In a valuable addition to the genre of Sidney biography, John Considine considers a range of what he refers to as "contemporary testimonies" in order to answer the question posed by his essay ('How Much Greek Did Philip Sidney Know?', Sidney Journal 20.2 .57-78). Sidney's writings themselves tell us little about his proficiency in Greek without an English translation but the documents considered by Considine in this essay undermine the traditional notion of Sidney as a scholar. The documents are an exchange of letters between Sidney and Hubert Languet in January and February 1574, dedications to Sidney of works edited and published by Henri Estienne in 1576 and 1581, and four panegyrics: a poem by Janus Dousa the younger, written in 1585 or 1586, an elegy by Jerome Lisle de Groslot written in 1586, an elegy by Nathanael Dod written in 1586 or 1587, and a biography by Thomas Moffet written in 1593. Considine shows that Sidney was introduced to the Greek language between 1564 and 1582, during his education at Shrewsbury and Oxford but that, as his letters to Languet suggest, he had forgotten much of what he learned by 1574. In the same year Sidney might have begun studying Greek again and, by the winter of 1574 to 1575, Henri Estienne thought him interested enough eventually to be able to read it without translation. However, no further evidence indicates that Sidney was interested in the language and in 1579 praise of his linguistic ability made no reference to Greek. Furthermore, asserts Considine, those claims that Sidney knew Greek, made in panegyrics on him between 1585 and 1593, are wholly unreliable. Based on the evidence detailed here, Considine come to the important conclusion that Sidney's interest in Greek was "far from scholarly" and Sidney was "by no means learned" (p. 77).
Sidney's beliefs are the subject of Robert E Stillman's essay which challenges Alan Sinfield's influential reading of Sidney's Defence as a work of Soviet-style propaganda on behalf of the Puritan faction which he believed was an ideologically driven vehicle related to the absolutist aspirations of the Elizabethan state ('The Truths of a Slippery World: Poetry and Tyranny in Sidney's Defence', Renaissance Quarterly 55.4 .1287-319). Stillman argues that Sidney's Defence "needs to be recontextualized as a governing body of assumptions about the nature of knowledge that Sidney derived from the revival of natural law theory among an intellectual elite closely associated with the late Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560)--the so called Philippists--and the early proponents of tyrannomachist political philosophy" (p. 1291). Via detailed reference to the evidence gathered together here, in particular the writings of Melanchthon and his followers (including Sidney's mentor and friend Hubert Languet), Stillman makes a convincing case for the politics of Sidney's Defence, and in particular his identification of tyranny with self-love, being best understood via this identifiable network of cosmopolitan Protestant humanists. Stillman's essay for Spenser Studies is also concerned with the influence of the Philipists on Sidney's prose text ('Deadly Stinging Adders: Sidney's Piety, Philippism, and the Defence of Poesy', SSt 16 .231-69) and takes issue with those critics who have defined the Defence as a Calvinist text, again emphasising the humanist trajectory of that particular school of philosophy, in particular their positive attitude to human agency.
Sidney's Arcadia was the focus for a number of articles this year. H. R. Woudhuysen adds considerably to our knowledge of a fragment of a previously unrecorded manuscript of the first version of Sidney's Old Arcadia recently discovered by Steven W. May ('A New Manuscript Fragment of Sidney's Old Arcadia: The Huddleston Manuscript', English manuscript studies 1100-1700 11 .52-69). The fragment comes from one of the volumes of the Huddleston papers in the Cambridge County Record Office and was used to reinforce the lower cover of a vellum-bound account of a terrier listing the possessions of Sir Edmund Huddleston. Sidney's poem was copied on to a single recto page which was then discarded because the scribe made an error. Woudhuysen claims that the manuscript "has various features which are highly unusual" (p. 54) and goes on to demonstrate that its scribe was the same man who wrote the Huddleston terrier, John Paxton, estate steward to Huddleston. Woudhuysen outlines the biography of Paxton and his employer, in particular the strong Catholic loyalties of the Huddleston family. It is unclear how Paxton or Huddleston got hold of manuscript of Old Arcadia in order to make a copy since "no direct links between the family and Philip Sidney or his friends and family can be traced; nor do there seem to be any obvious associations between the Huddlestons and the known owners of other Sidney manuscripts" (p. 63-64) but it is possible that the Huddleston's knew the Rich family (Sidney's Stella) since they lived about ten miles apart. The terrier is dated 10 May 1580, but "it is a fair copy and so could have been written and bound at any date after then" (p. 65) and the curious numbering of the poems in the fragment makes it possible that the Old Arcadia poems "were at some stage arranged in a different order from the familiar one" (p. 66). Woudhuysen concludes that if this fragment was copied directly from Sidney's papers it "provides additional evidence that he wanted the work published in manuscript", however if it is the copy of a copy we can infer that the text was common enough that a family with no apparent links to Sidney had access to it. It also fits a repeated pattern: that "among earliest readers of Sidney's romance were minor gentry . . . [with] Roman Catholic associations" (p. 66).
R. W. Maslen suggests that Sidney's choice of the title 'duke' for Basilius in the Old Arcadia, rather than the more obvious 'king' (the meaning of his name in Greek), can be traced to his sources ('Sidneian Geographies', Sidney Journal 20.2 .45-55). Richard Eden's The Decades of the Newe Worlde or West India (1555), a translation of Peter Martyr's history of the Spanish conquest of the New World, De orbe novo decades (1516), was revised by Richard Wills in 1577 and reprinted as part of a larger volume, The History of Travayle in the West and East Indies. Eden and Wills included accounts of efforts by Europeans to find a north-east passage to Cathay and in these are references to Duke Basilius of Moscovia, also known as Vasily III, father of Ivan the terrible. Maslen believes that Basilius of Moscovia provided inspiration for the paranoid duke in the Old Arcadia, most evident in the historical duke's "obsessive preoccupation with the vexed question of his title" (p. 50) and the "elaborate dispute over 'title' that dominates the trial scene at the end of The Old Arcadia" (p. 52). Maslen also notes Wills's debt to Strabo who, inspired by Homer's Odyssey, praised the disciplines of poetry and geography as equally useful in his Geographia and thinks it possible that Strabo provided Sidney "with the theoretical justification for the fusion of real and imaginary persons and places . . . which characterizes the Arcadia" (p. 55). Wills's History of Travayle might have provided Sidney with "a mental map" of the world which, combined with his own experiences of travelling, would allow him to gain "geographical knowledge on a level with that of Homer" and rightly argues that the "links between ancient and early modern writers on the poetics of geography deserve fuller consideration than they have yet received" (p. 55).
Several essays on the Arcadia were concerned with gender, its female readership, or sexuality. Marea Mitchell considers the reworking of two important and related stories dealing with love and romance by Sidney in the New Arcadia and by several female authors from 17th-19th centuries (''Strange but Vain Conceits': Re-writing Romance in the Arcadias', Sidney Journal 20.2 .1-20). Dicus's account of Cupid, which originated in the Old Arcadia, is reworked by Sidney in Miso's story from the New Arcadia. Although both stories depict Cupid as threatening, the latter advises "not so much to abjure love and all its workings" (p. 7) but to avoid "the loss of self" which love entails (p. 7). Most significantly perhaps, the revised story is spoken by a woman rather than an old man and, moreover, a woman from the lower classes who is one of the "sexually experienced, desiring women" in the New Arcadia (p. 8). The tale that is told by Mopsa, Miso's daughter, is a "hyper-romantic" tale which contrasts with her mother's "worldly cynicism" and Mitchell asserts that mother and daughter convey the range of Renaissance romance and anti-romance which can be found in Sidney's text: put simply, politics dominates in Old Arcadia but love takes centre stage in its revision. Mopsa's tale is revised and enlarged by the female authors Anna Weamys in 1651, D. Stanley in 1725, Hain Friswellin 1867 and Emily Henrietta Hickey in 1881 all of whom change the gender and class connotations of Sidney's original story. The rewriting of Mopsa's tale suggests "a kind of feminization and domestication of romance" (p. 19) which entails a shift from the chivalric and medieval, emphasis on action, and formal eclogues to character development, interiority and the role of story-telling in the development of relationships which has as much to do with the expectations of an increasingly female audience as the sex of the author.
