Spenser's Secretarial Career

Christopher Burlinson and Andrew Zurcher

in The Oxford Handbook of Edmund Spenser

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199227365
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

Spenser's Secretarial Career

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)
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This article examines Spenser's secretarial career. It looks carefully at published and prescriptive accounts of the office of a secretary in Elizabethan England, as well as the archival evidence of Spenser's practice of secretaryship in Ireland, where the idea of a secretarial career found (for Spenser) its covert, particular, material, and significant expression. From the opposition between these two ways of examining Spenser as a secretary — ideal and particularized, English and Irish — will emerge those ethical and epistemological problems, with their concomitant opportunities, that Spenser seems to have discovered in his epistolary career.

Keywords: secretary; secretaryship; Ireland; Elizabethan England

Article.  9846 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800) ; Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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