2. Sidney

    Two valuable monographs on Sidney appeared in 2003. Elizabeth Mazzola presents a comprehensive picture of the way in which changing notions of the family in the early modern period influenced the writings of Philip Sidney, his sister Mary, his brother Robert, and his niece, Lady Mary Wroth (2003b). At the core of Mazzola's study is her assertion that "the fledgling English literary tradition . . . offers a 'hot-house' atmosphere similar to the one provided by the early modern family, crowded with patrons and offshoots and by near and far-flung members of the Sidney circle" (p. 7). Drawing upon the work of the historians Lawrence Stone and Peter Laslett and the psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein, and D. W. Winnicott, Mazzola considers the impact of the Sidney family upon Philip's cultural legacy and the extent to which his writings and image informed their ideas about fiction. Chapter one, which is a reprint of 2003a, considers the relationship between Philip and Queen Elizabeth, which Mazzola views in terms of that between early modern mothers and children, an identification positively encouraged by Elizabeth and which Sidney enjoyed but also sought to subvert. Chapter two considers the influence of Philip upon his siblings Mary, who completed his psalm translations, and Robert, who composed poetry inspired by Astrophil and Stella, and the degree to which both were inspired by the same somewhat misleading image of Philip that influenced English poets outside the family circle. The first part of the book is focused on poetry but part two shifts to prose with chapter three reading Sidney's Old Arcadia as a literary investigation of the benefits and defects of early modern families via the romance genre and its preoccupations with rape and incest anxieties. Chapter 4 reconsiders the critical notion that Lady Mary Wroth is overwhelmed by the reputation of her famous uncle arguing, rather, that she consciously drew upon his work, in particular his "interest in the family as a source of romance problems and their solutions" (p. 88). Mazzola's book offers an insightful study of the Sidney family dynamic which emphasizes the role of reputation, influence and myth upon those who followed its favourite son.

    Charles Ross's study is a well-researched and thought-provoking study of recurrent literary references to the practice of fraudulent conveyancing (Ross 2003). Fraudulent conveyancing occurs when "someone in debt places his or her property out of reach of his or her creditors' process" (p. 1) and each of the writers considered by Ross had a specific approach to the issue. Philip Sidney is discussed in the context of his father Henry, Lord Deputy of Ireland between 1565-1571 where fraudulent conveyancing "has an eventful history" (p. 5). The lack of provision against fraudulent conveyancing in an Irish statute drafted by Henry against Shane O'Neill in 1569 indicates Henry's ambivalence toward the practice, a view seemingly shared by his son Philip; both father and son experienced financial difficulties and thus recognised the necessity for a degree of moral dissembling, even amongst the virtuous. In the Arcadia Philip developed a plot "that could represent the moral ambiguity of fraudulent conveyances" representing the tension between "the interests of creditors, including the state, who sought to counter fraud with the desire of men in varied circumstances to retain control of their lives and property" (p. 56). The separate ravishments (the sexual aspect of moving 'property') committed by Philip's heroes in the story indicate his openness to conveyancing and, as Ross shows, this plot innovation influenced Spenser and Shakespeare in their construction of literary elopements.

    In a compelling article which, understandably, won the South-Central Renaissance Conference Louis L. Martz essay prize for 2003, Derek B. Alwes argues that Sidney's New Arcadia is a defence of poetry with Sidney viewing the composition of poetry as a social duty (2003). Using the stories of Zopyrus and Abradatas, who pretend to be in disgrace with their king to infiltrate the enemy,  Sidney distinguishes between two forms of serving one's monarch: extreme self sacrifice (Zopyrus had cut off his own ears and nose to convince the enemy) and fiction (Abradatas was merely rumoured to be in disgrace). In a probable swipe at Queen Elizabeth herself, Sidney recommends poetry "as an alternate form of service" but crucially, that service is conceived of as public service to the state rather than private service to the monarch. In his revision of the Old Arcadia Sidney "reveals a serious literary commitment that he had been at pains previously to deny" (p. 150), thus contradicting Fulke Greville's view that Sidney's "end was not writing even while he wrote". Using a range of examples from the text, Alwes shows that the New Arcadia is filled with fictions: disguises, feigned executions, and there is "no question that the ability to fictionalize is a source of genuine power in the world of Arcadia". Where the Old Arcadia focused on the pastoral genre, the revision "takes all fiction as its subject, examining both the proper, strategic uses of fiction as well as well as the destructive power of mere deception" (p. 154). Although in Arcadia fiction is not always in the service of truth and virtue, the ability to see truth through fiction is necessary because nothing is as it seems.

    Sidney's Arcadia also forms the focus of a short piece by John Considine who takes issue with Wendy Gibson's explanation of two riddles that appear in the Old Arcadia (2003). Gibson traced the first of the two riddles to a contemporary manuscript source and although Considine agrees that this was indeed a source he argues persuasively that both of Sidney's riddles and that which appears in the source refer not to pregnancy, as Gibson suggested, but rather to coition.

     In 2003 Travis Curtright argues that Sidney's ideas should be explained in the rhetorical context of Aristotelian ethos, rather than universals and forms. In his Defense of Poetry Sidney's innovative use of Aristotle's teachings, on character from the Poetics and the Rhetoric, provides the Defense's response to the Platonic attacks upon poetry. In his modification of Aristotle's teaching, in particular that good character persuades audiences, Sidney "does not simply reproduce a classical source" but "freely discovers, innovates, and synthesizes" (p. 112), working Aristotelian thought into a thoroughly modern discourse.

    George Gömöri traces what is probably the first known reference indicating German interest in Sir Philip Sidney's poetry to a seventeenth-century travel album, known also by the German name Stammbuch or by the Latin Album Amicorum, which belonged to a German-speaking Bohemian scholar Daniel Stolz von Stolzenberg, a medical doctor and editor of alchemistic texts (Gomori 2003). The poem that appears in the album, currently located in the British Library in London, was inscribed by Johannes Rhenanus, also a doctor and a poet, on March 7, 1623. The poem, Number 34 from the Old Arcadia, contains an almost illegible insertion by Rhenanus, deciphered here by Gömöri, and the version ends with an alchemistic formula and a Latin commendation to Stolz. Although the opening of Sidney's poem was known in Germany via an earlier publication by John Dowland, it was not clear that Sidney was the source of his couplet and Gömöri doubts "any direct influence of Dowland on Rhenanus". As Gömöri points out, Stolz's album is important as "a unique, early document of the appreciation of English poetry on the continent" (para. 4) and demonstrates the specific influence of Sidney's poetry.

    In this year's Sidney Journal Julie Eckerle's engaging essay focuses on the importance of stories and reading in Sidney's theoretical work A Defence of Poetry and the New Arcadia (2003). Poetry should entertain and instruct and Sidney located the power of the poet in the narrative, especially the narrative example, which differs from his classical predecessors who did not think exemplum could be expanded into a lengthy narrative. The story in the Defence about the great horseman, John Pietro Pugliano functions as a fable and a rhetorical exemplum and provides an important lesson about effective reading. There is an assumption, however, that only those readers "with access to the same kind of superior education that Sidney himself received" (p. 49) would be able to decipher the multiple layers of meaning embedded in the narrative. If the reader cannot decipher the moral message then poetry might only delight and so fail in its more important didactic purpose. Two kinds of reader are evident in the New Arcadia: the aristocratic Pamela, who can read properly, and the peasant Mopsa, who does not understand. For Sidney, pleasure is generally associated with the feminine and instruction with the masculine and he praises a very specific kind of story: that connected with the male world of masculine heroes. The ideological power of poetry, a power gained through the act of reading, is thus limited to a male and upper class world.

    Critics have commented on Sidney's debt to Francesco Colonna's Hypnerotomachia: The Strife of Love in a Dreame when composing the Arcadia but in this persuasively argued essay Hester Lees-Jeffries suggests a specific influence to the text in its original Italian and French translation (2003b). Lees-Jeffries concentrates on the description of Pyrocles, one of the Arcadia’s two heroes, when first he disguises himself as the Amazon Zelmane and identifies hitherto unnoted parallels between the description of Zelmane and description of the apparel of the Cytherean nymphs in the Hypnerotomachia, parallels which are even closer in the shorter French translation, known as the Songe de Poliphile. Sensitive to those readers who are not proficient in foreign languages, Lees-Jeffries provides the relevant passages from Sidney, then the Italian, followed by Joscelyn Godwin's 1999 translation, the French text, and her own translation of the Songe, which has never been translated into English. Sidney knew the original Latin text but, as Lees-Jeffries shows, used its French version. The passages from the Hypnerotomachia / Song which attracted him are all beautifully illustrated, suggesting that he may have been drawn to these passages by their illustrations.


