The Faerie Queene and Middle English Romance: The Matter of Just Memory

Hardcover | September 1, 2000

byAndrew King

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Scholarship on Middle English romance has done little to access the textual and bibliographical continuity of this remarkable literary tradition into the sixteenth century and its impact on Elizabethan works. And to an even greater extent Spenserian scholarship has failed to investigate thesignificant and complex debts which The Faerie Queene owes to medieval native verse romance and Malorys Le Morte Darthur. This book accordingly offers the first comprehensive study of the impact of Middle English romance on The Faerie Queene. It employs the concept of memory, in which both MiddleEnglish romance writers and Spenser show specific interest, to build a sense of the thematic, generic, and cultural complexity of the native romance tradition. The memorial character of Middle English romance resides in its intertextuality and its frequent presentation of its narrative events ashistorical and consequently the basis for a favourable sense of local or even national identity. Spensers memories of native romance involve a more troubled engagement with that tradition of providential national history as well as an endeavour to see in pre-Reformation romance a prophetic andobjective authority for Protestant belief.

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From the Publisher

Scholarship on Middle English romance has done little to access the textual and bibliographical continuity of this remarkable literary tradition into the sixteenth century and its impact on Elizabethan works. And to an even greater extent Spenserian scholarship has failed to investigate thesignificant and complex debts which The Faerie...

Andrew King is Killam Postdoctoral Fellow in English, Dalhousie University, Canada

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Format:HardcoverPublished:September 1, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019818722X

ISBN - 13:9780198187226

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Table of Contents

1. Approaching Spenser's Medievalism2. Middle English Romance: Tradition, Genre, Manuscripts, and Prints3. The Matter of Just Memory: Providential History in Middle English Romance4. Displaced Youths and Slandered Ladies in Middle English Romance5. Malory's Le Morte Darthur: Remembering Native Romance6. The 'Reformation' of Native Romance in The Faerie Queene, Book I7. 'It seemed another worlde to beholde': Native Romance, History, and Book II of The Faerie Queene8. 'The world runne quite out of square': Remembering/Dismembering Native Romance in Book VConclusion

Editorial Reviews

"King's original analyses of Spenser's encounters with native romance yield fresh and intriguing observations. Many may find King's book most valuable as a scholarly source for a new or renewed acquaintance with the long tradition of Middle English romance that forms the foundation of the book....ÝThe book¨ demonstrates convincingly Spenser's debt to Middle English romance, revisiting an outpost of Spenser studies and innovatively opening it up for discussion."-Sixteenth Century Journal