The Antiquities of Fairyland and Ireland

Judith H. Anderson

in Reading the Allegorical Intertext

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228478
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241125 | DOI:
The Antiquities of Fairyland and Ireland

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In our century, the words antique and antiquity normally have a resonance different from what they had for late sixteenth-century readers of Spenser's Faerie Queene and these words suggest not only age but also antiquation. But the EOD cites two instances of negative meaning of these words; they say the negative sense cognates obsoleteness or obsolescence rather than age. The second negative cognate, the verb antiquate, is first noted in Spenser's View of the Present State of Ireland, which is putatively written in 1596. Irenius, one of Spenser's personae, declares certain statutes of Ireland. Linguistically and perceptually this declaration is striking. Irenius' use of antiquated to mean thoroughly useless and his awareness of the effects of changing temporal contexts on legal statutes are unmistakably modern.

Keywords: antique; antiquity; words; Ireland; obsoleteness; Irenius; obsolescence; antiquated

Chapter.  5810 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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