Spenser's reception of the rich and complex imaginative, historical, and political traditions involved in Middle English romance is an aspect of The Faerie Queene which has been grossly neglected. Many areas and topics relating to Spenser's interaction with Middle English romance remain untouched, such as his completion in Book IV of Chaucer's Squire's Tale. This book has dealt only with Books I, II, and V because they arguably present a coherent narrative of response to native romance which does not necessitate detailed consideration of the convergent influences of Ariosto and Tasso; opening the door to Italianate romance, necessary in consideration of other books, would have resulted in a much larger, and possibly more diffuse study. The general neglect of interest in Spenser's use of native romance hopefully justifies a focused and single-minded book such as this.
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