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Spenser’s Forms of History$
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Bart van Es

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199249701

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249701.001.0001

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(p.197) Conclusion
Spenser’s Forms of History

Bart van Es (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses that the book tried to place Edmund Spenser in the context of different and coexisting conceptions of the past, particularly those influenced by religious, nationalistic, and scholarly perspectives on history. It investigates Early Modern England's absorption, use, and critical awareness of diverse modes of historical narrative, and argues for the significance of these modes in determining the writer's or reader's outlook on distant events. It illustrates the ways in which the poet engaged with the languages of history surrounding him. It concludes that the poet has a profound, playful, and above all, multiform sense of the past for he was deeply knowledgeable about the historical writing of his day—using it extensively across the full range of his literary production.

Keywords:   Edmund Spenser, religion, nationalism, historical perspective, Early Modern England, language of history, poet, literary production, historical writing

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