3. Spenser

    Spenser is considered alongside his predecessors and contemporaries in two important books published this year. Elizabeth Fowler's monograph is specifically concerned with the development of literary figures extricated from social persons (for example the pilgrim, the conqueror, the maid, the narrator) in works by Geoffrey Chaucer, William Langland, John Skelton and Edmund Spenser (2003). The chapter on Spenser considers the marriage of the Thames and the Medway from Book four of The Faerie Queene and the two Cantos of Mutabilitie. Fowler regards Spenser as "the first poet in English to theorize the architectonic nature of fictional characterization" which allowed him to use characters as a means of "assessing and reimagining the very foundations of social life" (p. 179). The portrait of the Thames "evokes various kinds of political entities" (p. 202) and the principles reinforcing them suggests that the source of  England's power lies not in royal succession but rather in its landed gentry and citizens (p. 204). The figure of Mutability is also considered in terms of social persons, some of them surprisingly positive. Legal issues, which dominate Fowler's thesis, are crucial also to the understanding of Mutability who is involved not in a criminal trial but a legal suit which has important ramifications for debates over the ownership of place in early modern Ireland.

    Charles's Ross's monograph considering the representation of fraudulent conveyancing in the work of Philip Sidney is reviewed in section two above (Ross 2003). Ross also investigates the practice as represented by Spenser and argues that although Spenser condemns fraudulent conveyancing in his political prose and minor poetry, like Sidney he "creates a more liberal or balanced view of this legal issue in his narrative poetry" (p. 72). That Spenser took a more severe line in the View than either of the Sidneys' regarding the need to stamp out the practice was presumably also due to personal circumstances, his own estate being founded on lands escheated to the queen after the attainder of the Earl of Desmond. The Faerie Queene contains various episodes where the process is less straightforward, amongst them that featuring the magician Busirane "the deceitful conveyor of women" in Books three and four of The Faerie Queene. In contrast to the situation in Arcadia where conveyance is pardoned, Spenser's Busirane "is forced to give up his prize" (p. 72) but he goes unpunished and in Book four Venus is implicated in Amoret's capture. Ross also considers the episode featuring Aemylia in Book four as a reflection of contemporary debates over the issue and Arthur's seizure and redistribution of a malefactor's property in Book 5 as a reflection of the experience of the Munster settlers, in particular Spenser's personal disputes with Lord Roche over land. In the Ruddymane episode from Book 2 of the poem "Three separate types of conveyance attend the baby's stains: ravishment, inheritance, and theft" (p. 90) and Guyon's predicament is considered with the kind of attention to detail evident throughout this study.

    In the introduction to their study of death in Spenser and Milton the editors rightly point out that it is an under-investigated topic (Bellamy, Cheney & Schoenfeldt 2003, 2). There is a particular focus on Spenserian and Miltonic epic and "what it means to trace a literary continuum" between the two with John Dryden's famous claim that Spenser was Milton's original underpinning the impetus behind much of the comparative essays herein. Milton's debt to Spenser, specifically in the depiction of death and holiness, is explored by Roger Kuin and Anne Lake Prescott in chapter five ("'After the First Death, There is no Other': Spenser, Milton, and (Our) Death") and in chapter six ("Anatomizing Death") Linda Gregerson considers representations of death by Spenser and Milton via anatomy and the act of creation as a means of writing against death. Welcome attention is given to Spenser's Epithalamion which Gregerson argues "celebrates the work of generation" as well as "the flesh's strict entailment, which is death" (p. 114). In chapter seven Marshall Grossman ("Reading Death and the Ethics of Enjoyment in Spenser and Milton") considers the "qualitative difference between the representations of death in The Faerie Queene and in Paradise Lost", identifying what he terms "pleasures of anticipation and deferral" in the former and "the terrible fascination of retrospection" in the latter (p. 117), locating the implications of reading both texts firmly in the present. Three essays deal specifically with Spenser: in a chapter which draws upon some of the ideas evident in 2003a (reviewed below) Andrew Hadfield (chapter two: "Spenser and the Death of the Queen") reads Spenser's epic as a poem "haunted by an imminent death that has not happened" (p. 36), that of Elizabeth, the aging monarch. In chapter three, "Psychic Deadness in Allegory: Spenser's House of Mammon and Attacks on Linking", Theresa M. Krier argues that in Guyon's descent into the underworld, in Book two of The Faerie Queene, Spenser "represents and critiques the discourse of punitive moral-exemplum allegory", frustrating the reader's attempt to force links and presenting an allegory that makes the reader uncomfortable because, as well as witnessing the character's suffering, "we are asked to think, but then refused either the modal or generic features that invite further venturing on a path of thought or an open interpretive matrix that makes thinking generative and genial" (p. 54). Gordon Teskey (chapter four: "Death in an Allegory") also considers Spenser's approach to allegory, arguing that death functions differently in this genre than, say, the novel. Focusing on the episode from Book two of The Faerie Queene featuring the brothers Cymocles and Pyrocles, Teskey contends that, paradoxically, "an allegorical character's death is the moment when that character is most alive as meaning" (p. 65). Although at times clarity is sacrificed as a result of esoteric theorizing, this collection provides some thoughtful explorations of the topic under consideration.

         Three essays are of interest to Spenserians in Vaught 2003, a study which claims that "in England and Europe during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, representations of grief were profoundly shaped by gender" (p. 1), and expressions of grief "vary according to time and place" (p. 3). Spenser is considered in part four "Elizabethan Loss and Regeneration" with essays by Donald Cheney, Theresa M. Krier, and Judith H. Anderson. Cheney's contribution ("Grief and Creativity in Spenser's Daphnaida"), a welcome study of what William Oram termed one of Spenser's "most experimental and least-loved works", considers Spenser's adaptation of Chaucer's Book of the Duchess via "both poets' negotiations with Ovid and his post-Classical transmission . . . to reconsider the vexed question of whether and how Spenser's poem criticizes or distances itself from a widower's excessive, unmanly grief" (p. 125). For Cheney, Spenser's poem "is at once a criticism and an endorsement of Alcyon's relentless grieving" for although the narrator urges community, "he is intent on the solitary brooding that is essential to his art" (p. 128-129). In  "Mother's Sorrow, Mother's Joy: Mourning Birth in Edmund Spenser's Garden of Adonis", Theresa M. Krier focuses on the episode's "celebration of generativity, maternity, gestation, and filiation" in the context of Luce Irigaray's comments about our sense of loss upon being born and the mourning that attends being separated from the body of our mother. Krier argues that Spenser is keen to show that "birth, in its attendant losses as well as its evident joys, needs to be represented, and draws the reader into the Garden itself, which compounds recognition of maternal loss even as it celebrates generation" (p. 142). One of the episodes considered by Krier involves the goddess Venus who also features in Judith H. Anderson's essay "Venus and Adonis: Spenser, Shakespeare, and the Forms of Desire". Anderson traces Shakespeare's debt to Spenser in his gendered depiction of passion and grief, noting Shakespeare's allusions to Spenser's Garden of Adonis in his narrative poem, allusions also evident in Richard III. Anderson also detects Shakespeare's debt to Book three's "cast of Venerian refractions" (p. 159) which informs Shakespeare's Venus and Cleopatra, the poem and play presenting more "fully fleshed-out" versions of Spenser's allegorical figures (p. 160). This is an impressive collection but one small criticism is the decision to place notes at the back of the volume instead of after each chapter, headed only by chapter numbers, not the author's name or title.

