Edmund Spenser, Selected Letters and Other Papers provides the first published text of the diplomatic and personal papers written, copied, and handled by Spenser during his years of secretarial service and colonial planting in Ireland, 1580-1589. These manuscript letters and papers represent a rich resource for the study of Spenser's poetry and prose - particularly his allegorical epic The Faerie Queene (1590, 1596) and his study of Irish culture and government, A view of the present state of Ireland (1596) - giving unparalleled insight into the day-to-day administration of the New English government in Ireland, in both Dublin and Munster, during a time of constant war, diplomacy, social engineering, espionage, and plantation. In a generous introduction, Burlinson and Zurcher situate Spenser's Irish secretarial experience in its political and military contexts, survey the conditions and constraints of early modern secretaryship, and draw out the importance of the letters to the studies of Spenser's verse and prose. The selection (constituting about half of Spenser's known surviving papers) is fully annotated throughout with both textual and interpretative notes, which explain the dense and complex historical reference of the documents, and point readers toward further reading in both manuscript and printed sources. The volume also includes illustrations from several of Spenser's manuscripts, as well as an extensive set of appendices including biographical essays on Spenser's associates, a chronology, maps, and other materials.
Biographies & Memoirs, General,