The Faerie Queene is the first great epic poem in the English language. It is along and complex allegory which presents the first time reader with many difficulties of allusion and interpretation. This volume is the only convenient and up-to-date guide to Spencer's poem, and is designed as a handbook to be consulted by students while reading the poem. Each chapter is devoted to a separate book of the poem, and sub-sections treat particular episodes or sequences of episodes in detail. Dr Heale considers fully the religious and political context, and pays due attention to the variety of Spencer's literary techniques. She encourages close reading of the poem and a lively awareness of both its rich detail and the intricate interrelation of its episodes.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.