Studies in Spenser, Milton and the Theory of Monarchy

By Ruth Mohl | Go to book overview

SPENSER'S DIGGON DAVIE

IN THE LIGHT of some of the most recent studies of Puritanism,1 in all its phases, and as a result of our better understanding of the international and clerical nature of sixteenth-century Puritanism as distinguished from the national and sectarian nature of seventeenth- century Puritanism,2 such evidences of the movement in the sixteenth century as the four "moral-satyrical" eclogues of Spenser's Shepheardes Calender take on new meaning and significance. Of all the shepherds who there discuss the state of the Church in the last half of the sixteenth century, none is better informed or more outspoken in his indictment of its faults than Diggon Davie in the September eclogue, the last of the four eclogues devoted to the Church. The identity of Diggon Davie, therefore, becomes a matter of considerable interest to the reader. In the September eclogue he is questioned by Hobbinoll, who, according to one of E. K.'s September glosses, is "Mayster Gabriel Harvey." Hobbinoll, says E. K. (perhaps Spenser himself)3 in his January gloss, is a "fained country name, whereby, it being so commune and usuall, seemeth to be hidden the person of some of his very speciall and most familiar freend." Lest the reader forget the fact that these familiar names are used to represent familiar friends, E. K. adds, in another September gloss, "As also by the name of other Shepheardes, he covereth the persons of divers other his familiar freendes and best

____________________
1
Notably M. M. Knappen Tudor Puritanism ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1939); William Haller The Rise of Puritanism ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1938); A. S. P. Woodhouse, Puritanism and Liberty ( London: J. M. Dent, 1938); Ralph Barton Perry, Puritanism and Democracy ( New York: Vanguard Press, 1944); Perry Miller, The Puritans ( New York: American Book Company, 1938); H. W. Schneider, The Puritan Mind ( New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1930); Arthur Barker, Milton and the Puritan Dilemma ( Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1942); Christina H. Garrett, The Marian Exiles ( Cambridge [ Eng.]: University Press, 1938).
2
Cf. Knappen, op. cit., Preface, p. v.
3
See above, p. 4, n. 16.

-15-

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Studies in Spenser, Milton and the Theory of Monarchy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • The Glosses Concerning Spenser's Rosalinde 1
  • Spenser's Diggon Davie 15
  • Melancthon, Stigel, and Henry VIII 31
  • Theories of Monarchy in "Mum And the Sothsegger" 42
  • The Theme of "Paradise Lost" 66
  • Milton and the Idea Of Perfection 94
  • Index 133
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