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Allegory, Space and the Material World in the Writings of Edmund Spenser

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This book provides a radical reassessment of Spenserian allegory, in particular of The Faerie Queene, in the light of contemporary historical and theoretical interests in space and material culture. It explores the ambiguous and fluctuating attention to materiality, objects, and substance in the poetics of The Faerie Queene, and discusses the way that Spenser's creation of allegorical meaning makes use of this materiality, and transforms it. It suggests further that a critical engagement with materiality [which has been so important to the recent study of early modern drama] must come, in the case of allegorical narrative, through a study of narrative and physical space, and in this context it goes on to provide a reading of the spatial dimensions of the poem - quests and battles, forests, castles and hovels - and the spatial characteristics of Spenser's other writings. The book reaffirms the need to place Spenser in his historical contexts - philosophical and scientific, military and architectural - in early modern England, Ireland and Europe, but also provides a critical reassessment of this literary historicism.

Dr CHRISTOPHER BURLINSON is a Research Fellow in English at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

Reviews

Will be a valuable touchstone for all studies of space and materiality in Renaissance literature. SIXTEENTH CENTURY JOURNAL
A serious enquiry that sheds new light on a decaying epic. SPENSER REVIEW

Details

First Published: 20 Jul 2006
13 Digit ISBN: 9781843840787
Pages: 274
Size: 23.4 x 15.6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: D.S.Brewer
Series: Studies in Renaissance Literature
Subject: English & American Literature
BIC Class: DS

Details updated on 16 Sep 2014