    Vince P. Redder entertaining essay argues that the difference in tenor between the first part of Spenser's Faerie Queene, published in 1590, and the second part, published in 1596, specifically regarding the depiction of Catholicism, can be explained via Spenser's reading of Richard Hooker's theology (2003). In Book one of The Faerie Queene Catholic priests are represented by the demonic magician Archimago and the False Una who, like the foxes in The Shepheardes Calender, deceives her victims "by trickery and illusion, not by force" (p. 137). Where Book one urges Protestants "to beware of the sophistry of the mission priests and their leader", Book five depicts their tricks as "something much more sinister: rebellion and regicide" (p. 138). Redder provides a convincing argument that the episode where Britomart narrowly escapes from a disappearing bed in the House of Dolon is not a comment on marriage and fidelity, as put forward by critics such as A. C. Hamilton, but rather alludes to the failure of the Babington plot and the remaining threat posed by Papists. Redder identifies Dolon, once a faithful knight, as Robert Persons, Jesuit in charge of English mission who had once been a good Protestant and became one of group of exiled Catholic clergy who believed it permissible to remove Elizabeth and replace her with the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots. Redder provides close analysis of Hooker's work which he notes must have angered Spenser and other progressive Protestants as "a dangerous collusion at the highest levels of the church with the missionary priests" (p. 144), since it was welcomed by Elizabeth and the Archbishop of Canterbury who urged compromise.

    Most of the points raised by Andrew Hadfield (2003a) will be familiar to Spenserians but provide a useful introduction to those less informed about his writings, in particular The Faerie Queene and the complexities surrounding Spenser's representation of Queen Elizabeth. As Hadfield points out, Spenser's poem offers criticisms of Elizabeth as well as encomium and she is figured in the poem's bad queens as well as those who are good. Although Spenser's earlier works suggest radical Protestant leanings, with his criticism of Elizabeth focusing on her political and religious policy, The Faerie Queene offers specific criticism of her refusal to marry and is concerned with the succession question.

    The issue of succession also interests Catherine G. Canino who reads Spenser's Faerie Queene not in terms of women's rule in general but specifically Queen Elizabeth's virginity and the power it gave her to determine England's future monarch (2003). That Elizabeth could choose her own successor, and thus shape the future of English men, is reflected in Spenser's reference to "fashioning a gentleman" and the whole trajectory of The Faerie Queene which is "the story of men whose identities are forged, and whose destinies are decided, by women" (p. 114). Although female dominance over male identity is evident throughout the poem, Canino's focus is on Book one (space apparently not allowing for a fuller study) and in particular the control that Una, Duessa, and Lucifera assert over Redcrosse.

    Two volumes of Spenser Studies were published this year and the first of these saw an especially eclectic mix. In Donnelly 2003 recent critical opinion surrounding Spenser's alleged Vergilian ambitions is taken to task. Especially targeted is Richard Rambuss who, according to Donnelly, does not take into account "the actual Vergilian model as known to Spenser and his contemporaries from the Life of the poet" which depicts him as laureate but also as "counsellor at the elbow of power, the definer and inspirer of the course of empire" (p. 3). Making close reference to Vergil's biography, available in Renaissance editions of the Princeps poetarum and usually attributed to Aelius Donatus, Donnelly argues that the classical poet "would have been a powerful spur to emulation for young Edmund Spenser" since, like Spenser, Vergil was "poor, without place or status, modest, but widely and usefully learned . . . adept at making the right connections and attracting the interest of potential patrons. . . . [who were] wealthy, powerful, complaisant and liberal but . . . requiring advice and counsel for which there is a rich reward, and which only the poet can provide" (p. 8). Crucially for Donnelly, Rambuss and other critics focus on the Vergilian career as "exclusively literary and aesthetic" (p. 10), ignoring the early modern view of his work as "a virtual handbook and guide to statecraft, policy, and military arts" (p. 7). Although Donnelly makes no explicit connection between Spenser's admiration for Vergil and his opinion of the influential Irish Bards, Spenser's envious acknowledgment in A View of the Present State of Ireland of the respect afforded the Irish poets by their rulers reinforces Donnelly's argument for Spenser's emulation of Vergil and the focus in Donatus on "the good poet's merited rewards of fame, wealth, and political influence" (p. 18). This informative and nicely-written essay, accompanied by five illustrations for Renaissance editions of Vergil, is a corrective to the notion that Spenser's literary ambitions were somehow distinct from his desire for power.

    Religion forms the focus of Benedict Robinson's essay which argues that Spenser's Faerie Queene assimilates Catholicism to Islam by fusing medieval crusade narratives against Saracens with Protestant apocalyptic histories, thus emphasizing Islam and Catholicism as manifestations of  false belief (2003). This assimilation is perhaps most clearly seen in the poem's depiction of Philip II as a sultan. The romance genre is particularly suitable for Spenser's purpose and Robinson outlines what she terms its "crusading impulse" (p. 41). She also traces the connections made between Islam and the Christian enemy by commentators from either side of the Christian divide: Thomas More compared Protestantism to Islam while Luther compared the pope to Muhammad. John Bale, who constantly mentions Islam in his reading of Revelation, believed in its complicity with Catholicism and rejected the medieval romance form for its Catholic associations but Spenser revitalized the genre for Protestant England, incorporating "Bale's apocalyptic vision", especially in Book one of his poem. As Robinson points out, Saracens have been somewhat neglected by Spenserians with no articles on Saracens, Turks or Islam in the usually thorough Spenser Encyclopedia (p. 38) but the point that pagans in The Faerie Queene represent Catholics, was made by Richard A. McCabe (1989), a work not cited in an otherwise thorough study.

    Staying with religion, Andrew Escobedo reads specific episodes from Spenser's Faerie Queene in the light of ideas about Protestant despair in the work of the nineteenth-century philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (Escobedo 2003). Escobedo's essay is one of two linked pieces with the thesis that "despair functions simultaneously as a transparent manifestation of God's dispensation and as a kind of joint or pivot between paradoxes inherent in Protestant Christianity" (p. 77). For both Escobedo and Beth Quitslund, who wrote the accompanying essay (2003), Spenser's epic poem is one of the most complex investigations of despair to emerge in the sixteenth century. Escobedo regards Redcrosse's experience on the mount of Contemplation in Book one canto ten, which carries echoes of the Despair episode in Book one canto nine, a comment on the dangers of "abstraction of self from world" (p. 86) and the opposite of Malbecco's fate who, being obsessed with worldliness, forgets he is a man. Quitslund's focus is similarly on Book one and she identifies a link between medical and devotional writings, where sin was treated as sickness and wounded conscience as disease, and the episodes featuring Despair and House of Holiness. Quitslund concludes that "Rather than separating the spiritual and the physical aspects of despair, Spenser's allegory fuses them in such a way that they are simultaneous expressions of the same problem" (p.103), the difficulties facing all Christians who are both physically and spiritually weak.

     In a clearly argued and imaginative essay Ty Buckman interrogates Spenser's treatment of the tension between the succession issue and the generic imperative that epic should celebrate dynastic ambitions (Buckman 2003). He agrees with Richard McCabe that Merlin's silent trance which concludes his prophecy in Book three of The Faerie Queene suggests ""unsettled succession" but adds that this silence is "by royal degree" (p. 109) since Elizabeth would not allow open discussion of the issue. Spenser resolves the problem of having no Tudor future to praise and the danger of incurring the wrath of Elizabeth by arranging his dynastic project via Britomart and Artegall who "function as founding dynasts", after his classical and Italian sources, and Arthur and Gloriana, whose courtship "holds out the possibility of a fruitful marriage and a peaceful succession" replacing "the celebration of an endless Tudor dynasty" (p. 118). Buckman explains the erotic nature of Arthur's dream in Book one via Spenser's Letter to Raleigh: the queen is virginal in her private capacity, represented by Belphoebe, but the tradition of "amorous fairy mistress" better suits "her official capacity as queen" (p. 120). He also identifies in the dream scene "the rudiments of a troth-plighting ceremony or a secret marriage pact", the nine months Arthur has sought her in vain being "the gestation period of the Faery Queen's long awaited heir" (p. 120). Having the relationship occur within a dream allows Spenser to abstract events, thus providing protection from criticism. Their "infinitely deferred union becomes a structural metaphor for Spenser's unfinished and unfinishable Faerie Queene" but might also refer to the desire for stability in a constantly changing world.

