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Edmund Spenser: A Life (Paperback)
  • Edmund Spenser: A Life (Paperback)
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Edmund Spenser: A Life (Paperback)

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£14.99
Paperback 656 Pages / Published: 06/11/2014
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Edmund Spenser's innovative poetic works have a central place in the canon of English literature. Yet he is remembered as a morally flawed, self-interested sycophant; complicit in England's ruthless colonisation of Ireland; in Karl Marx's words, 'Elizabeth's arse-kissing poet'- a man on the make who aspired to be at court and who was prepared to exploit the Irish to get what he wanted. In his vibrant and vivid book, the first biography of the poet for 60 years, Andrew Hadfield finds a more complex and subtle Spenser. How did a man who seemed destined to become a priest or a don become embroiled in politics? If he was intent on social climbing, why was he so astonishingly rude to the good and the great - Lord Burghley, the earl of Leicester, Sir Walter Ralegh, Elizabeth I and James VI? Why was he more at home with 'the middling sort' - writers, publishers and printers, bureaucrats, soldiers, academics, secretaries, and clergymen - than with the mighty and the powerful? How did the appalling slaughter he witnessed in Ireland impact on his imaginative powers? How did his marriage and family life shape his work? Spenser's brilliant writing has always challenged our preconceptions. So too, Hadfield shows, does the contradictory relationship between his between life and his art.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198703006
Number of pages: 656
Weight: 990 g
Dimensions: 233 x 156 x 34 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Hadfield's breadth of reading and his coverage of relevant details are impressive. ... will undoubtedly become the authoritative biography of Spenser * Elizabeth Heale, Modern Language Review *
readers will find much to enjoy in this story of a path-breaking, independent-minded writer, whose network of associates included most f the important literary and political figures in the last quarter of the 16th century. * Neil Rhodes, Around the Globe *
this is going to be the standard biography of Spenser for a very long time ... If I encounter a better historical biography this year, I'll be surprised. * Jonathan Wright, The Tablet *
Hadfield's Spenser is revelatory and performed with authentic scholarship and drive. * Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University *
Andrew Hadfield has created ... an invaluable biography, which will be a resource for Spenserian scholars and enthusiasts for generations to come. * Helen Hackett, Times Literary Supplement *
This is, in all senses, a substantial book, packed with scholarly detail. * Charles Nicholl, The Guardian *
Andrew Hadfield's monumental undertaking sets new standards in life writing. Not merely a significant contribution to Spenser studies, it changes the way we think about Renaissance literature, Elizabethan history, biographical criticism and issues of authorship. * Times Higher Education *
A phenomenal work of scholarship and insight. * Nicola Shulman, The Spectator *
Andrew Hadfield's life of Spenser is the first biography of the Prince of Poets, as his epitaph had it, in 60 years, and I cannot imagine anyone doing a better job for another 60 ... He brings to the biography a nuanced critical intelligence, and above all, a capacity to remind the reader how surprising Spenser was. * Stuart Kelly, The Scotsman *
This definitive portrait brings fresh life to a magnificent but maligned poet ... a model biography. * Jerry Brotton, The Independent *
Andrew Hadfield's Spenser is a remarkable piece of work ... It is difficult to imagine a more exhaustive examination of a poet's life. * Harold Weatherby, Sewanee Review *
Edmund Spenser: A Life by Andrew Hadfield displays a rare understanding of the poet's ambiguous legacy, of his relationship to history and then to art. Mr Hadfield makes no simple judgments about the connection or disconnection between beauty and cruelty, but he offers a nuanced and clever reading of the work and the man that made the work. * Colm Toibin, The Wall Street Journal, Best books of 2012 *
Hadfield's thorough analysis of the self-referential elements in Spenser's writings makes this a book that those studying Spenser will want to consult frequently. * B. E. Brandt, Choice *
Andrew Hadfield's biography takes Spenser scholarship and criticism to a new level. * Gordon Teskey, The Spenser Review *
feast on it alone and with friends and feed it to your students. * J.B. Lethbridge, Shakespeare Jahrbuch *

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