Edmund Spenser, 1552-99, was at Merchant Taylor's school under Richard Mulcaster, and Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, where he proceeded M.A. in 1576 and became acquainted with Gabriel Harvey, c. 1545-1630. The events of succeeding years in England and Ireland are partly the concern of the following chapter. Spenser married Elizabeth Boyle in Ireland in 1594, where their children, Sylvanus, Lawrence, Peregrine, and Catherine, were born; he returned to England finally in 1598, died in 1599, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. His elder contemporary George Gascoigne, 1535/40-1577, was at Trinity College, Cambridge, and later of the Middle Temple; he devoted much literary endeavour to the repair of his misfortunes.
Works . Spenser published The Shepheardes Calender in 1579, Books I-III of The Faerie Queene in 1590, and Books IV-VI in 1596. Daphnaida and the Complaints were printed in 1591, Colin Clout's Come Home Again, Amoretti and Epithalamion in 1595. In the next year Four Hymnes and Prothalamion appeared, and A View of the present state of Ireland ( 1633) was composed. Gascoigne tale of Hemetes the Hermit was told to Elizabeth in 1575, and the Steele Glass printed in 1576.
Modern Editions . The authoritative edition of Spenser is the Variorum (9 vols., 1932-49): the Complete Poems were edited by J. C. Smith and E. de Selincourt ( 3 vols., 1909-10) and there is a one-volume edition ( Oxford Standard Authors, 1912). J. W. Cunliffe provided the Complete Works of Gascoigne (2 vols., 1907-10); A. B. Grosart privately printed Harvey's Works (3 vols., 1883-4). and G. C. Moore Smith the Marginalia ( 1913). The Letters are available in the Oxford Standard Authors Spenser.
Scholarship and Criticism . A. C. Judson has written Spencer's Life ( 1945), and C. T. Prouty a full study of George Gascoigne ( 1942). The best account of the Harvey- Nashe quarrel is in R. B. McKerrow Works of Thomas Nashe (5 vol., 1904-10: 1958). To the studies of literary patronage mentioned before Chapter VI may be added R. M. Sargent At the Court of Q. Elizabeth, the Life and Lyrics of Sir Edward Dyer ( 1935).
The present chapter looks at literary problems in the light of social history and class structure, as it has been developed by Trevor-Roper, Peter Laslett and other historians of the period.