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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, whil

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780199282043
ISBN-10: 0199282048
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 139mm x 18mm)
Pages: 330
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 7-Jul-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Richard A. McCabe

Richard McCabe is Professor of English Language and Literature and Fellow of Merton College, University of Oxford.

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