Edmund Spenser: The Faerie Queene

(1978 words)
  • Andrew King (University College Cork)

The Faerie Queene was published in two instalments during Spenser’s lifetime: Books I to III in 1590 and Books IV to VI (with a slightly revised version of I-III) in 1596. In a letter to Sir Walter Raleigh printed with the first edition of 1590, Spenser indicates his intention to write at least twelve Books overall, possibly extending to twenty-four. The Faerie Queene, already a massive poem, could have been four times longer. Evidence that Spenser was still working on the poem after 1596 is provided in a fragment, dubbed The Mutabilitie Cantos, published in 1609, ten years after Spenser’s death. For all of their narrative and thematic completeness, along with the sense of summary that they provide …

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Citation:
King, Andrew. "The Faerie Queene". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 April 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=921, accessed 19 December 2014.]


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