Faerie Queene Hardcover – Feb 22 1922
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"Each of the five volumes published by Hackett (the last of which is co-edited and introduced by Andrew Hadfield) has an introduction that sets the scene and orients the reader towards the particular book of the poem being dealt with, followed by the complete text with a glossary at the bottom of each page. By breaking down the epic into five individual volumes, readers can set their own pace and choose which book to read, and the clear print and spacing on the page makes the enterprise of embarking on The Faerie Queene a most manageable and ultimately enjoyable experience." - Sean Sheehan, Irish Left Review, September 10th, 2012 Two editions of Spenser are both from the same series, published by Hackett Publishing Company, which is providing inexpensive paperback volumes of The Faerie Queene , under the general editorship of Abraham Stoll. The volumes printed this year, books 1 and 5, are edited, respectively, by Carol V. Kaske and Stoll himself. A single volume combining books 3 and 4, edited by Dorothy Stephens, is forthcoming, as is book 6, edited by Andrew Hadfield. The volumes are attractively printed, with notes at the bottom of the page. Each volume includes an introduction, the Letter to Raleigh , a brief 'Life of Edmund Spenser,' textual notes, a glossary, an 'Index of Characters,' and a bibliography. Kaske's introduction to book 1 forms an accessible student guide, touching on a wide range of topics, from versification, genre, and allegory, to 'Spenser's Religious Milieu.' At the same time, there are fresh flashes of insight, no doubt derived from Kaske's long experience of teaching a complex poem... Eschewing 'political and biographical allegory (p. xvi), the notes offer plenty of help to the student seeking to get behind the veil of Spenser's dark conceit, for they emphasize symbolism and historical context, especially literary context or 'sources.' Stoll's edition of book 5 of the Faerie Queene includes a judicious introduction of considerable merit. Not simply well written and learned, it partitions the information in an accessible and interesting way. Stoll is fully attuned to the recent controversies surrounding the Legend of Justice, but he does more than record them for the student reader; he manages to express sympathy for both poet and poem. Students need to hear the historical nature of Spenser's achievement for English literature, and Stoll leads nicely with this topic: book 5 is 'one of the most challenging meditations on justice in English literature' (p. ix). Stoll is as sensitive to the violence of book 5 as he is to its strangeness and beauty. Students will appreciate the short inventory of important works of criticism at the end of each section. The notes are not as full as Kaske's, but perhaps appropriately so... I look forward to having access to the remaining volumes in this series. --Patrick Cheney, Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 Teachers of Spenser will also welcome two more installments of the Hackett editions of separate books of The Faerie Queene under the general editorship of Abraham Stoll, this time on books 2 and on books 3 and 4. In my view, these are the most attractive, inexpensive, but also comprehensive editions to date, with far better (and easy to read) notes on mythology and name symbolism (matters increasingly foreign to our undergraduates) than almost all previous versions. --Catherine Gimelli Martin, Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 The multivolume format provides varied introductions and annotations--a benefit to any student--and facilitates the general reading experience through smaller bindings. The prefatory material of individual volumes focuses on history, subjects, and ideologies pertinent to specific books. The edition is thus ideal for classroom use, especially in survey courses or for those who prefer to read several individual books rather than study the poem in its entirety. The format and language of the editorial input lend themselves to undergraduate study. These editions offer a solid analytical grounding for readers at various levels, and together compile a sound and substantial set of editorial perspectives on Spenser's most famous work. --Rachel E. Frier, Sixteenth Century Journal --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Founded in 1906 by J.M. Dent, the Everyman Library has always tried to make the best books ever written available to the greatest number of people at the lowest possible price. Unique editorial features that help Everyman Paperback Classics stand out from the crowd include: a leading scholar or literary critic's introduction to the text, a biography of the author, a chronology of her or his life and times, a historical selection of criticism, and a concise plot summary. All books published since 1993 have also been completely restyled: all type has been reset, to offer a clarity and ease of reading unique among editions of the classics; a vibrant, full-color cover design now complements these great texts with beautiful contemporary works of art. But the best feature must be Everyman's uniquely low price. Each Everyman title offers these extensive materials at a price that competes with the most inexpensive editions on the market-but Everyman Paperbacks have durable binding, quality paper, and the highest editorial and scholarly standards. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Lo I the man, whose Muse whilome did maske, As time her taught in lowly Shepheards weeds, Am now enforst a far vnfitter taske, For trumpets sterne to chaunge mine Oaten reeds, And sing of Knights and Ladies gende deeds; Whose prayses hauing slept in silence long, Me, all too meane, the sacred Muse areeds To blazon broad emongst her learned throng: Fierce warres and faithfull loues shall moralize my song. Read the first page
