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Spenser: The Faerie Queene [Paperback]

Edmund Spenser , A.C. Hamilton , Hiroshi Yamashita , Toshiyuki Suzuki. , Shohachi Fukuda
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 1 2006 1405832819 978-1405832816 2

The Faerie Queene is a scholarly masterpiece that has influenced, inspired, and challenged generations of writers, readers and scholars since its completion in 1596. Hamilton's edition is itself, a masterpiece of scholarship and close reading. It is now the standard edition for all readers of Spenser. The entire work is revised, and the text of The Faerie Queene itself has been freshly edited, the first such edition since the 1930s.


This volume also contains additional original material, including a letter to Raleigh, commendatory verses and dedicatory sonnets, chronology of Spenser's life and works and provides a compilation of list of characters and their appearances in The Faerie Queene

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“All in all, it is a major work of scholarship, combining a meticulously prepared text with splendid annotation. It will last, and will help inspire new generations of readers.” 

Tom MacFaul, Notes and Queries


Hamilton 's edition of the Faerie Queene is indispensable to any serious scholar of Spenser .”

Amazon.co.uk review

From the Back Cover

Hamilton's edition is a masterpiece of scholarship and close reading. The entire work is revised, and the text of The Faerie Queene itself has been freshly edited, the first such edition since the 1930s. The text, itself a milestone in academic achievement, has been produced by Hiroshi Yamashita and Toshiyuki Suzuki and is now considered the new standard text of the poem.

This edition continues the excellent scholarship of the first edition; Hamilton provides exceptionally full and careful annotation of the text, detailed guidance to critical comment, and a wealth of introductory material setting the poem in its historical and literary context. This edition also includes additional original material which includes a chronology, a letter to Raleigh, commendatory verses, and dedicatory sonnets. A list of characters and their appearances has also been compiled by Shohachi Fukuda, listing their place in the poem and commentary on the names. As a sign of its enduring appeal, this edition was, in 2005, awarded the Isobel MacAffery Award by the International Spenser Society for its outstanding contribution to Spenser studies. 

A. C. Hamilton is the retired Cappon Professor Emeritus at Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. He is the General Editor of Spenser Encyclopedia.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Faerie Queene ed. Hamilton on Kindle June 19 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am deeply familiar with this edition, having used the first version for many years while I worked (along with Dr Hamilton) as one of the editors of The Spenser Encyclopedia. The second edition is a truly outstanding piece of work, packed with learned commentary, some of it amusingly eccentric. It is not an ideal text for the beginning reader, as Dr Hamilton's capacity for source hunting and unpacking of allegory is unrelenting. But it is a model of a certain kind of approach and for that, an easy 5 stars.

For me, having just discovered that this had been turned into an e-book, the real test was to see how the publishers tamed this fearsome beast to behave for my kindle. Most poetry and commentary is badly done in the new format (I have written a number of cranky reviews of other kindle productions). But the good news is that Spenser's text is allowed to run continuously, and the notes are treated as popups, one note (or link) per stanza. This allows one to read the poem (nicely displayed) without any interruption, or to take a deep dive now and then into the rich treasures of the commentary. The stanza structure allows this approach, which Dr Hamilton followed himself, and it is very pleasing that the publishers have also done the right thing.

The Faerie Queene (even without notes) is accessible for many readers as it presents a strange and intriguing world, a kind of invented medieval world (a 16th-century allegorical Game of Thrones in stanza form), and you don't need to know the sources to everything in order to get the poem. I first read it as an undergraduate in the old two-volume Oxford text with no annotation whatsoever, and of course jumped from one misunderstanding to the next (the medieval vocabulary, the old spelling, the religious allegory, etc.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Vast Improvement over the first edition April 22 2004
By ABLong
This is the second edition of the best version of The Faerie Queene available. It is a marked improvement over the first edition. For one thing, you can actually read the type. The first edition looked like it was mimeographed (for those of you who remember what that looked like). The layout is now much better, and the notes (on the same page and with the same size font as the text) and cross references remain indispensable for anyone not born in 1600.
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5.0 out of 5 stars But not exactly fun Sept. 11 2003
By A Customer
I would have to disagree with the reviewer that called Spenser's epic "fun" to read... it is a lot of work, not only because of the length but because of the archaisms involved in Spenserian diction. On the other hand the work is definitely fruitful, one finds passages of indelible beauty and insight. For scholarly criticism I would recommend the Oxford edition ("Poetical Works") with an introduction by E. de Selincourt: he often points out just the stanza or two that helps place the entire poem into a new perspective. Make no mistake about it, the Spenserian stanza (ababbcbcc) is a difficult read, whether one is talking Byron's "Childe Harold" or Novak's "Requiem": in all cases (I would say) a significant amount of effort is required, simply to follow the train of the author's thought, which, because of the difficult nature of the stanza perhaps, is not necessarily clearly linear... but in the long run, MAKE NO MISTAKE the effort is clearly worth it, and Spenser, if not exactly conforming to one's expectations, will not exactly disappoint them either. A worthwhile read, even in bits and pieces, if you cannot adhere to the storyline as a whole.
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