     Focusing on sources, Judith H. Anderson argues that Spenser's House of Busirane, recently discussed by critics in Petrarchan terms, is specifically Ovidian and its rooms would have been familiar to early modern readers as rhetorical places (Anderson 2003). Spenser's use of the story of Arachne's weaving contest with Pallas Athena, here and elsewhere in his poetry, "bear[s] on art and the role of the artist . . . in sinister or 'daungerous,' eroticized contexts" (p. 139). Cupid's masquers, who parade in Busirane's house, are "impostors of the living and every bit as artificial, as 'personified', hence metaphorized, as the 'carkasse dead' of the False Florimell" (p. 140). Anderson adds to Thomas Roche's definition of Busirane as abuse meaning 'imposture, ill-usage, delusion' or the archaic abusion meaning a 'perversion of the truth, deceit, deception, imposture' by suggesting abusio: "the familiar Renaissance word for catachresis, a wrenching of metaphor or an extravagant use of it", most clearly apparent in "the masquers' dead likenesses". The figure of Busirane himself "primarily represents the radical constructedness of the entire place" and Amoret is his creation, "the cultural subject par excellence", pleading for his life in order to preserve her own (p. 141). Busirane represents a fantasy and perhaps a culture of rape but it crucial that he is unsuccessful because he represents "a peculiarly rhetorical form of abuse" (p. 142) in his treatment of both women.

     For Mary B. Bowman gender forms the focus for Spenser's ethos of justice outlined in Book five of The Faerie Queene (2003). Bowman contends that Artegall's success as a dispenser of justice depends "on the effacement of women's autonomy" (p. 160) with early cantos of the Book depicting "elision of women's agency and a tendency to treat women as property" (p. 159). Later in the book, the figure of Radigund "raises disturbing questions about the nature of the justiciar's authority": how to distinguish between female tyrants and the divinely anointed exception represented by Elizabeth (p. 166). In the final cantos of the Book "the female figures are neither central nor complex" (p. 166) and, for Bowman, this reduction in female power is related to the ethos of justice since "both help to naturalize an aggressive policy in Ireland" (p. 167-168). This is focused on the figure of Irena who serves to naturalize the poem's depiction of a dependent and passive population. She represents "peace as defined by the victor" (p. 173) and Elizabeth's power in Ireland but that she is defeated by Artegall raises awkward questions about Spenser's attitude to his female monarch.

     Lin Kelsey considers Spenser's use of allegory in Colin Clouts Comes Home Againe by contrasting the fairly obvious allusions to Ralegh's loss of royal favour, lamented by the Shepheard of the Ocean, with the more subtle allusions evident in Colin's song (kelsey 2003). Specifically, Kelsey identifies the devious figure of Bregog with Spenser himself and the poet's ability to "sing whatever he pleases undetected" (p. 195), especially by Burghley whose wrath Spenser had previously incurred with "Mother Hubberds Tale".

    Alan Stewart and Garrett A Sullivan Jr. focus on the last four cantos of Book two of The Faerie Queene which involve memory's operations in the House of Alma (2003). In doing so they revisit Thomas Tomkis's play Lingua (c. 1604) which, as M. P. Tilley noted in 1927, contains material drawn from Spenser's Alma episode. Spenser's depiction of Eumnestes's chamber, with its old books full of worm-holes, is expanded upon in Lingua which attacks "the new antiquarianism that was perceived as taking hold of scholarly life in the last years of the sixteenth century" (p. 226). Tomkis follows Spenser in viewing antiquarianism as "disabling the proper functioning of memory" which is to "present evidence of 'honorable, and true heroycall actions'" (p. 227). Guyon's encounter with Acrasia in her Bower is indebted to his memory of heroic, rather than trivial, exemplars.

    In a brilliantly argued piece, in a section entitled 'forum', David Scott Wilson-Okamura disputes the view, most recently put forward by Andrew Hadfield, that Spenser was a republican (Wilson-Okamura 2003). Wilson-Okamura takes issue with the four points that make up Hadfield's case: that Spenser praised the Venetian republic in a sonnet, that Spenser moved in republican-inspired circles, that Spenser called for a more republican distribution of power at the end of the View, and that the distributive justice advocated by the Giant with the scales in The Faerie Queene (5.2.30-54) has a sound basis in Aristotle's Ethics. Identifying substantial holes in Hadfield's argument (as Hadfield himself graciously acknowledges in his response to Wilson-Okamura, 2003c) a persuasive case is made for Hadfield having misidentified Spenser's conservative response to what he perceived was the decline of the English aristocracy as evidence of his republican sympathies. Spenser, it seems, was not opposed to monarchy but rather its abuse of power.

    In the journal's 'Gleanings' section, Richard McNamara contends that the blank space under Dedicatory Sonnet 15 is a deliberate tribute to the deceased poet Philip Sidney which echoes the "universal ritual" of laying an extra place for the dead at formal dinners (McNamara 2003). McNamara claims that, since Sidney was dead, "all Spenser was able to do was to give him a 'blank' space, not among the men, but among the women", Sidney's sister Mary, Elizabeth Carey, and the ladies of the court. Unfortunately McNamara does not give us any indication why poems could not be dedicated to the deceased (presumably because the dedicator could not benefit from their patronage). This reviewer also wonders why, given that sonnet 15, dedicated to Mary, is the only one that "does not directly praise the recipient" but is a "eulogy of her dead brother", Spenser should feel the need to repeat himself.

    Also in the 'Gleanings' section, Andrew Hadfield points out the irony of Spenser being best known in continental Europe as a source of Catholic propaganda via his attack on William Cecil, Lord Burghley in Mother Hubberds Tale (2003b). Spenser's poem is referred to in a polemical pamphlet entitled A Declaration of the True causes of the Great Troubles, Presupposed to be Intended against the Realme of England, published in Antwerp in 1592. Hadfield contends that the tract was probably written either by Robert Parsons, a prominent English Jesuit and rector of the English College in Rome, or Richard Verstegen, a Catholic antiquarian and polemicist who lived in Paris and Antwerp. The pamphlet's reference to "fox's cubs" in Spenser poem indicates that the author was not familiar with the poem itself (since no cubs appear) but was informed about events in England and aware that the poem was an important source for English readers regarding Cecil's villainy.

     The second volume of Spenser Studies includes selected papers from an international conference held at Spenser's alma mater, Pembroke College, Cambridge in 2001. Elizabeth J. Bellamy reads the ceremonial mysteries of Spenser's Isis Church episode (from Book five, canto two of The Faerie Queene) in the context of a forty-five year old study in Neoplatonism by Edgar Wind, Pagan Mysteries in the Renaissance (2003). Although Wind's focus is on Italian paintings, woodcuts, engravings, emblems, and medals, he also considers the dance of graces witnessed by Calidore in Book six of The Faerie Queene. Outlining Wind's definition of a pagan mystery, Bellamy considers why the Isis Church episode didn't measure up and wonders whether Spenser deliberately presented the episode as a failed mystery but considers it more likely that, given the influence of Plutarch, the episode "is perhaps best read as The Faerie Queene's performance of Wind's own methodological concern over the blurred meanings of the term 'mysteries' in antiquity" (p. 21).

    Although Spenser's debt to Chaucer is widely acknowledged, Clare R. Kinney makes a convincing case for the particular influence of Troilus and Criseyde upon Spenser's shift from pastoral to epic (2003). Engaging with Spenser's numerous allusions to Chaucer's poem, Kinney demonstrates the parallel between Troilus and Colin, both betrayed lovers in Petrarchan mode, and argues that although Chaucer "explicitly refuses to be 'heroic'" (p. 34), privileging instead the romance narrative, Spenser "will not only find room for Chaucerian romance within his epic, he will also discover epic possibilities within Chaucerian romance" in his tribute to the poet who, even in the sixteenth-century was considered too alien for most tastes.

