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The Faerie Queene, Books Three and Four (The Faerie Queene Books #3,4)

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  64 ratings  ·  8 reviews
These paired Arthurian legends suggest that erotic desire and the desire for companionship undergird national politics. The maiden Britomart, Queen Elizabeth's fictional ancestor, dons armor to search for a man whom she has seen in a crystal ball. While on this quest, she seeks to understand how one can be chaste while pursuing a sexual goal, in love with a man while passi ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published by Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (first published November 30th 2006)
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Read only Book IV. It's a very difficult read, because Spenser uses Chaucerian English rather than the English of his own period (the Renaissance). Book IV centers on the virtue friendship, but is only marginally successful in representing it. Ignoring modern sensibilities, the Faerie Queene is the product of conflicted cultural paradigms. Spenser is classically educated, thereby influenced by the Greco-Roman conception of friendship (friendship is paramount, because friendship is good for the s ...more
Of the books, this is perhaps my least favorite, though still a well-written piece of literature. It's a little too bad that Spenser wasn't able to meet my expectations for what I hoped would be Spenserian Queen Elizabeth Fan Fiction.
I only read Book 3 for class, and let's be honest, Sparknotes was my best friend. But I like the tale and I appreciate the form. I did read it. I did.
Hackett made an interesting choice in publishing Books 3 and 4 together in an undergrad edition, but it works well. The notes in Book 3 are sometimes a bit heavy-handed and offer sometimes obvious information. Overall, the layout of the book compensates for the not-quite-up-to-snuff notes.
Well, mostly, I read book 3, but yeah. I thought it was awesome too. Lots of issues with Britomart, but at the end of the day, she was a pretty cool lady.
Megan Mills
Really enjoyed the Faerie Queene, Book Three. Will need to read it in its entirety eventually, but today is not that day.
My favorite book.
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Edmund Spenser (c. 1552 – 13 January 1599) was an important English poet and Poet Laureate best known for The Faerie Queene, an epic poem celebrating, through fantastical allegory, the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I.

Though he is recognized as one of the premier craftsmen of Modern English verse in its infancy, Spenser is also a controversial figure due to his zeal for the destruction of Irish cultu
More about Edmund Spenser...

Other Books in the Series

The Faerie Queene Books (5 books)
  • The Faerie Queene, Book One
  • The Faerie Queene, Book Two
  • The Faerie Queene, Vol. 4
  • The Faerie Queene, Book Five
  • The Faerie Queene, Book Six and the Mutabilitie Cantos
The Faerie Queene The Faerie Queene, Book One Edmund Spenser's Poetry Fierce Wars and Faithful Loves (Spenser's Faerie Queen, #1) The Faerie Queene, Book Two

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“So furiously each other did assayle,
As if their soules they would attonce haue rent
Out of their brests, that streames of bloud did rayle
Adowne, as if their springes of life were spent;
That all the ground with purple bloud was sprent,
And all their armours staynd with bloudie gore,
Yet scarcely once to breath would they relent,
So mortall was their malice and so sore,
Become of fayned friendship which they vow'd afore.”
“Here haue I cause, in men iust blame to find,
That in their proper prayse too partiall bee,
And not indifferent to woman kind,
To whom no share in armes and cheualrie
They do impart, ne maken memorie
Of their brave gestes and prowess martiall;
Scarse do they spare to one or two or three,
Rowme in their writs; yet the same writing small
Does all their deeds deface, and dims their glories all,

But by record of antique times I find,
That women wont in warres to beare most sway,
And to all great exploits them selues inclind:
Of which they still the girlond bore away,
Till enuious Men fearing their rules decay,
Gan coyne straight laws to curb their liberty;
Yet sith they warlike armes haue layd away:
They haue exceld in artes and policy,
That now we foolish men that prayse gin eke t'enuy.”
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