Edmund Spenser was an English poet best known for The Faerie Queene, an epic poem and fantastical allegory celebrating the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I He is recognized as one of the premier craftsmen of nascent Modern English verse and is often considered one of the greatest poets in the English language.
29 Facts About Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser was born in East Smithfield, London, around the year 1552; however, there is still some ambiguity as to the exact date of his birth.
Edmund Spenser's parenthood is obscure, but he was probably the son of John Spenser, a journeyman clothmaker.
Edmund Spenser served under Lord Grey with Walter Raleigh at the Siege of Smerwick massacre.
When Lord Grey was recalled to England, Edmund Spenser stayed on in Ireland, having acquired other official posts and lands in the Munster Plantation.
Sometime between 1587 and 1589, Edmund Spenser acquired his main estate at Kilcolman, near Doneraile in North Cork.
Edmund Spenser later bought a second holding to the south, at Rennie, on a rock overlooking the river Blackwater in North Cork.
In 1590, Edmund Spenser brought out the first three books of his most famous work, The Faerie Queene, having travelled to London to publish and promote the work, with the likely assistance of Raleigh.
Edmund Spenser probably hoped to secure a place at court through his poetry, but his next significant publication boldly antagonised the queen's principal secretary, Lord Burghley, through its inclusion of the satirical Mother Hubberd's Tale.
Edmund Spenser was at the centre of a literary circle whose members included his lifelong friend Lodowick Bryskett and Dr John Longe, Archbishop of Armagh.
In 1591, Edmund Spenser published a translation in verse of Joachim Du Bellay's sonnets, Les Antiquites de Rome, which had been published in 1558.
In 1596, Edmund Spenser wrote a prose pamphlet titled A View of the Present State of Ireland.
In 1598, during the Nine Years' War, Edmund Spenser was driven from his home by the native Irish forces of Aodh O Neill.
Edmund Spenser's coffin was carried to his grave in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey by other poets, who threw many pens and pieces of poetry into his grave with many tears.
Edmund Spenser seems to have had no difficulty in receiving payment when it was due as the pension was being collected for him by his publisher, Ponsonby.
Edmund Spenser originally indicated that he intended the poem to consist of twelve books, so the version of the poem we have today is incomplete.
Edmund Spenser published numerous relatively short poems in the last decade of the sixteenth century, almost all of which consider love or sorrow.
Four years later, in 1595, Edmund Spenser published Amoretti and Epithalamion.
Edmund Spenser used his own rhyme scheme for the sonnet.
Edmund Spenser emphasises beauty of mind and beauty of intellect.
Edmund Spenser considers his beloved is not simply flesh but is a spiritual being.
Edmund Spenser strove to emulate such ancient Roman poets as Virgil and Ovid, whom he studied during his schooling, but many of his best-known works are notably divergent from those of his predecessors.
An Anglican and a devotee of the Protestant Queen Elizabeth, Edmund Spenser was particularly offended by the anti-Elizabethan propaganda that some Catholics circulated.
Edmund Spenser was called "the Poet's Poet" by Charles Lamb, and was admired by John Milton, William Blake, William Wordsworth, John Keats, Lord Byron, Alfred Tennyson and others.
The work is partly a defence of Lord Arthur Grey de Wilton, who was appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland in 1580, and who greatly influenced Edmund Spenser's thinking on Ireland.
Edmund Spenser believed that "Ireland is a diseased portion of the State, it must first be cured and reformed, before it could be in a position to appreciate the good sound laws and blessings of the nation".
Edmund Spenser viewed this system as a backward custom which contributed to the "degradation" of the Irish people.
Edmund Spenser warned of the dangers that allowing the education of children in the Irish language would bring: "Soe that the speach being Irish, the hart must needes be Irishe; for out of the aboundance of the hart, the tonge speaketh".
Edmund Spenser pressed for a scorched earth policy in Ireland, noting its effectiveness in the Second Desmond Rebellion:.