Edmund Spensers Irish Experience: Wilde Fruit and Salvage Soyl

Hardcover | May 1, 1997

byAndrew Hadfield

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Spenser's Irish Experience is the first sustained critical work to argue that Edmund Spenser's perception and fragmented representation of Ireland shadows the whole narrative of his major work, The Faerie Queene, traditionally regarded as one of the finest achievements of the EnglishRenaissance. The poem has often been read in specifically English contexts but, as Hadfield argues, demands to be read in terms of England's expanding colonial hegemony within the British Isles and the ensuing fear that such national ambition would actually lead to the destruction of England'spost-Reformation legacy. Spenser should be seen less as an English writer and more as a new English writer in Ireland, his prose and poetry expressing the hopes and fears of his class. Where A View of the Present State of Ireland attempts to provide a violent political solution to England's Irishproblem, The Faerie Queene exposes the apocalyptic fear that there may be no solution at all. The book contains an analysis of Spenser's life on the Munster plantation, readings of the political rhetoric and antiquarian discourse of A View of the Present State of Ireland, and three chapters which argue the case that the apparently Anglocentric allegory of The Faerie Queene reveals a landgradually--but clearly--transformed into its Irish other. Spenser emerges from this study as a writer whose experience in Ireland rendered him implacably opposed to the vacillations of his English monarch.

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From the Publisher

Spenser's Irish Experience is the first sustained critical work to argue that Edmund Spenser's perception and fragmented representation of Ireland shadows the whole narrative of his major work, The Faerie Queene, traditionally regarded as one of the finest achievements of the EnglishRenaissance. The poem has often been read in specific...

Andrew Hadfield is at University of Wales.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.71 inPublished:May 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198183453

ISBN - 13:9780198183457

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsList of AbbreviationsIntroduction: Spenser, Colonialism, and National Identity1. The Contexts of the 1590s2. That they themselves had wrought: The Politics of A View of the Present State of Ireland3. Ripping up ancestries: The Use of Myth in A View4. Reading the Allegory of The Faerie Queene5. The Spoiling of Princes: Artegall thwarted, Calidore Confused6. All shall changed be: Two Cantos of Mutabilitie and the Sense of an EndlingAppendix: Works Mentioning Ireland in the Title Entered into the Stationers' Register During Elizabeth's ReignSelect BibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

`Hadfield's book, both in its content and methodology, is best regarded as a very clever and useful synthesis'Paul Stevens, Queen's University, Jrnl of English and Germanic Philology, July 99