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Top Customer Reviews
Spenser wrote a letter to Walter Raleigh (above excerpted) to explain this strange cacophony of FQ, a mixture of ancient mythology, Renaissance Christian morality and enough obscure symbolism for an academic brigade; a tribute to country and queen. Knights from the court of the Faerie Queen conduct a search and destroy mission against evil in the form of a pack of minor villains pecking away at the heroes of the poem, but each one perpetually foiled. Such as Archimago, the witch Hectate, the philanderer Malbecco receive comeuppances in jousts, internecine squabbles or palace tours, with this type of constant action occupying canto after canto that at some point the content aspect becomes a bit wearisome. Amid this "action" are endless lists of virtues allegorized in each book, the reader being skewered to a Platonic ideal especially evident in females with such as the knight Britomart representing strenght and accomplishment in women, Una, the ultimate fantasy chick, and several others with such heights of description one does expect something mind blowing ahead, perhaps at last the perfect woman, to which in FQ Spenser comes close without cigar. The joust with the evil forces of nature seems unique to Spenser, who seizes the reader by the lapels with an in one's face style of optimism such that worst elements suffer defeat by contrast with more worthy opponents.Read more ›
Although everyone has heard of Edmund Spenser's amazing narrative poem, 'The Faerie Queene,' it's a pity that few seem to read it. To a superficial glance it may appear difficult, although the truth is that it's basically a fascinating story that even an intelligent child can follow with enjoyment and interest.
It appears difficult only because of Spenser's deliberately antique English. He needed such an English because he was creating a whole new dimension of enchantment, a magical world, a land of mystery and adventure teeming with ogres and giants and witches, hardy knights both brave and villainous, dwarfs, magicians, dragons, and maidens in distress, wicked enchanters, gods, demons, forests, caves, and castles, amorous encounters, fierce battles, etc., etc.
To evoke an atmosphere appropriate to such a magical world, a world seemingly distant in both time and place from ours, Spenser created his own special brand of English. Basically his language is standard Sixteenth Century English, but with antique spellings and a few medievalisms thrown in, along with a number of new words that Spenser coined himself. The opening lines of the poem are typical :
"A Gentle Knight was pricking on the plain, / Y cladd in mightie armes and siluer shielde, / Wherein old dints of deepe wounds did remain, / The cruell markes of many a bloudy fielde...." (page 41).
If, instead of reading with the eye, we read with the ear or aloud, the strange spellings resolve themselves into perfectly familiar words such as clad (clothed), mighty, arms, silver, shield, deep, cruel, marks, bloody, field.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This is the first epic poem written in English. It is a work of English imagination coloured with some classicism. Read morePublished on June 26 2004 by Plotinus
It is a classic truism: until you get it in writing, you have nothing. This work of art is a classic you too can get in writing. And it's quite enjoyable. Beware though! Read morePublished on March 19 2004 by Mark Guzowski
For those who are looking for an older take on series fantasy, look no further. The Faerie Queene is often praised for its beautiful use of language and for the fact that it was... Read morePublished on Feb. 22 2004 by PurpleKat
It is one of the great classics of English literature, although its status has been far more contested than that of the works of Shakespeare or Milton. Read morePublished on Nov. 13 2003
I had to read this for an English class, and I must say, it was sheer Hell. After I began to understand it, however, I came to admire Spencer's lagnuage, imagery, and wit. Read morePublished on Oct. 20 2003 by Amazon Customer
The Faerie Queene of Spencer is perhaps the best known piece of English poetry before Shakespeare or Milton. Read morePublished on April 26 2003 by Jack Lamont
Spenser's the Faerie Queene is one of the first epics to be written in English, and probably the first to draw on such masters as Virgil and Homer. Read morePublished on March 26 2003 by bixodoido
I'm glad I was exposed to this work, but when my Brit. Lit. professor said The Faerie Queene was the most boring piece of literature ever written in the English language, he wasn't... Read morePublished on Nov. 10 2002 by SCGirl
Excellent presentation and apparatus for this most beautiful and profound of English epics (and I include near-epics like "Endymion" and "Paradise Regained" in... Read morePublished on July 15 2002