Edmund Spenser: The Fowre Hymnes (2263 words)

Tamsin Theresa Badcoe (University of Bristol)
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Context

The volume containing Edmund Spenser’s Fowre Hymnes was first printed in quarto in 1596, and included within it a second edition of the poet’s elegy Daphnaïda, which was first published separately in 1591. If we are to believe the dedicatory letter addressed by Spenser to Lady Margaret, Countess of Cumberland, and Lady Mary, Countess of Warwick, the first two hymns, written in praise of “naturall loue and beautie” respectively, were made in “the greener times” of the poet’s youth; the second two hymns, of “heauenly and celestiall” matters, were intended “by way of retraction” to “reforme” the poet’s earlier, more earthly work. The dedication raises questions concerning the dates of composition a…

Citation: Badcoe, Tamsin Theresa. "The Fowre Hymnes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 September 2014 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16048, accessed 19 June 2021.]

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