Julie Crawford claims that critics have neglected the significance of Sidney's use of 'sapphics', the poetic ode named after the female poet Sappho, in the Old Arcadia ('Sidney's Sapphics and the Role of Interpretive Communities', ELH 69.4 .979-1007). In one particular episode from the poem the Amazon Cleophila (crossdressed as the hero Pyrocles) sings sapphics to the woman she loves and the form appears elsewhere in the poem. Crawford argues that although the content of Cleophila's song is highly conventional, Sidney's use of the sapphic form is radical since his sapphics "are not merely metrical experiments" but rather "invoke and enact female agency, desire and homoeroticism" (p. 979). Crawford considers the textual means by which Sappho and sapphics circulated in the early modern period and suggests that although critics tend to focus on Sidney as an explicitly homosocial writer, his use of sapphics, a form long used "to flatter or solicit the pleasure of women" (p. 986), may have been a deliberate attempt to appeal to the women readers who dominated his literary coterie.
Sue Starke takes exception to the traditional critical view of the sisters Pamela and Philoclea in the Arcadias which reads them as a rhetorical exercise in antithesis arguing rather that the reader is expected to judge not merely distinguish between these two models of femininity (''The Majesty of Unconquered Virtue': Pamela and the Argument of Feminine Nobility in Sidney's New Arcadia', Explorations in Renaissance Culture 28.2 .181-206). Via detailed reference to Old and New Arcadias Starke presents a solid argument for the younger sister Philoclea being inferior to her elder, not merely because of age. That the sisters should offer distinct models of femininity is evident in the Old Arcadia , argues Starke, but is also present in the revised version which "offers a crucial supplement to their histories in Sidney's earlier fiction" and provides the reader with "a vastly more confident and positive view of female chastity as a moral and political force" (p. 182). Relating the experiences of the two young women in the face of adversity to contemporary notions about appropriate behaviour for aristocratic women, Starke concludes that Pamela rather than Philoclea is celebrated because, unlike her submissive sister, she displays "a strong sense of her own value and prerogative" (p. 203) primarily through her successful use of rhetoric and as such provides a strong model of aristocratic womanhood for subsequent writers of pastoral romance.
Stephanie Chamberlain also problematizes the traditional dichotomizing of Sidney's heroines in the Arcadia ('Wife and Widow in Arcadia: Re-Envisioning the Ideal', College literature 29.2 .80-98). By reference to a real-life case and early modern behaviour manuals for women, Chamberlain points out that although the virtuous Parthenia and the malevolent Cecropia might appear to conform to the early modern female type and anti-type, closer inspection reveals a more complex attitude to female agency with the behaviour of each figure violating what is expected.
Benjamin Scott Grossberg considers the significance of three curious figures from Sidney's New Arcadia, the two Shepherds, Claius and Strephon, and the shepherdess who "are not crucial to Sidney's dramatic arc" and so "must serve a critical function thematically" ('Politics and Shifting Desire in Sidney's New Arcadia', Studies in English Literature 42.1 .63-83). For Grossberg, Sidney uses these figures and "an idealized Arcadia" to show how "both the homoerotic bonds and the potential violence of patriarchy were supposed to be contained in the Elizabethan adaptation of chivalry" (p. 65). For Grossberg Urania represents Elizabeth I who also functioned as a "bridge for homoerotic contact" in a court where male-male relations were ordered but this cannot be sustained in either Arcadia or the Elizabeth court: "given the realities of conflicting desire and a fallible queen figure, the state proves unable to contain male-male relations and erupts into civil war" (p. 65). In what Grossberg calls "the second Arcadia", which takes place in Basilius's woods, there is a shift since "no presiding figure appears to effectively order male-male relations or to assure that male-female relations are subjugated to the needs of patriarchy" (p. 72). Basilius's fails because, like his consort Gynecia, he focuses on "heteroerotic desire, rather than regulating male-male desire" (p74), a shift also evident in the two princes, Musidorus and Pyrocles. In the New Arcadia the patriarchal state dissolves, undermined by a heteroerotic drive which Grossberg relates to Elizabeth I's desire to regulate her courtiers' marriages and Sidney makes what Grossberg terms "a harsh comment on the effectiveness of the Elizabethan medieval revival to contain male-male relations" (p. 80).
Most scholars believe that the proposed match between Queen Elizabeth and the duke of Alenšon forms a backdrop for Sidney's Arcadias but Jonathan Gibson claims that a neglected aspect of the dispute's influence on Sidney is the relationship between Sidney's Arcadias and the writings of his court rival Edward DeVere, seventeenth earl of Oxford ('Sidney's Arcadias and Elizabethan Courtiership', Essays in Criticism 52.1 .36-55). Oxford's advocacy of the French match was connected to the revival of the French-influenced Petrarchan lyric, a genre which complicated patronage negotiations, making it "impossible to tell whether the speaker of a poem is in love or seeking political favour" (p. 39). Gibson contends that the Arcadias might be read as "an attack on the slippery nature of 'Oxfordian' court writing" and that the "moral seriousness" of Sidney's text constitutes "an implicit rebuke" to the "opportunistic" 'new lyrical' writings favoured by Oxford (p. 39). Also evident in Sidney's Arcadias, claims Gibson, is a concern about a courtier's control over his text and the problem of being vulnerable to misinterpretation or manipulation. Using examples from both the old and new Arcadias Gibson outlines how the former "tries to circumvent the problems of Elizabethan courtiership" while the latter provides "a darker, more pessimistic view of human agency" (p. 39).
The proposed French match was of interest also to Peter Beal who considers a new manuscript of Sidney's Letter to Queen Elizabeth arguing against her proposed marriage to the Duc d'Alenšon (Duc d'Anjou) in 1579 held in the National Library of Scotland ('Philip Sidney's Letter to Queen Elizabeth and That 'False Knave' Alexander Dicsone', English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700 11 .1-51). Although there are multiple surviving manuscripts, none of them authorial and containing many variant readings, this one is notable because it is one of a few that can be dated with any certainty (not much later than the 1580s) and because its textual variants may illuminate "the divergencies in early transmission" (p. 1). Its original owner was Alexander Dicsone, an active member of Sidney's circle, who was commissioned by Sidney or his uncle to write for them. Dicsone, a Scottish writer, intellectual and traveller who worked as royal propagandist for James VI was a double-agent who also worked for leading members of the Scottish Catholic aristocracy as well as the English and French government. In 1595 Dicsone was accused of passing sensitive state papers and information to the French and on August 9 of that year wrote a letter (reproduced here in an appendix) defending himself against the allegation. Dicsone was accepted into the circle of Leicester and Sidney and so "had access to the kind of political materials which then circulated within the relatively confined purview of the Court" (p. 32). Citing various examples, Beal claims that the manuscript owned by Dicsone might be based upon authorial readings "before they were eliminated by subsequent revision by Sidney and his immediate circle when the process of composition was still effectively in progress" (p. 19). He also suggests that Walsingham (sent by the Queen on missions to negotiate the marriage) and not Leicester, as is usually thought, was responsible for appointing Sidney as spokesman for the Leicester-Walsingham faction.
Although critics have recognized that Sidney's poem "Now was our heav'nly vault deprived of the light" comments upon his relationship with the queen they have not noted the political impetus of the allusion. In 'Temples Defaced and Altars in the Dust: Edwardian and Elizabethan Church Reform and Sidney's 'Now Was Our Heav'nly Vault Deprived of the Light'', SSt 16 .197-229 Barbara Brumbaugh claims that Sidney's poem, which was transferred from Philisides in the Old Arcadia to Amphialus in the New Arcadia, contains distinct criticism of Elizabeth's approach to religion and nostalgia for the reign of her brother, Edward 6. Brumbaugh shows that a brief period of happiness during the youth of Amphialus, the poem's narrator, is associated with what was considered by fervent Protestants as a golden era under Edward, replaced by the inadequate leadership of the nation's church under Elizabeth. Further criticism of Elizabeth is evident in Amphialus's difficulties with Diana and Venus, who represent Elizabeth as distinct from Mira, the True Church. That Sidney was critical of Elizabeth's rule is confirmed by his letters and more likely if we consider that his family prospered under the reign of Edward.
