The Faerie Queene

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Overview

‘Great Lady of the greatest Isle, whose light
Like Phoebus lampe throughout the world doth shine’

The Faerie Queene was one of the most influential poems in the English language. Dedicating his work to Elizabeth I, Spenser brilliantly united Arthurian romance and Italian renaissance epic to celebrate the glory of the Virgin Queen. Each book of the poem recounts the quest of a knight to achieve a virtue: the Red Crosse Knight of Holinesse, who must slay a dragon and free himself from the witch Duessa; Sir Guyon, Knight of Temperance, who escapes the Cave of Mammon and destroys Acrasia’s Bowre of Bliss; and the lady-knight Britomart’s search for her Sir Artegall, revealed to her in an enchanted mirror. Although composed as a moral and political allegory, The Faerie Queene’s magical atmosphere captivated the imaginations of later poets from Milton to the Victorians.

This edition includes the letter to Raleigh, in which Spenser declares his intentions for his poem, the commendatory verses by Spenser’s contemporaries and his dedicatory sonnets to the Elizabethan court, and is supplemented by a table of dates and a glossary.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Books one and five (two, three, and four are coming later--figure that one out) of Spenser's opus get the red-carpet treatment. Each volume has an introduction, annotations, bibliography, glossary to get you through the old English, character index, and more. Footnotes mercifully appear at the bottom of each page so you don't have to flip constantly to the back. Nice for the academics. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140422078
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/1979
  • Series: Penguin Classics Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 1248
  • Sales rank: 153,247
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 7.78 (h) x 2.19 (d)

Meet the Author

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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Table of Contents

The Faerie Queene A Note on the Text
Table of Dates
Further Reading
A Letter of the Authors
Commendatory Verses
Dedicatory Sonnets

Book I
Book II
Book III
Book IV
Book V
Book VI
Two Cantos of Mutabilitie

Textual Appendix
Notes
Common Words

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2005

    A Masterpiece

    I have this particular copy. The poetry is beautifully written. Great piece of literature that serves as the source for many of today's modern fantasy movies from the past 30 years, like Dragonslayer, Willow, The Princess Bride, The Legend of King Arthur, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Harry Potter. The Fairy Queene describes knights, dwarves, elves, princesses, kings, queens, dragons, witches, trolls, warlocks, demons, goblins, and wizards. Classic fantasy! A must read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2003

    simply perfect

    i loved every ounce of this book, it is very artistic and the images placed into your mind is not easily removed; perfect! i suggest this to all classic poetry lovers :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    The greatest English Poet before Shakespeare and Milton

    Spenser is brilliant, simply put. He has been lost in recent years, partly I think in part to the fantastical elements of this poem; however, the verse itself is outstanding. I give this book 4 stars, though, because the edition (Penguin Classics) is inadequate, particularly regarding the annotations. While I understand that a standard trade paperback is for the everyday reader and not the scholar, there is a degree of truth in Jonson's declaration on Spenser: 'he writ no language.' Archaic language and style abound in this poem. Even as a reader of Milton, I struggle with Spenser's style. Such a poem as this requires a greater degree of annotation for even the common reader, or key elements (whole passages) get lost on them. What little annotations are given are at the back of the book, so it's kind of a pain holding two places at once (primary text positions and the position of the annotations). While I suppose it is not entirely necessary on a first reading to understand every passage within FQ, I would suggest that if you are interested in Spenser for study, particularly at the graduate level, avoid this edition and fork over the fifty bucks or so for a scholarly edition with foot-note annotations.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2001

    The Faerie Man

    Awesome poetry!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2012

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