Spenser's Textual History

Joseph Loewenstein

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 Textual History

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



This article discusses Spenser's textual history. It suggests that Spenser's canon was so frequently animated by the spirit of the additional because of its open-endedness, and especially by the manifest inconclusiveness of The Faerie Queene, for which the posthumously published Two Cantos of Mutabilitie was the glaring sign. Beginning with Hughes's six-volume illustrated edition of 1715, editors make increasingly explicit efforts to distinguish Spenser's hand from those of his associates and imitators. In print or manuscript, and to that of the less securely attributed texts, all but the Vewe have straightforward stemmas and a relatively uncomplicated publication history.

Keywords: canon; text; publication history; stemmas; editing

Article.  13582 words. 

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

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