Sidney's sonnet sequence inspired two notable essays this year. Using Byron's Don Juan as a rather appropriate starting point Erik Gray explores the paradox of the kiss in a range of sonnets ('Sonnet Kisses: Sidney to Barrett Browning', Essays in Criticism 52.2 .126-42). In Byron's poem the paradox, or irony, is that the kiss "extinguishes the very feature that gave rise to the desire to kiss" (p. 127), that is, the smile of the beloved. Similarly in Sidney's Astrophil and Stella, which contains "the first major sonnet-kiss in English" (p. 127), the features of Stella admired by Astrophil--her eyes, her cheeks, the sound of her voice--are obliterated by a kiss which is more desirable than sexual intercourse, an act which would not obliterate the features. The paradox of all post-Petrarchan sequences, claims Gray, is their claim to originality whilst "deploying the most codified and imitative of all lyric conventions" (p. 128). Just as the sonneteer "borrows or deflects another's language from its original context" (p. 129) so too the kiss is always borrowed, indeed kissing "is not the primary function of the lips" (p. 129). Moreover a kiss, like a sonnet, "is both the result and the initiator of desire" (p. 130): the aim of the sonnet is not closure since consummation of the beloved will not occur and so kissing is often figured as a lesson, repeated as "a preparation for greater things" (p131). Gray concludes his essay by considering the sonnet-kiss in the Victorian period which saw its development from "a simple, pretty paradox" (p. 132) in the Renaissance to an action characterized by awkwardness and morbidity.
Rebecca Laroche considers a range of elegies on Sidney which manipulate the lover-beloved paradigm of Sidney's Astrophil and Stella (''O Absent Presence,' Sidney is Not Here: The Lament for Astrophil and the Stellar Presence of a Woman Writer', Sidney Journal 20.2 .21-44). After his premature death Sidney displaced Stella as object of desire in writings that may be read as continuations of his own sonnet sequence especially since Stella's absence in the final poems prefigures the absence of the poet in death. In the elegiac writings of members of Sidney's coterie--Mary Sidney Herbert, Edmund Spenser, Walter Raleigh, Edward Dyer, Fulke Greville, and Thomas Nashe, amongst others--"the conventional sonnet relationship of male lover addressing female beloved becomes malleable as the elegists substitute the departed poet for the absent beloved" (p. 22), an explicit fusion of the elegiac and erotic, not hitherto emphasized by critics.
The Versifications of the Psalms of David, begun by Philip Sidney and completed by his sister Mary Sidney Herbert is the topic of Michael Brennan's lengthy and engaging essay ('The Queen's Proposed Visit to Wilton House in 1599 and the 'Sidney Psalms'', Sidney Journal 20.1 .27-53). It is not clear whether the Sidneys intended their work on the Psalms "merely as a self-reflective exercise in metrical virtuosity, only to be circulated among friends and relatives in manuscript" (p. 39) or whether they were interested in publication. The Sidneys certainly considered their work on the Psalms an important project: in A Defence of Poetry Sidney "asserted the absolute pre-eminence of the Psalms of David as poetry" (p. 37) and the work by Philip and Mary, using the French Psalter of 1562 as their primary literary model, demonstrates their metrical inventiveness (p. 38). Brennan suggests that Mary may have been "actively involved . . . in considering the wider dissemination of the Sidney palms through print" (p. 29) and had planned to present the Psalms, together with three of her own original poems, to Queen Elizabeth during the monarch's visit to her home, Wilton House. Although Mary had connections in the printing world printing patents, which would enable the printing of English versions of the Psalms, were granted only at royal discretion and a visit by Elizabeth would have provided the perfect opportunity for initiating the venture. The cancellation of the Queen's visit, coupled with subsequent changes in printing legislation, apparently halted proceedings; the Psalms would not be published until 1823.
As might be expected, a number of articles on The Faerie Queene appeared in this year's contributions to the study of Spenser. Roger Kuin uses Judith A. Swanson's 1992 analysis of Aristotle's virtues to trace the pattern of private and public, or politic, virtues in Spenser's epic poem ('The Double Helix: Private and Public in The Faerie Queene', SSt 16 .1-22). Swanson believed that for Aristotle private and public virtues were not distinct but overlapped, virtue was action rather than a quality of character, and privacy allowed such virtues to be undertaken free from public demands. For Kuin, categories of private and public function as "constitutive genetic codes of the text as a text of moral education" (p. 4) and he uses the model of the double helix to consider these categories which he believes to be both distinct and intertwined in every book of poem. Kuin considers a number of the poem's cruxes, for example Book one is private and yet Lucifera's palace is a very public place which Kuin interprets as a warning to the reader that in courts politic virtues depend on the exercise of private ones. Kuin also considers Book five which has always seemed to be the most public book in the poem, a view which is complicated by Aristotle's view of Justice as a private virtue. The double helix's central space is occupied by core or key roles: the principal figure here is Arthur although for a number of books Archimago and Duessa play similar parts and "may be engaged at any moment in either of the codes" (p. 6). Arthur functions as a key "for he enters every book and both codes, which shows him to be situated in the core" but unlike Archimago and Duessa he is easy to decode: the Letter to Raleigh claims he is 'Magnificence' and he thus represents all private and public moral virtues, culminating in the figure of Elizabeth. For Kuin the model of double helix is helpful "in the making sense which is, for Spenser, the attentive reader-disciples's necessary (and virtuous) activity" (p. 6) and he ends this valuable essay by pondering how, following the Aristotelian model, Spenser might have completed his unfinished poem.
In an essay which engages with recent debates about Spenser's alleged republican tendencies, Louis Montrose situates Spenser's poetry within the context of contemporary attitudes toward monarchical power and gender ('Spenser and the Elizabethan Political Imaginary', ELH 69.4 .907-46). Taking John Knox's infamous denunciation of female rulers as his starting point Montrose notes that it "encapsulates certain persistent thematic, imagistic, and rhetorical elements that are writ large across Spenser's Faerie Queene", a text which "narrativizes the monstrous regiment of women in numerous variations" (p. 909). Montrose, who considers key episodes featuring Belphoebe and Acrasia from Book two of The Faerie Queene, reads Spenser's writing, in particular his use of myth and blazon, as part of a culture of unsolicited public advice to the monarch, encoded to varying degrees, which sought "to improve the system of which she was the centre, not to destroy it" (p. 915). Spenser neither celebrated the cult of Elizabeth nor promoted what we might recognise as a Republican agenda but rather, claims Montrose, "employed the resources of misogyny to further the political agenda of a limited monarchy" (p. 939).
Laurel L. Hendrix's fascinating and well-researched essay considers the significance of Spenser's revision of the 1590 ending of Book three in the 1596 edition of The Faerie Queene--which undoes the hermaphroditic figure of an embracing Amoret and Scudamour following her release from imprisonment by Busiraine--('Pulchritudo Vincit?: Emblematic Reversals in Spenser's House of Busirane', SSt 16 .23-54) via contrasting representations of love. In House of Busirane Spenser employs a series of traditional and conflicting emblems of Cupid: he is the armed tyrant, as in many emblems, but also a symbol of regenerative love as in Spenser's own Garden of Adonis in Book three which "follows a longstanding epigrammatic and emblematic tradition" (p. 28). As Hendrix notes, although we might understand the punishment of the proud Mirabella in Book six it is not clear why Amoret, who loves Scudamour "chastely and steadfastly" (p. 32), should be punished by a martial Cupid. Hendrix explains that Spenser distinguishes between Venus and armed Cupid as symbols of love and when Venus adopts Amoretta (little love) this female unarmed love takes the place of her lost child Cupid. Amoretta is an Anteros figure (representing reciprocal love) and is thus a counter-example to the martial Eros. In the House of Busirane, Eros dominates and subdues Anteros and love is redefined as lust for power. Scudamour means 'shield of love' and is thus associated with Cupid's emblem of 'maisterie' on his shield so although Scudamour laments Amoret's plight he is largely responsible for it. Curiously, the binding of Amoret reverses the tradition where the martial Cupid "is bound, scourged, and tempered" (p36) and, according to this tradition, Spenser's Amoret must be unbound for virtuous love to triumph. It is Britomart, Amoret's champion, who"acts as a catalyst, setting in motion the emblematic reversals necessary for the achievement of these imperatives" (p. 39). In freeing Amoret, Britomart restrains Cupid's proxy, Busiraine, and acts herself as Amoret's proxy, Anteros; Spenser thus alludes to Venus and plays upon the topos of pulchritudo vincit, beauty's conquering power. Beauty is a weapon but for Amoret it also makes her the victim of 'maisterie'. Britomart, however, asserts beauty's might against Busiraine and "embodies a militant feminine principle which contrasts with the passive, vulnerable beauty and femininity embodied in Amoret" (p. 41). Spenser thus transforms the power of beauty: what is traditionally a passive feminine grace becomes an active virtue. In the 1596 ending of Book three Hendrix identifies "an important shift" in Spenser's poetics where, instead of the hermaphrodite, we get "the most blatant narrative rupture of the entire poem" (p. 47). Rather than being entwined in a mutual embrace, Amoret is subject to 'maisterie' in the temple of Venus (The Faerie Queene 4.9.38-41). Hendrix concludes that, in deferring the lovers' union, Spenser undoes the closure of the 1590 narrative: there is no defeat of martial Eros, no consummation of reciprocal love, and he delimits Beauty's power, later to be emodied in the more sinister Radigund where Britomart will become a traditional emblem of pulchritudo vincit and women's power is limited to men's hearts.
