Spenser's Literary Influence

Michelle O'Callaghan

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 Literary Influence

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



This article discusses Spenser's literary influence. The first decade of the seventeenth century was decisive in terms of establishing Spenser's legacy. The year 1609 saw the publication of the first folio edition of The Faerie Queene, which introduced a new, as yet unpublished work to the public, the Two Cantos of Mutabilitie. Two years later, in 1611, Spenser's collected Works were published, making available the full Spenser corpus, and giving added impetus to the Spenserian revival. In 1628, a new work was attributed to Spenser — Brittain's Ida. Milton dominates the story of Spenser's influence in the second half of the seventeenth century. In the eighteenth century, Spenser took his place alongside Shakespeare and Milton in the pantheon of British poets, native geniuses ‘as ever were produced in Rome or Athens’.

Keywords: The Faerie Queene; Two Cantos of Mutabilitie; Works; Brittain's Ida; Milton

Article.  9765 words. 

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

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