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The English Romance in TimeTransforming Motifs from Geoffrey of Monmouth to the Death of Shakespeare$
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Helen Cooper

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199248865

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199248865.001.0001

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Fairy monarchs, fairy mistresses: ‘I am of ane other countree’

Fairy monarchs, fairy mistresses: ‘I am of ane other countree’

(p.173) CHAPTER FOUR Fairy monarchs, fairy mistresses: ‘I am of ane other countree’
The English Romance in Time

Helen Cooper (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The fairy mistress who bestows material, sexual, and occasionally monarchal favours is a recurrent figure in medieval and Renaissance romance, from Sir Launfal and the parodic Sir Thopas to the Faerie Queene’s Gloriana and the Titania of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Fairies are complicated by the difficulty of knowing whether they are representatives of God or the devil, or exist outside theological schemes altogether. The romance and prophecies of Thomas of Erceldoune, whose elf-queen foretells the coming of the Tudors and the Stuart accession to the throne of England, offer an analogue to the opening of the Faerie Queene so close as to suggest that Spenser may have been casting his poem as political prophecy.

Keywords:   political prophecy, Sir Launfal, Sir Thopas, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Faerie Queene, Thomas of Erceldoune

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