    In an important contribution to our understanding of Spenser's attitude to the Catholic religion John Watkins explores the tension between Spenser's Reformation polemic and his nostalgia for medieval sacramentalism, arguing that he had a more complex attitude to the older representational order than critics have hitherto recognised (Watkins 2003). This ambivalence, claims Watkins, is most evident in his treatment of the seven deadly sins in Book one of The Faerie Queene. Watkins traces the relationship between Lucifera's House of Pride, which is indebted to the medieval allegorical tradition, and the Orgoglio episode, which draws on the later genre of Italian romance, specifically that of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso. The movement from Lucifera to Orgoglio is from one kind of pride to another and also from "an optimistic belief in human perfectibility and perseverance to a skepticism about humanity's ability to achieve anything of moral value through its own efforts" (p. 45). Although Spenser retains the old sins "he presents them in a novel way" since, unlike the medieval analogues, "his procession is heavily disciplined and self-contained" (p46) and Spenser's sins "never confront their corresponding virtues and they do not engage in battle" (p. 47). Redcrosse's battle with Sans Joy and his escape from Lucifera recall medieval conventions but they are drained of moral force and representational vigour. In Ariosto's romance Ruggiero is defeated but his valour remains whereas the moral power of Redcross is entirely defeated by Orgoglio, the fusion of Ariosto's Orca and giant, thus creating an allegory of pride "that overgoes even Ariosto in its pessimism about humanity's ability to redeem itself through its own efforts" (p. 50). As Watkins reminds us, critics have traditionally read these two episodes as a supersession and although the oppositions between good and evil in Book one can be read in terms of its apocalyptic theology they also constitute "a reaffirmation of a moral dialectic" (p54) that began in a much earlier period.

    In a well-observed and tightly-argued piece Andrew King interrogates the critical tendency to provide an unproblematic reading of Arthur as Elizabeth's ancestor in The Faerie Queene (King 2003). Rather than endorsing Tudor dynastic claims, argues King, Spenser is "increasingly aware . . . that certain narratives that presume to derive objective authority from God (such as royal genealogy) may be in fact human constructs, and as such mutable and lacking in divine authority" (p. 61), an insight which King relates to the poem's epic ambitions. The "Briton moniments" read by Arthur in Book two end abruptly and so Arthur is "not so much a figure of promise as the emblem of time's tyranny, of things cut off" (p. 63), a contrast to the Fairy Chronicle and its idealized genealogy ending with Gloriana. Merlin's prophecy, detailing Britomart's marriage to Artegall and lineage down to Elizabeth, is also interrupted and Elizabeth functions as Arthur's double rather than his descendant: crucially, she too is without a legitimate heir. King notes that Arthur is a strange choice for an epic hero and it is Artegall who emerges as Elizabeth's ancestor, producing an heir before his untimely demise. Artegall thus occupies "a false historical space in which the known historical failing of Arthur can be rewritten in providential terms" (p. 68) and the use of this unhistorical character makes the poem's status as epic questionable. The Garden of Adonis, central to Book 3 and "the great regenerative engine-room of the entire cosmos" (p. 68), presents reproductive creativity as a solution to mutability but its elusive nature (the narrator does not know its exact location) is reflected in the lack of regeneration in the genealogy of Arthur and Elizabeth; it is fitting that the Garden is home to Amoret, not Belphoebe, the Elizabeth figure. Genealogy is under attack in The Faerie Queene by time and mutability and so too is the poem's epic ambitions when Britomart's chastity is represented in the context of Paridell's seduction of Hellenore, an episode undercutting the seriousness of epic by recalling Chaucer's fabliaux. The parody of Paris and Helen problematizes the notion of Britain's providential origin and politically stable future and though Britomart "fights to define The Faerie Queene as epic" (p. 73), the figure of Paridell presents a serious challenge to her aims and the poem's ambitions.

    In 2003b Harry Berger Jr. provides what is essentially a lengthy survey of Spenser criticism on the Bower of Bliss episode, informed by his discovery of feminist politics, and although the essay provides a useful overview it would perhaps be more at home in a case-book study or an undergraduate textbook than a leading journal. As stated above, this volume of Spenser Studies includes selected papers from an international conference held at Pembroke College, Cambridge in 2001 which, as the introduction to the volume informs us, "brought together 200 Spenserians from around the world" (p. 3). It is therefore surprising that space should have been given to the publication of two very personal essays, one from A. C. Hamilton, remembering his time as an undergraduate at Cambridge in the 1940s (2003), and a similar entry by Thomas P. Roche, Jr (2003) which is described in its abstract as "An anecdotal reminiscence about the year that Roche spent in Pembroke College, Cambridge, at the point when he became a Spenserian" (p. 287). These pieces are broadly interesting as nostalgia--and thus better suited to the section headed 'Spenser Fashioning a Past: Nostalgia and Irony' than Spenser Opening to the Future'-- but they hardly constitute a contribution to knowledge and the editors' comment that there were "far too many [papers] to fill one volume" makes one wonder what was excluded.

    Gordon Braden's essay is a keen analysis of the traditional Petrarchan juxtaposition of the woman's pride and humility as depicted in Spenser's Amoretti with specific attention is given to sonnets 58, 45, and 75 (2003). Although the woman in the Amoretti is sometimes resentful, as was traditional, there are times when "the language seems to be reaching for new extremes" (p128) and Braden believes that woman's pride pleases the lover who, unlike in other sequences, recognises marriage as his goal with wooing as a mutual test. The woman wants to know if the lover will  take the trouble to win her and he wants to know "her potential faithfulness as a wife", if she's worth winning (p. 132). Wooing is also "the means by which the pride that makes the woman admirable is reconciled with the dependence that comes with accepting love" (p. 133). Braden considers the "odd textual issue" of the superscription that comes with sonnet 58: "By her that is most assured to herself". This could indicate that the poem is spoken by the woman, so the pride being attacked is the speaker's pride, or it could constitute a print house mistake with the superscription intended to accompany sonnet 59 but Braden disagrees with both views arguing that sonnet 59 "reaffirms the perspective clearly established in sonnets 5 and 6" (p. 135). Sonnet 45, Spenser's revision of Petrarch's poem on Laura's narcissism, is "fully in line with the goal of the sequence that the lady is being asked not to give up the pleasure of admiring herself in a mirror, but rather to relocate that pleasure in a way that makes the man an intimate collaborator" (p. 137). In sonnet 75 the woman is told that she will be immortalized in verse and the arrangement proposed by the speaker "has, against almost all Petrarchan precedent, been accepted" so that "the static Petrarchan posture of worshipful frustration has relaxed into a transaction between the two of them" (p. 139) when she entrusts her pride to him.

    Patrick C. Cheney (editor of the study of death in Spenser and Milton reviewed above) stays with this under-explored aspect of Spenser's writing and considers it in the context of English Renaissance tragedy (2003a). Cheney challenges Jonathan Dollimore's claim that Spenser desires death, arguing rather that he seems to fear that "desire is death" (p. 147), especially in the Epithalamion. Cheney contends that Spenser "is rarely content to represent death as annihilation" (p. 147) but, rather, "seems attracted to narratives in which characters miraculously survive death" (p. 148) and it is the "external agents of divine grace sent directly by God" (p. 149) rather than the hero's confrontation with death which primarily concerns him. Spenser's focus is on marriage, death, and resurrection and in his writing death is "socialized", "Christianized", and usually "eroticized and familialized" (p. 150). In many of Spenser's poems what Cheney terms "the closure of transcendent consolation" (p. 150) is evident but not in Daphnaida which suggests not criticism of a husband's intemperate grief, as some critics have supposed, so much as the notion that loss "can create useful poetry" (p. 152) as noted by Ellen M. Martin. This is a useful analysis of Spenser's attitude to the inevitable since, as Cheney points out, Spenser is one of the period's most important commentators on death and what comes after.

    Joining the debate between Andrew Hadfield and David Scott Wilson-Okamura regarding Spenser's republican tendencies, Graham Hammill (2003) considers the question of the author's political opinions less important than the "encoding of political thought and political history" (p. 166) in his poetry. Hammill reads Spenser's dedicatory sonnet to Lewkener's translation of Contarini's De magistratibus, one of the first two republican treatises published in English, alongside The Ruines of Time and Book five of The Faerie Queene, specifically the Belge episode in order to show that in the 1590s "Spenser became increasingly frustrated with Elizabethan domestic and foreign policy" engaging in "alternative forms of political thought like republicanism . . . [which] . . . intensified its readers' responsibilities for political and historical thought." (p. 170). In the sonnet and in Ruines Spenser "shows an interest in republican temporal paradigms of virtue and corruption" (p. 170) and his attack on Burghley suggests that such an administrator "threatens the freedom of the entire state" (p. 171). Hammill takes issue with William R. Orwen's reading of Ruines as a nationalist response to the problem of succession arguing, rather, that "with its focus on Sidney's death at Zutphen, The Ruines of Time takes on a more trans-European historical content: England's failed intervention in the Low Countries" (p. 172-73). In the Ruines Spenser "presents republican civic virtue in combination with Christian figuration in order to propose Sidney, exemplar of the virtuous citizen soldier, as a cultural solution to the historical problem of Protestant devolution that England's failure in the Low Countries was coming to represent" (p. 173). In Sidney can be found the republican model of the vita activa, a strategy Spenser continued in Book five of The Faerie Queene, and which can be contrasted with the cowardice of certain members of the English court.

