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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. 21 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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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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This second edition of "The Faerie Queene," with A.C. Hamilton as the editor, again sets the standard for critical editions of Edmund Spenser's classic poem. This volume replaces Hamilton's first edition of the poem as the standard academic text. Anyone who is serious about studying the poem should purchase this particular edition. In addition to featuring a much clearer typeface than that of the first edition, the second edition contains critical commentary about the poem that is as current as one could expect (i.e., through the '90s). The footnotes are conveniently and unobtrusively placed at the bottom of the text, so one can easily ignore them, if they prefer. However, the labyrinth of cross-references are highly informative, provocative, and illustrate the poem's incredible richness. I find myself so engaged in the contemporary criticism of the poem that I'm constantly going to the library to read the articles to which the notes refer.
If you already have the first edition that was edited by Hamilton (or if you were lukewarm about reading Spenser in the first place), you may not need this updated edition, unless you would like to read the updated essays and commentary. However, if you love "The Faerie Queene," this particular volume will provide you with many hours (and possibly years) of enjoyment. It is well known that the poem is one of the greatest ever to be penned in the English language. In the second edition, Hamilton helps us all understand why this poem speaks so powerfully to us over four hundred years later. This is truly a marvelous poem and a great academic text.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful literary piece in a masterful edition Nov. 28 2001
Fortunately, in reviewing this book I am not faced with the usual difficulty of separating the quality of the work itself from the quality of its presentation; both are exquisite.
Edmund Spenser's _The Faerie Qveene_ is rightly considered one of the timeless masterpieces of English literature. Collectively, it is an embodiment of and a response to both medieval and Renaissance themes and devices. The medieval romantic and Arthurian genres are blended with Petrarchan techniques and Neoplatonic philosophy. Nevertheless, Spenser maintains a distinct style all his own; the nine-line stanza is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful conventions in poetic verse. Oh yeah, and it's a darn good story too.
This edition of the "booke" far outshines any other I've encountered. The text itself is annotated with copious footnotes which explain unclear passages, point out allusions to classical, medieval and contemporary events, and provide criticism. All of the peripheral material associated with _The Faerie Qveene_ is also provided, including the dedication to Raleigh and introductory sonnets. Other value-adding perks include a comprehensive bibliography, a chart showing minor changes made between the poem's three publications, and a character guide.
Though this thick volume may seem daunting, it is in fact quite enjoyable. The notes are fairly unintrusive, so the casual reader can skim or read through the poem at his or her own pace, with the option to delve deeper if he or she desires.
I strongly advise anyone with an interest in Renaissance literature, Shakespeare, poetry, or English literature as a whole, to purchase this book, and to dish out the bit of extra money for this particular edition.
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