Edmund Spenser: View of the Present State of Ireland

(2358 words)

Edmund Spenser’s A View of the Present State of Ireland has successfully stirred up debate and controversy since its completion at the end of the sixteenth century. Spenser was “deeply involved in Ireland, as a politician, writer, colonist and civil servant” (Hadfield and Maley xvi). As such, the ideas that are conveyed through the two speakers in A View carry the weight of Spenser’s experience there. As Elizabeth Fowler remarks, “[in] A View the topics of constitutional, customary, and ecclesiastical law and policy are brought out from behind the ‘dark conceit’ of Spenser’s allegory, and faced in an elegant, moving, sometimes chilling example o…

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Roy, David. "View of the Present State of Ireland". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 August 2014
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8621, accessed 29 May 2015.]