The Yale Edition of the Shorter Poems of Edmund Spenser


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Edmund Spenser; Edited by William Oram, Einar Bjorvand, and Ronald Bond

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This is the first comprehensive edition of Spenser’s shorter poems since the Variorum Minor Poems published in the 1940s.  In the interval our understanding of Renaissance culture of Spenser’s work has changed greatly.  The new Shorter Poems has a double purpose: to provide a modern edition responding to the changes in our knowledge of Spenser over the past four decades and to create a text that can be used in graduate and undergraduate courses.
In this edition, substantial introductions to each of the poems discuss their generic and historical backgrounds, responding to the concerns raised by recent scholarship.  The newly edited texts of the poems generally retain original spelling and punctuation.  Extensive notes gloss archaic and obscure words and include up-to-date information on historical, mythological, and iconographic material.  The book includes a chronology of Spenser’s life and a list of critical works for further reading.
William Oram is associate professor of English at Smith College.  Einar Bjorvand is lecturer at the Institute of English Studies, University of Oslo.  Ronald Bond is professor of English at the University of Calgary.  Thomas Cain is professor of English at MacMaster University.  Alexander Dunlop is assistant professor of English at Auburn University.  Richard Schell is associate professor of English at Laurentian University.

"Spenser studies will get a boost from The Yale Edition of the Shorter Poems of Edmund Spenser. . . . This critical study is the most extensive treatment of the work in years."—Stanley Stewart, Studies in English Literature

"This edition of Spenser’s shorter poems fills a gaping void in Spenser studies; it provides a handleable volume containing the complete text of all the shorter poems in the Spenser canon, and it makes available valuable introductions, glossaries, notes and bibliographies which update the ever-increasing critical materials pertinent to these works. . . . By its containing a newly and carefully edited, authoritative text (with the original spelling and punctuation) and by its including various scholarly tools, the volume becomes as useful for the scholar as for the student. . . . The introductions are readable and informative, the notes useful and plentiful. . . . The editors of this volume, all well-known in Spenser circles, not only have succeeded in making available a readable, reliable text of these poems, but have put together a book long needed for graduate and undergraduate courses. At the same time they have given scholars and scholars-to-be an affordable, worthwhile compendium of useful information on the shorter works of this major poet. The editors are to be thanked and congratulated for their substantive and significant contribution to Spenser studies."—William C. Johnson, Sixteenth Century Journal

"No Spenserian and no lover of English poetry can fail to be grateful to the editors of the volume and to Yale University Press for providing students and scholars with such an attractively designed scholarly edition."—Choice

"A superb contemporary edition of all Spenser’s shorter poems. . . . [This book] is pleasing in format, helpfully introduced, usefully annotated, and with both a good, brief guide to the massive amounts of scholarship on these poems and reproductions of the woodcuts that accompanied some of them: an excellent classroom text, and an admirable edition for any reader of poetry."—John Hollander, New Republic

"A pleasure to read."—Library Journal
ISBN: 9780300042450
Publication Date: September 10, 1989
860 pages, 5 1/4 x 7 3/4
43 b/w illus.