Benjamin's Reviews > The Faerie Queene

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser
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's review
Feb 01, 2011

really liked it
Read from February 01 to March 21, 2011

If you can make it past Spenser's somewhat out of date writing (finished the 6 books of the Faery Queen by 1596), and also make it past his spelling, which was written with the intention of looking old even for its 16th century publication and seems to modern readers just plain old mean, then you may finally get to the heart of reading Spenser, which is to say you will be faced with a contradiction: you will simultaneously be happy as hell Spenser never managed to complete the other 18 books in what was originally supposed to be a 24 book series, and terribly upset that the world never bore witness to the remainder of that infinitely (self) referential work, to the progeny of a master-weaver of tales. Having only 6 books of the Faery Queen (and a little more, from the Cantos on Mutability), one can only begin to imagine the beauty the remaining 18 would have held.

This book is not for the faint-hearted. It is long, it is exhausting, and it requires an active mind to really get a worthwhile reading. But if you can step up to the challenge, the tales of knights and ladies, wizards and gods, beasts, and one possibly autistic robot of justice may come alive, and enchant you like few other tales can.

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02/01/2011 page 262
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