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Cloth:  $19.75

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Approaches to Teaching Spenser's Faerie Queene

Editor(s): David Lee Miller, Alexander Dunlop

Pages: ix & 207 pp.
Published: 1994
ISBN: 9780873527231

"I have taught the Faerie Queene at all levels of instruction; speaking from experience, I can say that I would have found the present volume useful. It is encouraging to teachers of the poem.... Editors Miller and Dunlop have done a genuine service by bringing together in one volume essays that amply demonstrate that Spenser is in good hands in the college classroom. On the whole the essays here are well written, witty, clearly focused, and strongly argued, and reveal considerable variety in teaching techniques and course-specific approaches."
Ann E. Imbrie, Vassar College

We are currently out of stock of the paperback edition of this title. The cloth edition will be substituted at the paperback price.

"The Faerie Queene," according to Alexander Dunlop (coeditor of the present volume), "may be the most undervalued classic in the canon of English poetry." The epic poem's archaic language, formal structure, historical references, and literary allusions all present special challenges to both student and teacher--challenges that the contributors to this book believe can be overcome with creativity and wit. Designed for beginning instructors as well as for specialists still looking for the lesson plan of their dreams, Approaches to Teaching Spenser's Faerie Queene offers a thorough discussion of recent work on Spenser and on the social and cultural milieu of Elizabethan England.

This Approaches volume, like others in the series, is divided into two parts. Part 1, "Materials," surveys resources useful for classroom instruction (such as editions, anthologies, and student readings), reviews background studies and critical scholarship, and reprints eight illustrations related to the poem. Part 2, "Approaches," presents six essays suggesting methods for introducing The Faerie Queene to students and nine essays describing advanced classroom strategies incorporating a variety of topics, including the visual arts, feminism, and colonialism.

Table of Contents

Approaches to Teaching Spenser's Faerie Queene

Alexander Dunlop


Classroom Texts

Additional Student Readings

Introductory Bibliography

Aids to Teaching



David Lee Miller

Introducing the Poem

"The Hard Begin": Entering the Initial Cantos
Judith H. Anderson

"Add Faith unto Your Force and Be Not Faint": Teaching Book 1 in the Sophomore Survey
Raymond-Jean Frontain

The Open Text: A Protestant Poetics of Reading and Teaching Book 1
Evelyn B. Tribble

Hymen, Shield, and Journal: The Task of Interpretation
John Timpane

"The Form and Gait of the Body": Physical Carriage, Genre, and Spenserian Allegory
Theresa M. Krier

Challenging the Commonplace: Teaching as Conversation in Spenser's Legend of Temperance
John Webster

Special Topics and Advanced Approaches

"Painted Forgery": Visual Approaches to The Faerie Queene
Clark Hulse

From Allegory to Icon: Teaching Britomart with the Elizabeth Portraits
Julia M. Walker

Handling Elizabeth
Anne Shaver

"Be Bold, Be Bold ... Be Not Too Bold": The Pleasures and Perils of Teaching Book 3
Diana E. Henderson

Finding the Feminine in Book 4
Dorothy Stephens

"That Savage Land": Ireland in Spenser's Legend of Justice
Sheila T. Cavanagh

"Most Sacred Vertue She": Reading Book 5 alongside Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas on Justice
Edwin D. Craun

Rethinking the Spenserian Gaze
A. Leigh DeNeef

"The Triall of True Curtesie": Teaching Book 6 as Pastoral Romance
Margaret P. Hannay

Works Cited


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