In an informative and nicely argued piece William C. Johnson traces the figure of the trickster in those Books of the Faerie Queene centred on Chastity and Friendship: Books three and four respectively ('Spenser's Hermetic Tricksters in The Faerie Queene III and IV', English Studies: A Journal of English Language and Literature 83.4 .338-55). For Johnson, tricksters are introduced by Spenser in order to create "humorous disorder even as they parody and present more serious matters" (p. 338). The trickster is informed by a range of sources, erudite and popular, and Johnson lists his characteristics as defined by fellow critic William G. Doty: he is a marginal figure with paradoxical qualities, has connections with relationships and the erotic, functions as a creator and restorer, engages in deceit and theft, comedy and wit, and is associated with hermeneutics, the art of interpretation, a word possibly derived from Hermes, himself a trickster figure. Trickster narratives both define and violate boundaries and the function of the trickster is to remind those around him that "the periphery, not the center, of our attention may very well be what is most important" (p. 339). The most significant trickster figure in Book three is The Squire of Dames who "has a penchant for sly jokes . . . an affinity for travelers and thieves, an ability for quick wit and smooth talking" (p. 340) and who is replaced by a number of "figurative offspring and substitutes" (p. 340) such as the False Florimell and Paridell. Johnson traces the workings of such figures describing their impact on the narrative in terms of a learning process about the reality of human nature and the workings of the world, something Britomart must tackle if she is to emerge as a fully developed heroic figure.
Spenser's source material also informs a short but important article by Mathew Steggle (Matthew Steggle 'Weighing Winged Words: An Intertext in The Faerie Queene V.ii', SSt 16 .273-6). This considers the episode where Artegall encounters the Giant who weighs justice in Book five of The Faerie Queene and argues for a hitherto unacknowledged source for the "winged words" escaping from the Giant's scales (220.127.116.11-9). Critics are alert to the biblical and epic allusions of the image but Steggle makes a convincing case for Aristophanes' play the Frogs as a source or, more specifically, an intertext for the image of weighing words in particular which allows for a reading of the passage in Spenser as comic.
Cora Fox is concerned with Spenser's debt to Ovid's tale of Hecuba's grief and transformation in the Metamorphoses which he imitated in the story of Adicia, wife of the evil Souldan in Book five of The Faerie Queene, a woman who runs mad with grief and rage when her husband is killed and is metamorphosed into a tiger ('Spenser's Grieving Adicia and the Gender Politics of Renaissance Ovidianism', ELH 69.2 .385-412). In a thought provoking analysis of this neglected episode Fox contends that Spenser not only engages with Ovid's text as "an archive of myths" and as a way of underpinning his writing via classical allusion but rather "wrestles more broadly with Ovid's often anti-authoritarian politics" (p. 385). Spenser was interested not only in Ovid's stories but also his representation of gender politics and female subjectivity. Adicia is unlikely to represent any particular contemporary woman but rather the episode in which she appears, which represents her transformation as a result of excessive affect, interrogates the social role of powerful female figures and the consequence of excessive female emotion.
George F. Butler points out that Milton's depiction of Sin and Death in Paradise Lost is indebted to Spenser's Error and that both authors were indebted to Campe, a little-known monster from classical mythology ('Spenser, Milton, and the Renaissance Campe: Monsters and Myths in The Faerie Queene and Paradise Lost', Milton Studies 40 .19-37). Butler traces references to Campe in works by several classical authors, most of which would have been available to Milton and Spenser, but "the most vivid" (p. 21) of which is the description of Campe in the Dionysiaca, written around A. D. 470 by the Byzantine poet Nonnos of Panopolis. Citing John Steadman, Butler notes that Spenser's monster, like Nonnos' Campe, "is part woman, with serpentine and canine attributes" (p. 27) and Milton's sin continues this tradition. Spenser's depiction of Error undoubtedly influenced Milton's story of Satan's rebellion and the error of Adam and Eve: the Wandering Wood is a kind of hell and Error is linked to the Fall in an episode which prefigures Redcrosse's battle with the dragon in the fallen Eden.
Wendy Olmsted argues that in Spenser's Faerie Queene readers are encouraged to examine alternative viewpoints in a poem which is less concerned with advocating a particular stance on any given issue than on generating enquiry into the complex ideas surrounding it ('Elizabethan Rhetoric, Ideology, and Britomart's Sorrow By the Sea', Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medieval and Renaissance Studies 14.1 .167-200). Of particular interest to Olmsted is Spenser's account of Britomart's sorrow by the sea which "produces analogies and disanalogies with contemporary intertexts that suggest her fears, generated by misogynist discourses of the time . . . " (p. 172-173). Among the contemporary intertexts that inform Olmsted's detailed and critically informed essay are Petrarch's Sonnet 189 from the Rime Sparse and the Elizabethan Homily on Marriage both of which serve to facilitate multiple, sometimes conflicting, positions which suggest the allegory's preoccupation with rhetorical debate.
The focus of Clare R. Kinney's fascinating article is Edward Howard's translation of Book one of Spenser's Faerie Queene, published in 1687 (''What S/he Ought to Have Been': Romancing Truth in Spencer Redivivus', SSt 16 .125-37). Howard's proclaimed purpose was to improve upon what he referred to as Spenser's 'obsolete Language and manner of Verse' (p. 125) and although he insisted that his translation 'entirely preserv'd' Spenser's 'matter and design' (p. 126), except where abbreviation was called for in an effort to improve, it does in fact insert new material and, most significantly, presents a striking refiguring of Spenser's Una. Via detailed comparisons between Howard's dire translation and Spenser's original, Kinney details how Howard's presentation of Spenser's allegory "strips Una of her theological rigor and her command of scripture" (p. 131) and is clearly a precursor to the nineteenth-century sentiment which would accentuate and idealize the conventional feminine attributes of Spenser's female protagonists. This is a welcome and lively analysis of Howard's effort which, as Kinney points out, has hitherto received little critical attention.
Staying with translation, Jialuan Hu ('Spenser in Chinese Translation', SSt 16 .139-49) agrees with the general precept of Chinese translators that the Chinese version of a text "should approximate the original both in rhythm and in rhyme" but notes the difficulty of translating Spenser's lengthy Faerie Queene when metrical verse in Chinese "is often associated with classical poems which are most commonly arranged in lines of either five or seven characters" (p. 140). Using examples from The Faerie Queene to illustrate, Hu proposes that a solution to the problem would be to use the pauses that occur naturally in the Chinese language to correspond to the foot in English verse and to follow the rhyme scheme of the original, although this is by no means a simple task. This is a thoughtful essay but Hu's point that the extent to which a Chinese version succeeds "must be left for the judgment of the Chinese reader" (p. 148) highlights the essay's main fault: unless the reader is proficient in Chinese (and, alas, this reviewer is not) she must trust Hu's analysis of examples given.
