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Spenser's Monstrous Regiment: Elizabethan Ireland and the Poetics of Difference (Paperback)
  • Spenser's Monstrous Regiment: Elizabethan Ireland and the Poetics of Difference (Paperback)
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Spenser's Monstrous Regiment: Elizabethan Ireland and the Poetics of Difference (Paperback)

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£49.49
Paperback 330 Pages / Published: 07/07/2005
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In this important study of Spenser and nationhood - the first to contextualize Spenser's response to the Irish colonial situation by reference to contemporary Gaelic literature - Richard McCabe examines the poet's canon within the dual contexts of imperial aspiration and female 'regiment'. He shows how the experience of writing from Ireland, where the queen's influence repeatedly frustrated the expansionist ambitions of New English settlers, intensified Spenser's sense of alienation from female sovereignty and led to the remarkable fusion of colonial and sexual anxieties evident in The Faerie Queene's pervasive images of anti-heroic emasculation. At the same time the paradoxical attempt to impose civility through violence compromised the poem's moral vision and problematized its conception of national identity. The attempt to create an English myth of origin coincided uneasily with the need to discredit its Gaelic counterpart, as formulated in such works as the Lebor Gabala Erenn, while the perceived 'degeneration' of Old English families within the Pale confounded the ethnic distinctions upon which the colonial enterprise had come to rest and challenged the validity of all nationalist 'myth'. By drawing upon a wide range of Gaelic poets, historians, and polemicists, McCabe seeks to recover the voices that the dialectical format of A View of the Present State of Ireland is designed to exclude and to demonstrate how the Irish dimension of The Faerie Queene provides a dark, but aesthetically enhancing subtext to the poetics of national celebration.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199282043
Number of pages: 330
Weight: 480 g
Dimensions: 216 x 139 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Review from previous edition Two distinctive strengths make this book especially original. First, McCabe's knowledge of Irish language and literature provides a richer context, compensating for the "rigidly anglophone" limitations of recent scholarship. Second, McCabe challenges prevailing assumptions about art's relationship to ideology ...fascinating. * Renaissance Quarterly *
The book offers a major reorientation of the conversation on the meanings of Spenser's Irish experience; the yield in fresh contexts and vigorous interpretations is great. * Studies in English Literature *
Richard McCabe writes lucidly and has an inspired eye for poetic detail and significance...He is also good at finding the memorable phrase to make a telling point. * Andrew Hadfield, Times Literary Supplement *
Up until now, like the interlocutors in Spenser's A View of the Present State of Ireland [1596], scholars have excluded Irish voices from critical dialogue upon the poet's life and writings. This book unequivocally and magisterially redresses this imbalance...McCabe's book has set a new standard for Spenser scholarship, particularly, though not solely, that concerned with Ireland. Subsequent critical works on Spenser's Irish contexts simply cannot ignore the field of reference opened up here. * Matthew Woodcock, Sixteenth Century Journal *

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