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Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene is among the most important literary products of the Elizabethan age, and the vast sweep of its moral, political and social concerns tells us more about the age than any other work. This volume, first published in 1989, offers detailed readings of each of the poem's seven books, along with introductory chapters on Spenser's career, and the roots of the poem in the English and continental traditions. Humphrey Tonkin pays particular attention to the work's political and cultural role and its contribution to the development of Elizabethan ideology. A comprehensive analysis, this reissue will be of particular value to literature students and academics alike.