D. Allen Carroll elaborates upon the case made by Joseph Black for Thomas Watson being author of an anonymous manuscript poem about The Faerie Queene dated 1588 ('Thomas Watson and the 1588 MS Commendation of The Faerie Queene: Reading the Rebuses', SSt 16 .105-23). Black's essay ("'Pan is Hee': Commending The Faerie Queene"), published in volume 15 of Spenser Studies and reviewed in last year's Year's Work in English Studies, cited various reasons for Watson as a candidate for authorship but, claims Carroll, was "overly cautious" in one particular respect (p. 106). Carroll here expands upon evidence for his idea, mentioned by Black, that the sketches at the head and foot of the poem "reveal obliquely and playfully who was responsible for the text" (p. 106) by detailing how the sketches provide three rebuses on the name 'Thomas Watson' and two on the title of his major work Hekatompathia (1582).
Although the main books of The Faerie Queene dominated this year's contributions to the study of Spenser, the Mutabilitie Cantos also featured and, again, Spenser's sources were a focus. Angus Fletcher claims that Spenser "was particularly interested in the philosophical potential of poetry" and the Mutabilitie Cantos "represent the culmination of this interest, exploiting the deep connection between wonder and philosophical affirmation to lead the reader through a sequence of thought that results in a moment of marvelous resolution" (Angus Fletcher 'Marvelous Progression: The Paradoxical Defense of Women in Spenser's Mutabilitie Cantos', MP 100.1 .5-23). Recently critics have tended to situation the Cantos within the tradition of jurisprudence but Fletcher argues persuasively that they are modelled on the ironic defense of women, a rhetorical tradition of misogyny often used to instruct young lawyers. Such defenses grew out of a popular tradition of misogyny and Fletcher traces parallels between Spenser's Cantos and a ballad attributed to Chaucer, printed in Stow's 1561 edition of his works, although Spenser's poem is derived not only from one source but from "a set of expectations developed by a large body of similar works" (p. 10). Fletcher disagrees with Elizabeth Fowler's claim that a major literary precedent to Spenser's Cantos is Chaucer's Parlement of Foules but does agree that Spenser's decision to model them after the form of an ironic defense is innovative and by doing this "Spenser develops a novel, pedagogic function for the marvelous within poetry" (p. 15). Spenser, like other English poets of his time, was influenced by the theories of poetry developed in sixteenth-century Italy where the marvellous was particularly associated with two things, novelty (the contradiction of expectation) and suspension (rhetorical and physiological). The first published commentary on The Faerie Queene, Kenelm Digby's 1644 Observations, is like the Mutabilite Cantos in that both "perform in practice what the theoretical framework of Sidney's Apologie argues is impossible, demonstrating a method of reading poetry that contains the progressions and affirmations typically associated with philosophy" (p. 23) although, crucially, Spenser does not equate philosophy and poetry but rather subordinates the former to poetic ends.
In a short but valuable note, Kathyrn Walls claims that Spenser's description of Mount Arlo in canto six of the Mutabilitie Cantos "anticipates and reinforces" (p. 3) his allusion to the Transfiguration of Christ on Mount Thabor when describing the Goddess Nature in canto seven of the same ('Divine Resorts: Arlo Hill and Mount Thabor in Spenser's Mutabilitie Cantos', English Language Notes 40.2 .1-3). Although critics have commented on Spenser's reference to Christ's Transfiguration, none before Walls have focused on the setting for this event. Walls claims that Spenser was likely informed by Stephen Batman's 1582 modernization of John Trevisa's late fourteenth-century English translation of De Proprietabus Rerum, Bartholomaeus Anglicus's medieval encyclopedia, which describes Mount Thabor's natural perfection. Tracing parallels between Batman's translation and Spenser's description of Arlo Hill before it was cursed by Diana, Walls concludes that Arlo Hill "is cast in the image of Mount Thabor" (p. 2) both being holy and fertile islands honoured by the presence of gods and goddesses, especially the Goddess Nature. Unfortunately Walls makes the mistake of referring to Book six, canto six when describing Arlo Hill rather than the correct Book seven, canto six, a minor error in an otherwise fine piece.
The Shepheardes Calender also featured in a number of this year's contributions. In an original and thoughtful piece Alison A. Chapman notes that, despite its title, critics have paid little attention to the calendrical structure of Spenser's first major work ('The Politics of Time in Edmund Spenser's English Calendar', Studies in English Literature 42.1 .1-24). Rather than recognizing The Shepheardes Calender as a "highly politicized reorganization of annual time published during an era obsessed with time and forms of time reckoning" (p. 1) critics have read it as natural and conventional, despite the fact that "no precedent exists in pastoral poetry for his text's monthly arrangement" (p. 2). Chapman points out that for early moderns the calender, far from being 'natural', was "the site of fierce debate as different ideological and political interests vied for control over its timetable" (p. 2). The calender was contested in two ways: by Pope Gregory's desire to eliminate 10 days from calendar in order that it conform to celestial motions and by the contemporary refashioning of the liturgical calendar to limit the number of holy days. Spenser's poem was written during the period of debate about Gregorian reform which involved his two employers, Bishop Young and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. The main aim of E. K.'s discussion of the calendar is to defend January rather than March as first month of year but "he derives the text's privileging of January from native English practice instead of from papal mandate" (p. 9): in Spenser's anglicized calendar "English shepherds follow temporal rhythms sanctioned by local customs and speak in the tongue of their native vernacular" and the text is given "a specifically English geography" by reference to English places (p10). Chapman contends that the centrality also of England's queen as shepherd/monarch constitutes implicit counselling of Elizabeth by Spenser to protect English Protestants against Catholic doctrine and the pope's calendar reform. Chapman also argues for the influence of Foxe's Actes and Monuments (1563) on The Shepheardes Calender, already recognized as source for The Faerie Queene. Although for most early modern reformers calendar reform meant removing Catholic saints some, including Foxe, "replaced the traditional canon with new Protestant names" both the well known and those "of lesser renown" and a similar process can be seen in Spenser's text which "is filled with the names of English shepherds . . . prominent figures of the Reformation" like Archbishop Edmund Grindal and Queen Elizabeth as well as "humble, unknown shepherds--such as Thomalin and Willye of the 'March' eclogue" (p. 13). The choice of April for the Queen's month distances her from feasts of the Virgin Mary and that April was also the month of St George suggests "Elizabeth as the nation's new patron saint" (p16), perhaps prefiguring George's transformation in The Faerie Queene from Catholic saint to Protestant knight. Chapman asserts that the historical specificity of Protestant calendars "worked to dissolve the aura of timelessness that had enveloped the medieval calendar saint" whereby the calendar instead became "a vehicle for commentary on localized, recent events" (p. 18). As well as being a structure for organizing a year 'calendar' also meant 'guide, directory: an example, model' and by calling his text a 'calendar' Spenser makes it "the 'guide' or 'example' for English poetry" (p. 19) which became the poetic standard for subsequent generations of writers. Moreover, Spenser inserts himself in calendar as Colin Clout which "suggests that the sheer skill of the new Protestant poet renders him as 'canonical' as even the new Protestant martyr or the immemorial Catholic saint" (p. 19).
In 'Diggon Davie and Davy Dicar: Edmund Spenser, Thomas Churchyard, and the Poetics of Public Protest', SSt 16 .151-65 Scott Lucas presents an analysis of the relationship between Thomas Churchyard's poem "Davy Dycars Dreame" and the September eclogue of Spenser's Shepheardes Calender. Churchyard's poem can be read as an attack on the counsellors of Edward 6 and it was read as such by Thomas Camell who publicly denounced it in his poetic response "To Davy Dycars Dreame". Churchyard, who did not want to retract the point made in his poem but did not want to suffer as a result of its dangerous message, answered Camell by drawing attention to "those attributes of its rhetorical structure" (p. 154) that protected him. As Lucas points out in this lucid and thoughtful essay, Spenser's September eclogue contributes to the debate: Diggon Davie is similar to Thomas Churchyard himself, and Spenser protects himself by casting his protest in a literary form and providing comments from the poems 'readers', Hobinoll and E. K., which distance the author from his creation. Lucas emphasizes the contribution made by Spenser to the genre of protest verse by his "bringing together, improving upon, and displaying in concise form the scattered commentary and rhetorical structures of the Davy Dicar poems" (p. 161) in an eclogue which exemplifies the protective strategies available to poets. Lucas also usefully reprints a copy of Churchyard's poem as an appendix.
