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Edmund Spenser: A Life.

Edmund Spenser: A Life. Andrew Hadfield. Oxford University Press. [pounds sterling]25.00. xxii + 624 pages. ISBN 978-0-19-959102-2. Spencer remains famous because of his pastoral verses and in particular, his epic poem The Faerie Queene which first appeared in part in 1590. But of Spencer the man very little is known. One of the strengths of this new scholarly biography is that it sheds much new light on Spencer's many years in Ireland and on the effect these years had on his verse and his attitudes towards royal government. It also portrays a complicated man fully in accord with prevailing views of his day who was far removed from the court toady image which has become fashionable. Whether he was as independent or radical a poetcritic as Mr Hadfield claims is open to debate. While the author includes some 200 pages of notes, appendices and bibliography he oddly cites one article, of the many written for this journal by Donald Bruce, not as coming from Contemporary Review but from Likewise the bibliography does not include A.C. Hamilton's important Longman editions of The Faerie Queene, first published in 1977. (K.T.)

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Publication:Contemporary Review
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Dec 1, 2012
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