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Shepheards devises : Edmund Spenser's Shepheardes calender and the institutions of Elizabethan society / Robert Lane.

By: Lane, Robert, 1946-.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Athens : University of Georgia Press, c1993Description: x, 240 p. ; 24 cm.ISBN: 0820315141 (alk. paper); 9780820315140 (alk. paper).Subject(s): Spenser, Edmund, 1552?-1599. Shepherd's calender | Literature and society -- England -- History -- 16th century | Pastoral poetry, English -- History and criticism | Social institutions in literature | English poetryDDC classification: 821/.3 LOC classification: PR2359 | .L36 1993Other classification: 18.05 | HI 3715 Summary: In this study of Edmund Spenser's 1579 poem The Shepheardes Calender, Robert Lane uncovers hidden dimensions of Spenser's earliest important work by embedding it in the historical context of Queen Elizabeth's reign and showing how thoroughly it engages the fundamentally sociopolitical issues that confronted English society of the time. Rejecting earlier formalist and new historicist readings that viewed Elizabethan culture as fundamentally aristocratic, Lane reveals this poem's thoroughgoing identification with the nonelite of Spenser's society. By including such popular forms as fables, proverbs and woodcuts and by drawing on the vernacular literary tradition of Piers Plowman and Skelton's "Collyn Clout," Lane argues, the Calender valorizes the voice and culture of the subordinate classes in the highly stratified Elizabethan social order. The perspective of those who were politically and culturally disenfranchised is integral to the poem's critique of the Elizabethan institutions: the Crown and church, the social hierarchy, the practice of patronage, and the economic system. As Lane notes, discussion of such issues in Spenser's society was dangerous because the Crown claimed a prerogative to govern public speech. Lane describes how Spenser, while challenging this prerogative, used strategies that protected him from official retaliation. Important among these was the inclusion of voices within the text that seem to present an orthodox position but are in fact critically scrutinized. Lane goes on to show that by taking up controversial social and political issues, the Calender also raises the question of poetry's social role. Whereas most modern scholarship reads the poem as a monovocal treatise on aesthetics that is firmly aligned with the Court, Lane demonstrates that contained within the Calender's poetic discussion is a debate that actually interrogates the social status and function of courtly poetry and begins to outline an alternative conception consonant with it own practice.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
PR2359 .L36 1993 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001939362

Includes bibliographical references and index.

In this study of Edmund Spenser's 1579 poem The Shepheardes Calender, Robert Lane uncovers hidden dimensions of Spenser's earliest important work by embedding it in the historical context of Queen Elizabeth's reign and showing how thoroughly it engages the fundamentally sociopolitical issues that confronted English society of the time. Rejecting earlier formalist and new historicist readings that viewed Elizabethan culture as fundamentally aristocratic, Lane reveals this poem's thoroughgoing identification with the nonelite of Spenser's society. By including such popular forms as fables, proverbs and woodcuts and by drawing on the vernacular literary tradition of Piers Plowman and Skelton's "Collyn Clout," Lane argues, the Calender valorizes the voice and culture of the subordinate classes in the highly stratified Elizabethan social order. The perspective of those who were politically and culturally disenfranchised is integral to the poem's critique of the Elizabethan institutions: the Crown and church, the social hierarchy, the practice of patronage, and the economic system. As Lane notes, discussion of such issues in Spenser's society was dangerous because the Crown claimed a prerogative to govern public speech. Lane describes how Spenser, while challenging this prerogative, used strategies that protected him from official retaliation. Important among these was the inclusion of voices within the text that seem to present an orthodox position but are in fact critically scrutinized. Lane goes on to show that by taking up controversial social and political issues, the Calender also raises the question of poetry's social role. Whereas most modern scholarship reads the poem as a monovocal treatise on aesthetics that is firmly aligned with the Court, Lane demonstrates that contained within the Calender's poetic discussion is a debate that actually interrogates the social status and function of courtly poetry and begins to outline an alternative conception consonant with it own practice.

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