Lee Piepho surveys a volume (now two volumes) of Continental Latin poetry held in the Folger Shakespeare Library which contains copies of Latin works by the German humanist poets Georgius Sabinus and Petrus Lotichius Secundus ('The Shepheardes Calender and Neo-Latin Pastoral: A Book Newly Discovered to Have Been Owned By Spenser', SSt 16 .77-103). A nineteenth-century note on the flyleaf claims that the volume in which the two texts were originally bound belonged to either Spenser or Gabriel Harvey and in 1980 Peter Beal discovered that the volume "contains the only extent autograph manuscript of a literary text made by Spenser, copies of a letter and two poems on a blank leaf between the two texts" (p. 78). Yet Beal questioned Spenser's ownership of the volume, claiming that the relevant pages were inserted at a later stage, an assertion denied by Piepho who cites as evidence for Spenser's ownership the collation of the Sabinus collection and the choice of texts copied out. According to Piepho, Beal is wrong about the later insertion since the leaf containing the transcriptions "is the concluding blank leaf of the first of the two bound texts" (p. 79). He admits that the case for ownership of Lotichius "is less certain" but considers it unlikely that Spenser would have bothered copying out a letter and an epigram related to Lotichius if he had no interest in the poet. Piepho believes that the volume belonged to Spenser and, moreover, is relevant to the literary context underlying The Shepheardes Calender. He gives a useful account of the collections: one of Sabinus's eclogues, an allegory involving animals "is much more straightforward than Spenser's beast fables" and Lotichius's "more ambitious and interesting work" is an eclogue about hunters not shepherds, making it part of a "comparatively rare" genre (p. 81) Most significantly however, Piepho thinks that the epithalamions written by Sabinus and Lotichius may have influenced Spenser's adaptations of the genre in the "April" eclogue of his pastoral poem. That neither German poet wrote ecclesiastical satire, a form used by Spenser in his poem, shows that English writers, unlike their German counterparts, "linked discussion of church reform with the language of pastoral literature" (p. 85). Piepho's essay includes a lengthy appendix which provides a complete list of contents for the two collections, although an English translation of the Latin would have proved useful as would a translation of the extract from Lotichius's second eclogue reproduced on page 82.
Recent studies which acknowledge Spenser's equivocal attitude to Ireland form the context for Christopher Warley's worthy consideration of Spenser's conflicted and contradictory ideas about social distinction in his sonnets (''So Plenty Makes Me Poore': Ireland, Capitalism, and Class in Spenser's Amoretti and Epithalamion', ELH 69 .567-98). Warley's main point is that Spenser, like the speaker in these poems, "tries to create his own social authority by mimicking an idealized conception of nobles, especially nobles in Ireland" (p. 567). Like other sonnet sequences of the period Spenser's poems seek to reinforce royal authority but, citing Louis Montrose, Warley suggests that Spenser's position in Ireland offered an 'alternative center' which implicitly challenged the centrality of the court (p. 568). In the Amoretti and Epithalamion the speaker imagines himself "as a nobel lord controlling a virtually feudal estate, and the primary vehicle used for this fantasy is his attempt to control his female poetic object" (p. 569). Crucially, Warley detects an an inherent contradiction related to Spenser's life in Ireland: although Ireland was represented as uncivil, it was a place where the New English could live out "an ideal of feudal land possession and social distinction" (p. 571). Spenser's political connections allowed him to participate in the Munster plantation, a government enterprise aimed at the social elite, and the speaker of the poems is keen to distinguish himself from the wealth of merchants, claiming social superiority and ascribing nascent capitalism to them. Spenser's Munster estate represented his upward mobility but also, contradictorily, "the limits placed on that mobility by its basis in emergent capitalist land relations" (p. 573). Unlike the merchants who deal in mutable, material things, the speaker's lady is constant and possession of her marks his social distinction. Warley draws a parallel between the speaker's desire for a constant lady and the Old English who possessed their estates "free from the vicissitudes of exchange and from the new, civilized English mode of agricultural production" (p. 581) although contradictorily, the New English seek to destroy this.Warley detects similar tensions within sonnet 75 which reflect Spenser's social position: he longs for the feudal life enjoyed by the Old English but at the same time seeks to eliminate it. Warley argues that rather than resolving the historical paradox of the Amoretti, as many critics have argued, the Epithalamion rearticulates it. In the latter sequence Spenser's preoccupation with social standing is again evident and he adopts a genre usually reserved for royalty and aristocracy. His construction of a social hierarchy in stanza 11 is not only a reaction against Elizabeth's court, and thus a celebration of his domestic domain, but a reaction against the bourgeois 'merchant daughters' and a desire "to be like either the Old English--an English lord over an Irish estate--or like Elizabeth herself, a mini-monarch" (p. 587). The speaker defines his masculinity, nationality, and social class against these feminized merchants but, as in sonnet 15 of the Amoretti, "the blazon always threatens to expose the speaker's economic similarity to merchants' daughters" and his control of the queen "ultimately depends upon his control of a commodity and the violation of the idealized feudal position he desires to occupy" (p. 588). The song itself becomes a commodity and "creates the spectacle that marks the speaker's social superiority" (p. 589) but that he has to write it himself marks the insecurity of his socioeconomic position and masculinity.
Following in the footsteps of Don Cameron Allen, who challenged assertions by previous critics that Spenser's Muiopotmos, Or The Fate of the Butterflie was a less than serious work, Eric C. Brown considers the poem's allegory to be as resistant to literal readings as The Faerie Queene ('The Allegory of Small Things: Insect Eschatology in Spenser's Muiopotmos', SP 99.3 .247-67). Brown contends that the poem "joins a tradition of works in which the slightest of creatures, namely insects, represent allegorically and often anagogically the most extreme of human conditions". Far from being a poem concerned with trivial matters, a fight between a butterfly and a spider, it considers death and the Last Judgment and presents a common Renaissance paradox: "small things are not small at all" (p. 249). Clarion, the butterfly, represents the vulnerable Christian soul which must be ever watchful against sin, here represented by the spider, "a type of apocalyptic beast" (p. 264). This well-researched essay is a welcome analysis of a neglected work in the context of contemporary attitudes to theology in general and eschatology in particular.
We saw that the process of translation featured in two essays on The Faerie Queene and it is also the subject of A. E. B. Coldiron's study which considers Spenser's translation of Du Bellay's sonnets in the light of Du Bellay's condemnation of translation as inevitably inferior in his Deffence ('How Spenser Excavates Du Bellay's Antiquitez: Or, the Role of the Poet, Lyric Historiography, and the English Sonnet', Journal of English and Germanic Philology 101.1 .41-67). Using a range of examples Coldiron shows that Spenser does not translate Du Bellay in any straightforward manner but rather "creates a new way of writing the lyric sequence, and a newly optimistic view of the poet's role in history" so that his translation of Du Bellay's is not the "profanation" (p. 42) identified by Du Bellay but rather an innovative and subtle re-shaping of his source which is of particular appeal to an English Renaissance audience.
