This volume reproduces, with very little alteration, the text of six lectures which I was asked to deliver for the Turnbull Foundation at the Johns Hopkins University of Baltimore, in October 1922.
Subsequently I published a general study on Spenser, in French (Edmund Spenser, Librairie Bloud et Gay, Paris, 1923 ). Ample space was given in this work, both to an account of the poet's life and also to verse translations of the most famous passages in his work. This study, moreover, had the advantage of being complete and followed the logical sequence more closely than the lectures. But it was written for French students who possessed no book in their own language specially devoted to Spenser and had no means of access to his poems, other than the originals themselves.
After some hesitation, it has seemed preferable not to offer the English reader a full translation of the French volume, but only those excerpts which I had already made for the purposes of lecturing to an American audience.
My chief aim in these Lectures has been to call attention to what I consider the great and lasting glories of Spenser's poetry and at the same time to . . .