Worldmaking Spenser reexamines the role of Spenser's work in English history and highlights the richness and complexity of his understanding of place. The volume centers on the idea that complex and allusive literary works such as The Faerie Queene must be read in the context of the cultural, literary, political, economic, and ideological forces at play in the highly allegorical poem. The authors define Spenser as the maker of poetic worlds, of the Elizabethan world, and of the modern world. The essays look at Spenser from three distinct vantage points. The contributors explore his literary origins in classical, medieval, and Renaissance continental writings and his influences on sixteenth-century culture. Spenser also had a great impact on later literary figures, including Lady Mary Wroth and Aemilia Lanyer, two of the seventeenth century's most important writers. The authors address the full range of Spenser's work, both long and short poetry as well as prose. The essays unequivocally demonstrate that Spenser occupies a substantial place in a seminal era in English history and European culture.
About the Author
Patrick Cheney, professor of English and comparative literature at Penn State University, is the author of Spenser's Famous Flight: A Renaissance Idea of a Literary Career.
Lauren Silberman, professor of English at Baruch College-CUNY, is the author of Transforming Desire: Erotic Knowledge in Books III and IV of "The Faerie Queene."