Drawing upon a range of contemporary writings but with a particular focus on Spenser, Barbara Fuchs alerts readers to the complex relationship between the Spain and England--both "imperial actors" on the world's stage (p. 43)--during hostilities between the two countries ('Spanish Lessons: Spenser and the Irish Moriscos', Studies in English Literature 42.1 .43-62). Fuchs argues convincingly that early modern England's antagonism toward Spain "via the widely disseminated Black Legend of Spanish Cruelty" (p. 44) has led critics to overlook the many connections between the two countries and that "Ireland functions as a key site for analyzing England's tortuous relationship to Spain as both model and rival" (p. 44). Fuchs traces what she refers to as the "fascinating similarities" (p. 46) between England's desire to control Ireland and the Spanish project in Granada against the Moriscos, or little Moors. In both cases there is a distinct fear of hybridity and they share a myth of reconquest which downplays their colonial objectives: the English notion that they were restoring the rule of ancient Britons over Ireland was echoed in "the Spanish Reconquista of peninsular territory from the Moors" (p. 46). Although Spanish activities against the Moriscos could be explicitly evoked as a model for English activities in Ireland after peace with Spain such identifications were not possible when Spain was England's enemy but Fuchs identifies what she considers "a highly elliptical allusion" (p. 51) to the parallels between the two countries in Spenser's A View of the Present State of Ireland and The Faerie Queene Book 5. In the former text Irenius rejects Irish claims to Spanish ancestry and aligns the Spanish with the Moors but Fuchs notes an apparent unease, a hesitancy, and repeated qualifications which suggest that "the English are to the Irish as the Spanish are to the Moriscos" (p. 53). Fuchs proceeds to offer two examples from Book 5 of Spenser's epic poem where the "problematic idenitification" (p. 53) between England and Spain is evident: Artegall's defeat of that 'cursed cruell Sarazin' Pollente (5.2.4) and Arthur's defeat of the Souldan (5.8.40-41). In the former episode Artegall "is fighting an islam closely identified with Spain" but Spenser's source for the episode, Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, makes Artegall "akin to a Spanish knight, removing Moorish obstacles to safe passage" (p. 54). Furthermore, Pollente's fall into Irish river Lee suggests the "equation of England and Spain in a highly convoluted form: there is no overt identification of Moors with Irishmen, but instead an oblique suggestion that England can learn territorial control from Spain's war against the Moors" (p. 54). In the episode featuring Arthur's defeat of the Souldan, Fuchs notes that critics usually identify the Souldan as Philip II but little attention has been given to the Souldan as Islamic. In Arthur's defeat of the Souldan he is referred to as the 'infant' and Fuchs draws attention to the Spanish context of that word which referred to 'a prince or princess of Spain or Portugal' making Arthur "at once a British prince defeating Spain and a Spanish prince defeating Moors--a complex, and empowering, identification for an imperial England" (p. 57).
Thomas Herron points out that although the Souldan episode has long been identified as an allegory for the defeat of the Spanish Armada the Irish context of the episode has not been emphasized ('The Spanish Armada, Ireland, and Spenser's The Faerie Queene', New Hibernia Review 6.2 .82-105). Herron here elaborates upon a point made by Raymond Jenkins in 1938: that the group of damaged ships from the defeated Armada that crashed along Ireland's northern and western coasts in 1588 'possibly inspired the lines which picture the demolition of the chariot of the Soldan' (p. 79). Although critics have acknowledged the episode's Spanish context, Herron provides evidence of its "Irish and specifically Connaught, historical and mythical connections" (p. 95), among them the likelihood that the Souldan functions as an exaggeration of traditional Irish lords. Herron is keen to emphasize the "hybrid Irish-Spanish threat" which the Soldan represents and this well-researched essay makes a valuable contribution to the substantial body of critical material which acknowledges the importance of Ireland to Spenser's imaginative creations.
Staying with Spain, Frank Ardolino presents a solid case for his argument that throughout Spenser's Complaints runs allusions to the English defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 ('The Effect of the Defeat of the Spanish Armada on Spenser's Complaints', SSt 16 .55-75). Ardolino agrees with those critics who believe the Complaints "can best be viewed within a specific Protestant apocalyptic context" (p. 57) and, via reference to contemporary commentators as well as Spenser's use of imagery, notes that they form part of the visionary rhetoric which perceived the defeat of Spain, at the hands of the small and "divinely favoured" (p. 60) nation of England, in the context of the demise of Babylon and Rome.
Pamela Coren presents a convincing revaluation of Gary Waller's claim that Mary Sidney not Spenser authored an untitled poem published in a collection of seven elegies in 1595 ('Maximal and Minimal Texts: Shakespeare V. The Globe', ShSurv 52 .68-87). Various authors have pointed to evidence for Spenser's authorship of the poem, known as "The Doleful Lay of Clorinda", and Coren too believes that the Lay was written by Spenser. Waller criticized those who use features of style to argue for Spenser's authorship and, claims Coren, "attributes the Spenserian feel of the Lay to its genre, using the formula 'features common to a host of Elizabethan pastoral elegies'" (p. 27). Rather than listing individual parallels, Coren compares the stanzas of the Lay to stanzas from a range of Spenser's minor poems and, displaying her findings in the form of a table, argues that the "syntax, phrasing, and rhythm is Spenser's throughout" (p. 29). Futhermore, she believes that "The 'Spenserian' sound of the Lay is undeniable, and it is the sound of an individual voice as much as of a convention". She considers one of Mary Sidney's poems, To the Angell Spirit in detail and cites other critics who agree that there is "a very different poet here" from the one who wrote the Lay (p. 30). For the Lay to have been authored by Sidney would have involved her parodying Spenser, which is most unlikely, as is imitation in a poem which is an elegy to her brother. Coren disputes Waller's claim that Sidney requested the return of the Lay from Sir Edward Wotton so it could be passed to to Spenser for publication since the poem requested could just as easily have been another and she also questions Waller's assertion that the printer's layout of the volume proves his attribution since space inserted by printer throughout seems fairly random and of little significance, not an indication of her authorship. Social decorum would make it unlikely for Sidney to offer her poem for commercial publication and it forms part of a tradition of "inscribing lament in the female voice" (p. 37) seen elsewhere in Spenser's writing, for example in The Faerie Queene.
Of significant interest this year was a group of articles focussing on Spenser's representation of the sacraments. Margaret Christian provides a useful introduction and overview of these pieces which, she informs us "emerged from a round table discussion at the 1998 Sixteenth Century Studies Conference in Toronto" (Margaret Christian 'Spenser's Theology: The Sacraments in The Faerie Queene', Reformation 6 .103-7@104). In the first essay John N. King considers a range of allusions to the mass in The Faerie Queene, especially Book 1, and argues that Spenser's approach to the sacraments was essentially Calvinistic (John N. King 'Sacramental Parody in The Faerie Queene', Reformation 6 .109-14). In keeping with Protestant theology, Spenser allegorizes only two of the seven sacraments, and his poem reveals "hard opposition to the ritual, worship and sacerdotalism of the Church of Rome" (p. 111) via parody of the mass. James Schiavoni focuses on Books one and two of Spenser's epic poem and suggests that his approach to the sacraments is Augustinian (James Schiavoni 'Sacrament and Structure in The Faerie Queene', Reformation 6 .115-8). According to Schiavoni, the images and structures of these two books "reflect two distinctions in Augustinian thought" which influenced the most theological parts of The Faerie Queene: that "between sacramental efficacy and predestination" and "between spiritual guild and concupiscence" (p. 118). For H. L. Weatherby, The Faerie Queene indicates that Spenser is anti-Roman but holds an essentially a Catholic view of baptism, marriage and the eucharist (H. L. Weatherby 'Spenser and the Sacraments', Reformation 6 .119-23). Focusing on Redcrosse, the Knight of Holiness in The Faerie Queene, and the presentation of the marriage service in the Epithalamion, Weatherby argues that although Spenser should not be thought of as a 'Church papist' or crypto-Catholic neither was he "consistently Protestant in his every address to religious matters" (p. 122).
