Studies in Spenser, Milton and the Theory of Monarchy

By Ruth Mohl | Go to book overview

THE GLOSSES CONCERNING SPENSER'S ROSALINDE

THE NUMEROUS efforts to determine the identity of Rosalinde1 in Spenser Shepheardes Calender have been directed mainly toward interpretation of the January, April, and June glosses, the Spenser- Harvey correspondence of April, 1580, and whatever facts are known about Spenser's life between 1570 and 1580. Some of the suggestions as to her identity2 meet part of the requirements of those sources of information, but so far none has been shown to satisfy all of them. Nevertheless, one suggestion has been made that, it seems to me, does satisfy all the requirements. The reason why it has not been generally accepted is probably the fact that it has never been studied in relation to all the sources of information. The following review of the problem aims to show that Professor Percy W. Long's and Dr. J. J. Higginson's suggestion that Rosalinde may have been Mary Sidney3 squares with all the known facts and especially with the parts of the January and April glosses that explain Spenser's choice of the name Rosalinde to hide the lady's identity.

In 1908, in his article suggesting that Rosalinde may have been Elizabeth North, Professor Long nevertheless included the following footnote: "It is remarkable that no one has suggested Sidney's sister, whose pastoral name Clorinda forms a passable solution of Rosa-

____________________
1
As Professor Percy W. Long points out in his article on "Spenser's Rosalind," Anglia, XXXI ( January, 1908), 95: Rosalinde is the spelling to be used as a basis. It is the uniform spelling of the fifth quarto, which is Spenser's final edition. In all five quartos it is the spelling used by Harvey ( Grosart, ed. Harvey, Huth Lib., I, 81-2)."
2
They are reviewed in J. J. Higginson Spenser's Shepherd's Calendar in Relation to Contemporary Affairs ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1912), pp. 203-31; in H. S. V. Jones' Spenser Handbook ( New York: F. S. Crofts, 1930), pp. 24-25; and in the Variorum Edition of Spenser Minor Poems ( Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1943), Appendix IV, pp. 651-55. They need not, therefore, be listed here.
3
Long, "Spenser's Rosalind,"loc. cit., p. 82 n., and Higginson, op. cit., pp. 230-31.

-1-

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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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