legend, medieval romance, classical epic, and allegorical stories such as Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Boccaccio Decameron. As the title suggests, Spenser dedicated the book to Queen Elizabeth I and the Tudor Dynasty which the book memorializes – but not without critique.

One of the longest poems in English literature, it is unknown whether Spenser intended to write twelve books as indicated by the title. Six complete books as well as a fragmentary seventh survive. This is the second edition of Spenser's Faerie Queene, but the first to contain Book VII, the Cantos of Mutabilitie. Much shorter than the previous six, little is know about the fragmentary nature of Book VII, which emerged after Spenser's death.

This book was acquired by ARC to support research in English, History, and Art History.

Cover and title page of The Faerie Queene