The Faerie Queene (1 of 14)

Publication Date: November 3, 2010

Chapter: English Literature in the Sixteenth Century

In the Norton, excerpts from "The Faerie Queene" take up slightly over 240 pages. To repeat: two hundred and forty pages. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the most epic undertaking in "Lit Brick" history thus far. Buckle up and hang on, folks, 'cause it's gonna be a long one.

We begin with a letter written by Spenser to Sir Walter Raleigh, in which he dishes out some backstory about the tales to follow. A rustic-looking young man crashes the Faerie Queene's feast and asks if she could send him on some kind of adventure. The Queene seems less than amused, mostly because this guy appears to be a bit of an idiot. Suddenly a princess shows up, claiming that a dragon has sealed her parents up in a castle. The princess demands a knight. The Faerie Queene instead gives her the bumpkin. Gloriana is kind of a jerk that way.

Oh, and if you couldn't tell, I'm starting at Book One, Canto One, for the sake of simplicity.

Author: Edmund Spenser • Year: 1590 • Info: Wikipedia

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