Edmund Spenser: A Critical Study

Edmund Spenser: A Critical Study

Edmund Spenser: A Critical Study

Edmund Spenser: A Critical Study

Excerpt

Notwithstanding the attention devoted to Spenser in recent periodicals, for the general reader he still remains an "admired but neglected poet" as Thomas Warton described him in 1754. Since Dean Church's Life (1879) and Grosart's Edition (1882-4), the only works of importance devoted exclusively to the study of his writings and published in England have been the Oxford Editions (1909- 10, 1912), ProfessorW. L. Renwick's Edmund Spenser (1925), together with his edition of Spenser now in progress, and various editions of separate works, among which priority must be given to C. H. Herford's Shepheardes Calendar (1895). The defect has been partially made good through the diligence of American scholars, particularly through the researches of F. I. Carpenter, C. G. Osgood, E. A. Greenlaw, R. E. N. Dodge, P. W. Long and J. B. Fletcher; but most of their material remains within the confines of periodicals, whilst many of the problems at issue call for further investigation. It can hardly be disputed that, during the last half-century, Spenser has received less attention, apart from detached articles or cursory notices, than any other English poet of equal rank. Nor is it difficult to account for this neglect of a subject so riddled with pitfalls or of a writer whose tastes and interests seem so far removed from those of to-day.

The poetry of Spenser represents the meeting between the old world and the new, between the traditions of the Middle Ages and those of the Renaissance. The raw material of so eclectic an artist needs classification. For this reason, in the present work I have considered my author first as the New Poet of that English Renaissance which sprang from the . . .

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