Edmund Spenser's censored attacks on Lord Burghley (Elizabeth I's powerful first minister) serve as the basis for a reassessment of the poet's mid-career, challenging the dates of canonical texts, the social and personal contexts for scandalous topical allegories, and the new historicist portrait of Spenser's 'worship' of power and state ideology.
About the Author
BRUCE DANNER has taught at St. Lawrence University and Skidmore College, USA. His articles have appeared in Shakespeare Quarterly, English Literary Renaissance, Studies in English Literature, Spenser Studies, and Mississippi Quarterly.
Table of ContentsAcknowledgements Abbreviations List of Illustrations Introduction PART I: THE 1590 FAERIE QUEENE AND THE ORIGINS OF 'A MIGHTY PERES DISPLEASURE' Lord Burghley and the Oxford Marriage The Faerie Queene Dedicatory Sonnets and the Poetics of Misreading PART II: THE COMPLAINTS AND 'THE MAN OF WHOM THE MUSE IS SCORNED' The Ruines of Time and the Rhetoric of Contestation Retrospective Fiction-making and the 'secrete' of the 1591 Virgils Gnat Mother Hubberds Tale and the Ambivalent Withdrawal from Power PART III: AFTER THE COMPLAINTS The Legacy of the Complaints and the Question of Slander Afterword Notes Index