<i>The Shepheardes Calender</i> (1579)

Clare R. Kinney

in The Oxford Handbook of Edmund Spenser

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 The Shepheardes Calender (1579)

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)
  • Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)


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This article analyzes Spenser's The Shepheardes Calender. The Shepheardes Calender offers eclogues in which multiple speakers, within and across poems, explore matters erotic, political, and aesthetic. It also exploits pastoral poetry's ready deployment of ostensibly ‘rude’ speakers to mask topical references and to offer elevated commentaries on the human condition. Spenser's eclogue book constitutes one of the most ambitious poetic debuts of any poet in any language.

Keywords: eclogues; pastoral poetry; poems; The Shepheardes Calender

Article.  7816 words. 

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

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