    In a well-researched and engaging essay, providing further evidence of Spenser's eclecticism and his ability to appeal to a wide range of readers, Mary Ellen Lamb traces the changing signification of St George in the early modern period via public representations of him in performance which she relates to his appearance in Spenser's Faerie Queene (2003). During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, St George, formerly a military and patriotic figure associated with royalty, was denounced by Protestant reformers since he was a figure of festivity as well as a Catholic saint; in this period "elite and middling groups became increasingly alienated from a once-shared common culture" (p. 186). Lamb contends that the response by Spenser's readers to St George in Book one of The Faerie Queene "would have varied widely, depending on their age, geographical location, and religious sensibilities" (p. 197) and his narrative could engage readers "at several levels simultaneously" (p. 198). Spenser's Red Cross knight is a "clownishe" rustic, as Spenser makes clear in the Letter to Raleigh, but his aristocratic lineage would have appealed to less humble readers. That Redcross is a "fallen man subject to flesh, as are all humans" (p. 199) allows certain readers to perceive the flesh as suggestive of the common culture that should be left behind but at the same time suggests "an inner form of nobility residing within any Christians chosen as God's elect" (p. 199). Red Cross's associations with the performed St. George is most evident in his encounters with the Saracens and the dragon and for Lamb Sansjoy might represent either "self-alienation from physical pleasures", something that could apply to the critics of the traditional pastimes, or the "emptiness of such pleasures without spiritual grace" (p. 201). The Sansjoy episode parodies its classical source and thus appeals to classically educated readers but at same time casts doubt on the value of this knowledge since the Pagan Aesculapius cannot heal the soul. Furthermore, Spenser puts a twist on the fall and resuscitation of St George's opponent, a key aspect of the mumming ritual, since here it is George who falls and is given spiritual, specifically Christian, assistance.

    Bart Van Es considers Spenser's debt to Camden and his fellow chorographers who presented a narrative focusing on the landscape and alert to history and myth (2003). This debt is most apparent in the Marriage of the Thames and Medway in Book four of The Faerie Queene and although the political detail that attends the description of the Irish rivers is evident also in the Irish section of Camden's Britannia the meeting of Irish and English rivers originates with Spenser. Van Es compares the River-Marriage Canto to Colin Clouts Come Home Againe and situates the latter in the tradition of chorographic poetry asserting that it is "about a transition from Irish to English land" (p. 218). According to Van Es, Colin Clouts Come Home Againe attaches stories to rivers in an effort to forge a place for Ireland and make it a valid subject for future chorographers and in this poem and the River-Marriage canto, land, myth, and history combine in the poet's attempt at myth-making.

    Memory, the focus of the essay by Alan Stewart and Garrett A. Sullivan Jr in this year's other volume of Spenser Studies, is also discussed by Grant Williams who, like Stewart and Sullivan Jr, is concerned with the depiction of memory in Book two of The Faerie Queene, in particular the problem of Guyon's inauthentic subjectivity (Williams 2003). Many critics, amongst them Stephen Greenblatt, have argued that Guyon "represses libidinous urges" but Williams contends that although the Book "does indeed flesh out Guyon's subjectivity with desire" it is "a desire more representative of early modern mnemonic culture than of modernity's preoccupation with repressed libidinal energy: Guyon embodies the desire to remember" (p. 232). Early moderns believed that forgetting induced degeneracy, a state most evident in the bestial Grill who, as Richard McCabe noted, stands for the perceived degeneration of English colonizers in Ireland. What Williams terms Guyon's "introspective odyssey" allows self-knowledge which results in "mastering the corporeal other" (p. 240), essential for the proper functioning of temperance.

    Staying with Book two, Elizabeth D. Harvey's essay considers the seventeenth-century physician Helkiah Crooke who used Spenser's body allegory as a structural model for his influential anatomical treatise, the Microcosmographia, published in 1615 (Harvey 2003). Informed by Luce Irigaray's objections to Freudian and Lacanian ideas about the female body, Harvey argues that Crook's inclusion of the sexual and reproductive organs omitted by Spenser carries "an intensity of pleasure that produces an ecstasy very much like the one Irigaray describes" (p. 297). Crooke used Spenser's allegory because it allowed him to borrow its "metaphorizing and idealizing mechanisms . . .  at the moment that he ostensibly exposes the secrets of the female body and the origins of life itself" (p. 299). Spenser's reluctance to describe the sex organs in his body allegory--instead portraying sexuality and generation more subtly and throughout his narrative--conformed to "cultural imperatives of modesty" (p. 309) and an established tradition in medical literature which echoed John Banister's 1578 English anatomical treatise The Historie of Man. In Banister and Spenser we see evidence of "the medical tradition that replicates the inherent secrecy of the female body" (p. 302), a tradition from which Crooke departs.

    Irigaray comes up again in Theresa Krier's analysis of the depiction of the elements in Spenser's Mutabilitie Cantos and Shakespeare's The Tempest via Irigarayan delineations of elemental mobility (2003). Krier identifies Spenser's debt to ancient Stoic allegory and Shakespeare's debt to Spenser's narrative, in particular its treatment of justice and dominion. As Krier notes, both Spenser and Shakespeare "create characters who move from one element to another, characters with other than natural lineages and capacities, and freely adapt Graeco-Roman myth to this end" (p. 328).

    The link between Spenser and Shakespeare, and specifically Hamlet, is also explored by Gordon Teskey (Teskey 2003). As well as considering Hamlet in the context of claims made by Martin Heidegger, Teskey makes two assertions about Spenser: firstly that he "is not primarily a narrative poet but a poet whose concern is to think" (p. 347) and, that "thinking is an encounter with the strange to which courtesy is the key" (p. 348). In contrast to Milton, who Teskey considers primarily didactic, not thinking but teaching what has already been taught, Spenser is a poet who "proceeds by wandering, non-deliberate procedures into original, and often radical thoughts" (p. 350).

   Galina Yermolenko's engaging essay reads two dream passages from The Faerie Queene in the context of medieval dream vision allegories: Redcrosse's sleep at Archimago's Hermitage in Book one and Scudamour's sleep at Care's Cottage in Book four (2003). The focus is on the difficulty in distinguishing between that which is external (reality) and that which is internal (the dream), a distinction crucial to the perception of both protagonist and reader. Yermolenko relates this aspect of the vision to the "nonlinear, entangled" (p. 267) structure of the narrative which, it is suggested, interferes with the protagonist's ability to understand themselves and the reader's ability to understand the allegory.

    Moving on to the other journals which contained essays on Spenser this year but staying with sources for the time being, Lee Piepho considers transcriptions by Spenser which indicate his interest in European Latin literature (2003). The texts transcribed appear on the last leaf of a collection of verse and prose by the German Neo-Latin poet Georgious Sabinus that was probably bound with and preceded a copy of a poem by Petrus Lotichius Secundus when Spenser was in possession of the volume. The texts are a letter by Erhard Stibar, pupil of Lotichius and nephew of his patron, and two poems, one by Artifex Athensis (apparently not his real name) and the other by Joannes de Silva (Jean du Bois). The Sabinus collection contains letters by Erasmus, Pietro Bembo and others who are associated with the German poet as well as an appendix of letters by him. Although Spenser was especially interested in Lotichius, who has been judged the most accomplished of the German Neo-Latin poets, Sabinus and Lotichius both wrote eclogues and Peipho suggests their influence in Spenser's composition of The Shepheardes Calender but also on The Faerie Queene. Moreover, Stibar's letter "expresses an ideal of patronage that haunted Spenser throughout his career" (p. 128). Peipho usefully provides a transcription of Spenser's autograph as well as images from it.

