Mirror and Veil: The Historical Dimension of Spenser's Faerie Queene

By Michael O'Connell | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

Like several writers on Spenser and allegory in the past twenty years, I trace the source of my interest back to the Yale seminar of Professor John Pope. His seminar has proved a gentle nursery for the growth of a variety of ideas and critical approaches, and it is with a sense of following last in this daedal line that I express my gratitude to him. As a doctoral dissertation this study first took shape under his guidance and was fostered by his learning and wisdom.

Some debts go back even further. John Gleason of the University of San Francisco first opened to me the intellectual excitement of the Renaissance and its literature. At Yale Richard Sylvester taught me by precept and example the essential alliance of scholarship and criticism, and I suspect that whatever I have of scholarly sensibility is his molding.

Paul Alpers read the manuscript at two stages of its composition ; I am grateful to him for shrewd criticism in both instances. Mark Rose, who also consented to a rereading, provided timely and valuable encouragement. Fred Nichols was a helpful reader of the original, and has given me effective support since then. Professors Jerry Leath Mills and Robert W. Hanning, readers for the press, made a number of useful suggestions. My colleagues Russell Astley, Norman Council, and Donald Guss have read chapters of the book and have made useful suggestions about specific points. I am particularly grateful to Richard Helgerson, who has patiently endured every revision and has never failed to provide me with the right criticism at the right time.

While I was revising sections of the book, the National Endowment for the Humanities granted me a year of pastoral otium in which to read classical literature. My understanding of Vergil, inter alios, was considerably extended by that reading, and I hope my discussions of Spenser's debt to Vergil may show the benefit of that year.

-xi-

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Mirror and Veil: The Historical Dimension of Spenser's Faerie Queene
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Mirror and Veil - The Historical Dimension of Spenser's Faerie Queene *
  • Contents *
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Explanatory Note xiii
  • Mirror and Veil *
  • Introduction 3
  • Chapter 1 - The Method of the Poet His Torical 16
  • Chapter 2 - Holiness and Historical Fulfillment 38
  • Chapter 3 - History and the Poet's Golden World 69
  • Chapter 4 - Mirrors More Than One 99
  • Chapter 5 - Myth and History in the Legend of Justice 125
  • Chapter 6 - The Return to Pastoral Vision 161
  • Epilogue - Escape from Mutability 190
  • Notes 195
  • Works Cited 207
  • Index to the Faerie Queene 213
  • General Index 217
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