Carol V. Kaske's essay makes important links between Duessa's golden cup in Book one of The Faerie Queene and that administered by the good Cambina in Book four (Carol V. Kaske 'The Eucharistic Cup: Romanist, Establishment and Communitarian', Reformation 6 .125-32). According to Kaske Spenser encourages his readers to condemn Duessa's magic cup, which represents transubstantiation, and praise the good cup of Cambina which symbolizes the eucharist. Following upon C. S. Lewis's admonition that we should not be surprised to find Catholic elements in the Protestant allegory of The Faerie Queene, Clinton Allen Brand considers Spenser's representation of the sacraments in the last three cantos of Book one of his epic poem (Clinton Allen Brand 'Sacramental Initiation and Residual Catholicism in the Legend of Holiness', Reformation 6 .133-44). Brand detects in these cantos a residual Catholicism and argues that Spenser's anti-Romanism was not incompatible with "nostalgia for elements of the 'old religion' and his longing for the beauty, coherence and efficacy of sacramental presence" (p. 144). Kenneth Borris considers sacramental symbolism in a range of episodes from The Faerie Queene and is particularly interested in the representation of the sacraments of baptism and the eucharist (Kenneth Borris 'The Sacraments in The Faerie Queene', Reformation 6 .145-54). For Borris the poem features "a composite heroism" (p. 145) since patron knights and other good characters express aspects of Arthurian and Christian virtue. Darryl Gless's essay sounds a note of caution by warning readers to be alert to the complexity of Protestant doctrine with which Spenser was familiar before coming to confident conclusions about the doctrinal position of The Faerie Queene or its author (Darryl Gless 'Acts of Construction: The Sacraments and Spenser', Reformation 6 .155-61). Gless notes that the contemporary concept of holiness was complex and that "Spenser's use of sacramental ideas and images contributes in numerous deft, specific, yet elusive ways to a rich poetic exploration of an especially capacious virtue" (p. 161). Lastly, Anne Lake Prescott considers Spenser's Faerie Queene in the light of contemporary debates about the sacraments and finds in both a focus on the nature of signs, space, bodies, and time, each of which is discussed in a separate section. Prescott notes that the cannibalistic giant Orgoglio in Book one of Spenser's poem "recalls the giants of anti-Catholic polemic" (p. 166) who can be aligned with the god-eating papists of Catholic doctrine. Prescott also provides a useful appendix containing the views of Theodore Beza who "insists that Catholics ignorantly collapse sign and signifier into each other" (p. 163), a view shared by, among others, Thomas Cranmer.
Three important books on Spenser were published this year. The focus of Judith Owens' monograph is Spenser's negotiation with the process of patronage and the court (Enabling Engagements: Edmund Spenser and the Poetics of Patronage). Owens' point is that Spenser actively resisted the pull of the court and her study of the political dynamics of royal entertainments and the treatises of Richard Mulcaster in the introductory chapter provide an original context from which to explore Spenser's attitude to authority and agency. Chapter two provides a detailed reading of The Shepheardes Calender and proposes that in this first important work Spenser is concerned "to preserve poetic and moral autonomy", his "anti-courtly poetics" emphasizing "selfhood, private experience, romantic love" in an effort to challenge "the pressures in patronage designed to mould the court-centred, laureate poet" (p. 40). It is in his connection with the patrons E. K. and Hobbinol that Spenser's resistance to laureateship, via Colin, emerges most fully and their conceptions of the poet, claims Owens, are opposed from the January eclogue onwards. In chapter three Owens rightly notes that the commendatory verses appended to the first instalment of The Faerie Queene have hitherto received little attention from the critics and she presents an analysis of Spenser's inauguration as national poet in relation to contexts which lie beyond the confines of the court: London's commercial and market forces as well as Ireland. Spenser's Irish tenure is also brought into focus in chapter four which considers the Irish context of the 1590 dedicatory sonnets and notes that, far from being merely complimentary, they engage with issues of political moment, for example criticism of Ralegh's Petrarchan politics and poetics which are aligned to the court and which Spenser considers inadequate for Ireland's reformation. Ralegh also figures in chapter five which again considers the limitation of his Petrarchan poetics in the context of Ireland, this time via the figure of Timias in Book three of The Faerie Queene. This is an insightful and engaging work which adds to our understanding of the tension between patronage and authorial autonomy and Spenser's troubled relationship with the court.
Bart Van Es fine monograph, which grew out of his doctoral research, reads Spenser's poetical and prose works alongside a wide range of historical and quasi-historical sources: the chronicle, chorography, antiquarianism, euhemerism, analogy and prophecy (Spenser's Forms of History). Although Spenser has long been recognized as the 'poet historical' he termed himself, Van Es is keen to point out that there is more to him than The Faerie Queene's providential patterns in history which is the usual focus for critics. Van Es's introduction acknowledges how recent scholarship has expanded our ways of reading Spenser via history and promises to build upon this in an original way by widening the domain of history, making reference to texts by Spenser not usually considered in this context, and by focusing on 'form' or genre: for Van Es the word form, like the word 'historical', is neither specifically Elizabethan nor modern but something between the two and it is the nebulous quality of the concept which informs his approach. Chapter one concentrates on the chronicles and the tensions inherent in Spenser's use of the term 'monument' in his translations of Du Bellay, his own Ruines of Time, and the 'monuments' that occur in Arthur's chronicle from Book two of The Faerie Queene. Chapter two builds upon these tensions and is alert to the multi-vocality of the chorographic texts echoed by Spenser in Books three and Four of The Faerie Queene, Colin Clouts Come Home Againe, and Prothalamion. In a welcome reading of Spenser's neglected river-marriage canto in Book four of The Faerie Queene Van Es highlights Spenser's ability to make use of ancient history in his take on contemporary colonial projects. Chapter three asserts that the classification 'antiquarian tract' has more validity than usually acknowledged by critics and reads James Ware's 1633 edition of Spenser's View in the context of the Elizabethan College of Antiquaries, drawing useful parallels between the political significance of both, as well as considering Spenser's 'Mutability Cantos' as a way of interrogating the influence of the past upon present monarchical power. Chapter four deals with euhemerism, a method used by Elizabethan historiographers which found moral and historical truth in pagan myths which they defined as allegories; Spenser's ambiguous position as a 'poet historical' is explored via several episodes from his epic poem with a particular focus on the figure of the giant. Chapter five concentrates on Spenser's debt to historical analogy, the comparison between contemporary figures and historical personages, which could operate as praise or criticism, typified in the mirror created for Elizabeth in The Faerie Queene .The final chapter looks at the practice of political prophecy and shows how existing histories which served the interests of Elizabeth might be manipulated in order to produce subversive manuscript prophecies at sensitive political moments. Here Van Es demonstrates the influence of astrological prophecy on The Shepheardes Calender, the Letters between Spenser and Harvey, and the prophecy delivered to Britomart in Books three and five of The Faerie Queene, concluding that prophecy is a particularly dangerous form of historical narrative. On the whole this book represents a useful corrective to our rather narrow conception of history and succeeds in being alert to the instability of genre while presenting cogent and sensitive readings of a wide range of Spenser's writings.
Richard McCabe's study explores Spenser's career and writings in the context of Irish as well as English voices (Spenser's Monstrous Regiment: Elizabethan Ireland and the Poetics of Difference). As McCabe points out in his introduction to this book, there have been many studies on Spenser and Ireland but "Gaelic Ireland has been all but ignored" and studies have been "rigidly anglophone despite their avowed hostility to anglocentrism" (p. 2). McCabe's decision to include Gaelic literature, especially bardic poetry, in his analysis of Spenser is a welcome addition to the critical focus Ireland has brought to Spenser studies but it might be argued that an important reason for the previous exclusion of texts written in Gaelic has been a pragmatic one: it is unlikely that academics specializing in English Renaissance literature will also be proficient in Gaelic and indeed McCabe makes use of translations throughout which, it might also be noted, are unlikely to be held in most university libraries outside Ireland. Nevertheless MacCabe is right to indicate the irony of an interest in Spenser's Irish context which all but ignores the Irish language and literature around him and so this study make an important contribution to the field. The book is divided into six parts with each part containing two or three chapters and although some section headings and chapter titles make the contents of each fairly clear (The Faerie Queene 1590, The Response to A View), others are more esoteric (Arms and the Woman, 'Salvagesse sans finesse'). Another criticism is that McCabe includes a list of primary sources at the back of the book with critical sources cited in footnotes; this reviewer would have preferred one or other style to be used. On the whole though, McCabe's persuasive readings of Spenser's poetry and prose in a Gaelic context are written with a historian's sensitivity to Spenser's milieu and reading the landscape of Ireland and its Celtic voices against Spenser's unease about Elizabeth's rule works well.
Bart Van Es Spenser's Forms of History. Oxford University Press . ENTER PAGES, PRICE, AND ISBNs HERE
Judith Owens Enabling Engagements: Edmund Spenser and the Poetics of Patronage. McGill-Queens University Press . ENTER PAGES, PRICE, AND ISBNs HERE
Richard McCabe Spenser's Monstrous Regiment: Elizabethan Ireland and the Poetics of Difference. Oxford University Press . ENTER PAGES, PRICE, AND ISBNs HERE