    In 2003b Donald Cheney considers Spenser's complex relationship to his sources by reference to what he terms "sympathetic parody" (p. 1).  Several episodes from The Faerie Queene are considered by Cheney who notes that Spenser's engagement with Ariosto's Orlando Furioso in particular is in conflict with his claims that he will moralize his source material and, indeed, Spenser's "relationship to Ariosto's mode of chivalric romance becomes increasingly sympathetic, as the limitations of his moralized song become more complex" (p. 8). In 2003 Rebeca Helfer considers Virgilian imitation in Spenser's Shepheardes Calender via commentary by E. K., the poem's first critic, and suggests that Spenser's engagement with Virgil is more nuanced than that put forward by E. K. or, indeed, the shepherds in the poem. While these figures "look for a new Virgil to repair England's ostensible cultural ruin, Spenser looks to Ciceronian dialogue for England's cultural formation, for building new memorial edifices from ruin" (p. 726).What Helfer refers to as a "desire to cast Spenser within a Virgilian mold" extends to modern critics, even those "who pursue Spenser's evident deviations from Virgilian paradigms" (p. 731).  Although Spenser clearly imitates Virgil by writing pastoral eclogues this is only the first step in the poem, argues Helfer, and Virgil's ideal of permanently repairing the ruins of the past in poetic or imperial monuments gives way to ruins as sites for building anew.

    Spenser and his influence upon others is explored by Yim Sung-Kyun whose focus is the tension between humanism and Christianity in the writings of Spenser and Milton, writers who shared a humanist educational background and Protestant ethical codes (2003). The essay considers Spenser's view of humanism through Guyon's visit to Mammon's cave and his destruction of the Bower of Bliss and Milton's depiction of it through Jesus's battle with Satan in the wilderness. For Spenser "The virtue of temperance is not opposed to that of Christians but protected by God" and Spenser is concerned not with "revealing the shortcomings of classical virtue" as some critics have argued "but in the encouragement of it within the Christian view point" (para. 10). Milton takes rather a different stance and makes clear the hierarchy at work, as Sung-Kyun puts it "No matter how highly portrayed and elaborated, classicism cannot maintain its value against Christian virtue" (para. 23).

    The view espoused by Richard Helgerson that Spenser was exclusively devoted to a poetical calling and Richard Rambuss's more recent claim that his bureaucrat ambitions were of equal importance are interrogated by Jeffrey Knapp who claims that both critics overlook Spenser's "focus on the profession of pastor or clergyman" in The Shepheardes Calender and later works, including The Faerie Queene and the View (Knapp 2003). According to Knapp, critics have commented little on Spenser's views on the clergy because "they share Helgerson and Rambuss's anachronistically restricted notion of Spenser's profession" (p. 62). Although Spenser was reluctant to identify himself as poet, preacher, or secretary, a reluctance Helgerson and Rambuss interpret as a curb (either internal or external) on his ambitions, Knapp argues that it represents a divinely inspired choice for someone who "regarded an ecclesiastical career as a limitation on the sort of ministry he valued" (p. 63). Via discussion of the 'Marprelate' controversy, Knapp shows that religion helped define the role of the poet in the period and in his Letter to Raleigh Spenser "contrasted his own poetry to the less engaging efforts of preachers" (p. 68). For Spenser, as for Thomas Nashe, "poets edify better than sermonizers do by making their lessons congenial to the flesh and therefore convenable to their audience" (p. 69). In the View Spenser makes same point as Nashe, criticising "the implicit elitism of those who would divorce religion from delightful shows" and, allowing the laity involvement in religious sacraments, suggests that they can do the same work as clergymen. The Faerie Queene "differentiates the power to preach from professional clergymen" (p. 70), and indeed two of the positive preachers in Book of Holiness are women: Una and Fidelia. In Colin Clout Comes Home Againe Colin is referred to as a 'priest', a term not exclusive to Catholicism in the period, and a reference to the poet as pastor first encountered in The Shepheardes Calender. Although the ministerial role of the poet is emphasized throughout Spenser's oeuvre, Knapp concludes that Spenser only explicitly highlighted "his ministerial ambitions through Colin" (p. 71) because he was apparently concerned that he might undermine the established clergy.

    Memory, considered in both volumes of Spenser Studies this year, is also of interest to Jennifer Summit who reads Guyon's behaviour in the Bower of Bliss via the castle of Alma and the library of Eumnestes ('Good Memory'), noting that the episodes are related to the establishment of post-Reformation libraries (Summit 2003). Summit provides a detailed and engrossing history of the Protestant collectors who "in an effort to preserve the nation's past" reinvented the library "from an ecclesiastical receptacle of written tradition to a state-sponsored centre of national history" (p. 2). Only some books were deemed worth keeping, specifically those dealing with matters of national and ecclesiastical history which could be interpreted as supporting the newly reformed state. Spenser's engagement with the post-Reformation book collectors is evident in the books contained in Eumnestes's library, Briton moniments and Antiquitie of Faerie lond, since after the Dissolution the terms 'monument' and 'antiquity' "inspired and justified the project of rescuing and preserving medieval books" (p. 6). The act of reading itself was part of the process with annotation denouncing and dismissing any Catholic aspects of a specific text. The main aim was to distinguish "the fabulous from the true" (p. 13), something that underlines Spenser's defensiveness about his use of allegory which could be interpreted as obfuscation. In Alma's castle the library is situated in the interior of the brain and the imagination, associated with idolatry by reformers, located in the chamber of Phantastes, which explains why the library is incomplete. Guyon learns his lesson in Alma's Castle and enacts it in Bower of Bliss which "embodies the very qualities of Imagination that are excluded from the library of memory" (p. 23). Guyon's destruction of the Bower is "an act of violent remembering" and Spenser's knight can be compared to the post-Reformation readers and library makers "who sought to recuperate England's lost origins in its 'monuments of antiquity' by purifying those monuments of the corrosive accretions of monastic influence" (p. 25-26), a clever and convincing explanation of Guyon's otherwise seemingly inexplicable aggression.

   Although Ireland has recently played a prominent role in Spenser criticism there is still much to be said about Spenser's connections with the colony and Judith Owens presents a thoughtful and nuanced assessment of what she regards to be Spenser's ambivalent attitude toward Ireland's landscape, in particular its woodland (2003). For Owens, Ireland's woods "approximate more closely than does cartography the English 'indwellers' experience of Ireland as a country that both allures . . . and harbours perils real and imagined", which might explain the "dream of easy movement" underwriting Spenser's poem (p. 3). Owens disputes Julia Lupton's argument that Spenser maps Ireland as a wasteland in order to defend further wasting arguing instead that he displays "more amplitude of political and moral mind than Lupton allows" (p. 3). In the Mutabilite Cantos, Faunus' "wooded voyeurism" upon Diana plays out "English fears that Irish invisibility undermines the English presence in Ireland" but what Owens refers to as the "low-keyed register" of the Faunus episode suggests that Spenser plays down the Irish threat "while registering apprehension" (p. 6). She thus identifies a tension between the colonial desire to control, via English forest law and the eradication of dangerous wooded areas, and Spenser's "contesting or slighting" of this desire (p. 6). Owens makes it clear that she is not suggesting that Spenser supported rebellion, merely that that his use of the forest trope reveals ambivalent philosophical and political positions by tapping into long-standing forest associations: the early modern reader would have known that forest law "admitted ambiguous effects in execution" and that in folklore the forest "generates more justice than does the law" (p. 10). Adding to the evidence for Spenser's ambivalence is "the considerable appeal" of Mutability, the deflationary image of Diana as a housewife, and the "generally humorous tone of the Diana-Faunus interlude" (p. 10-11) which indicate a challenge to the sovereignty of Cynthia/Elizabeth by Faunus and Spenser who writes from the relative autonomy of colonial Ireland.

