The Faerie Queene and Middle English Romance: The Matter of Just Memory

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Scholarship on Middle English romance has done little to access the textual and bibliographical continuity of this remarkable literary tradition into the sixteenth century and its impact on Elizabethan works. And to an even greater extent Spenserian scholarship has failed to investigate the significant and complex debts which The Faerie Queene owes to medieval native verse romance and Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur. This book accordingly offers the first comprehensive study of the impact of Middle English romance on The Faerie Queene. It employs the concept of memory, in which both Middle English romance writers and Spenser show specific interest, to build a sense of the thematic, generic, and cultural complexity of the native romance tradition. The memorial character of Middle English romance resides in its intertextuality and its frequent presentation of its narrative events as historical and consequently the basis for a favourable sense of local or even national identity. Spensers memories of native romance involve a more troubled engagement with that tradition of providential national history as well as an endeavour to see in pre-Reformation romance a prophetic and objective authority for Protestant belief.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"King's original analyses of Spenser's encounters with native romance yield fresh and intriguing observations. Many may find King's book most valuable as a scholarly source for a new or renewed acquaintance with the long tradition of Middle English romance that forms the foundation of the book.... [The book] demonstrates convincingly Spenser's debt to Middle English romance, revisiting an outpost of Spenser studies and innovatively opening it up for discussion."-Sixteenth Century Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198187226
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Series: Oxford English Monographs Series
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew King is Killam Postdoctoral Fellow in English, Dalhousie University, Canada

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Table of Contents

1. Approaching Spenser's Medievalism
2. Middle English Romance: Tradition, Genre, Manuscripts, and Prints
3. The Matter of Just Memory: Providential History in Middle English Romance
4. Displaced Youths and Slandered Ladies in Middle English Romance
5. Malory's Le Morte Darthur: Remembering Native Romance
6. The 'Reformation' of Native Romance in The Faerie Queene, Book I
7. 'It seemed another worlde to beholde': Native Romance, History, and Book II of The Faerie Queene
8. 'The world runne quite out of square': Remembering/Dismembering Native Romance in Book V

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