    William A. Oram's imaginative and thought-provoking essay considers Spenser's rhetorical ambitions and detects in his writings an important shift in attitude during the eighteenth months he spent in England having returned there from Ireland where he had lived for nine years (2003). He engages with Richard Helgerson's theory that Spenser saw himself as a poet with the patriotic importance of Virgil but argues that Helgerson gave inadequate focus to the epic poet's responsibility to advise princes. Spenser initially dramatizes the relation he desires with queen and the court in the proems and dedicatory sonnets in the first edition of the The Faerie Queene (1590), assuming that what he has to offer "will be seen and welcomed" (p. 517). The proems suggest an intimacy of shared humour, understanding, and acquaintances with the queen while the sonnets seem to be "announcing his triumphant homecoming", the sheer number of them signally "exuberant arrival" (p. 519). The dedicatees represent an ideal audience that is "overwhelmingly aristocratic and very largely male" (p. 521) and the sonnets "quietly assert both his authority and his centrality to the English court" (p. 522) as a poet who can fashion his audience. Oram compares this "self-assured and exuberantly self-promoting installment of The Faerie Queene" with The Complaints which were published a year later and which represent a "considerable shift of scope and attitude" (p523). The latter work is dedicated to far fewer and less powerful figures and its major poems "focus on the deterioration of the cultural and political climate of Elizabeth's court" (p. 523) where the poet is under pressure to please. Oram suggests that Spenser, having achieved success in Ireland and having fulfilled his laureate ambitions, would have been sorely disappointed by not being accepted as Elizabeth's adviser, especially in relation to Ireland.

    In 2003b Matthew Woodcock provides a welcome analysis of what tends to be a rather neglected area in Spenser Studies, adaptations of The Faerie Queene, in particular those aimed at young readers. Woodcock shows that nineteenth- and early twentieth-century adaptations of the poem focused on the figure of Arthur, considered especially suitable as a model of virtue as evident in the emergence of youth groups built on a chivalric model, amongst them the British Boy Scout movement. Adaptations of The Faerie Queene considered by Woodcock share a tendency toward moral instruction with sex, though not violence, being "a frequent site for censorship" (p. 27). As Woodcock points out, cutting all references to sex from the episodes involving Arthur interfere with "the character's principal structural function [which] is inexorably connected to the erotic quest that forms the underlying ur-narrative of the poem itself" (p. 31). In many cases the quest for Gloriana is removed entirely and, perhaps unsurprisingly, Victorian versions of the poem tend to emphasize marriage: Britomart's quest for Artegall and the invented unions of other eligible couples in the poem becoming the main concern of the narrative.

    In 2003 Jean Brink takes Spenserians to task for assuming that Spenser had more control over the printing of The Faerie Queene than evidence suggests. That assumption was first made by J. C. Smith in his 1909 edition of the poem, a view repeated by subsequent scholars who have not re-examined the situation in the light of work by New Bibliographers who, as Brink points out, "began to make us aware that sixteenth-century printing practices would have discouraged authorial supervision" (p. 2). The notion that Spenser was allowed to correct proofs while printing was in progress does not explain why "uncorrected and corrected sheets were indiscriminately bound together in the Faerie Queene, as was common practice" (p. 3). The presence of two sets of dedicatory sonnets in the 1590 printing of The Faerie Queene, the second repeating some names from the first and so calling attention to those originally omitted, must have caused considerable embarrassment to Spenser. As Brink put it, the 1590 Faerie Queene was "not a printing success" (p. 15) and, noting the tendency toward a conflation of biography with bibliography in Spenser Studies, Brink dismisses the anecdote usually offered to explain the "jumbled repetition" (p. 8), that Spenser's friends urged a hasty addition to the dedications so as not to offend Burghley. This is unlikely, claims Brink "Since the type for the sonnets from the first issue was not redistributed before the second set was printed, there was, practically speaking, little time for consultation with friends and for the composition of additional sonnets" (p. 9) and it is more plausible that "all of the sonnets were given to the printer, but that the leaves of the manuscript were mixed up and hastily reassembled" (p. 10). Brink observes that Spenser may have intended the printed sonnets to accompany presentation copies of his text but "the printer and binder bungled the handling of the dedications", the appearance of both sets together at the conclusion of Book three undercutting the "dignified dedication to Elizabeth at the front of the volume" (p. 15). Spenser was involved in the presentation of introductory and concluding matter in the 1596 edition of the poem and the dedicatory sonnets were not reprinted. Brink complains that in modern editions of The Faerie Queene the dedications from the 1590 edition are "silently offered as a preface and context for the poem", thus refashioning Spenser "as a court poet" (p. 19), something he may not have been at all happy about.

    Charlotte Artese considers the manner in which Spenser and John Dee emphasized and at the same time exploited distinctions between the literary and non-literary in an effort to legitimize their historical projects relating to the New World (2003). Dee wrote several texts claiming that England "had a better claim to America than other European nations" (p. 126) because the English had got there first, with King Arthur amongst the many unlikely figures reaching the New World before the fifteenth century. Although Dee insisted on the veracity of his claims Spenser classified such stories as fiction, his story of Arthur is placed in the Antiquitie of Faerie lond not the chronicle history of Britain. But in writing about Arthur, Spenser similarly used America "to effect a confusion of fiction and history" (p. 134), utilizing the gaps in knowledge about Arthur and the New World to "transmute his poem into a history" (p. 135). So, Dee and Spenser share a similar approach to the instability of genre and, as Artese shows, both used it to their advantage.

    Harry Berger Jr takes a while to get to the analysis of Archimago suggested by the title of his essay, first providing the reader with a lengthy section focusing only on signs and signifiers and another on ways of reading The Faerie Queene (2003a). Berger suggests that Archimago is ineffective as a character and makes connections between the magician and the poem's narrator, noting that "their two methods and projects sinuously intertwine" (p. 48) which helps explain how Archimago functions in the narrative.

    Hester Lees-Jeffries argues that in Book one of The Faerie Queene Spenser uses fountains not merely as topographical features but as a means of exploring textual issues such as genre and Protestant polemic (2003a). Lees-Jeffries traces the depiction of fountains in Book one via the influence of religious writings including the bible and Erasmus's Enchiridion (1533), the literary conventions of courtly romance, and Ovid. Although it is not entirely convincing to read Errour as "a parodic fountain" (p. 14), much of what Lees-Jeffries presents in this essay is persuasive and in general the study provides a welcome expansion upon the religious sources and analogues provided by Naseeb Shaheen's invaluable Biblical References in 'The Faerie Queene'.

    There were only two pieces pertaining to Spenser in this year's Notes and Queries. Whether or not one is convinced by the Shohachi Fukuda's essay (2003), which finds structures and patterns in Spenser's Mutabilite Cantos, depends on whether or not one is convinced by numerology as a intellectually rigorous means by which to elucidate Spenser's writings. Although Fukuda's argument that patterns from the Cantos echo those used in earlier Books of The Faerie Queene is not incorrect, 'evidence' used to support it tends to be presented without explanation, for example we are not told why 8 is "the number of rebirth" nor why, for Spenser, 19 should be the "number of evil" (p. 19). Ultimately, the difficulty with this approach to poetry is perhaps best summed up by Fukuda's statement that "All this may be a mere coincidence" (p. 20) .

     Matthew Woodcock, a leading authority on Spenser and fairies, usefully clarifies Spenser's connections with the spelling of the word faerie in 2003a. Woodcock disputes the OED's assertion that the spelling can be first attributed with any certainty to Spenser's first edition of The Faerie Queene, published in 1590, noting that it appears three times in The Shepheardes Calender, published in 1579. Moreover, correspondence between Spenser and Gabriel Harvey, published in 1580, refers to Spenser's work in progress as the 'Faery Queene'. Woodcock rightly notes that the importance of establishing an early date for the spelling undermines attempts to establish "any form of special ontological status" to Spenser's fairies, "an implicit feature of many early commentators' frustrated responses to the differences between Spenser's and Shakespeare's representations of fairy lore" (p. 391). Lack of distinction between 'fairy' and 'faerie ' is reinforced by the fact that Spenser uses these words and the word 'elf' interchangeably. The OED noted that the spelling 'faerie' probably existed in Middle English and Woodcock concurs that Spenser was most likely influenced by anglicized variants of French sources found in Middle English texts, using the word "as a conscious archaism" in The Faerie Queene as he did in the earlier Shepheardes Calender.


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