Building on the strengths of two previous editions, this revised and enlarged Third Edition continues to offer more of Spenser's poetry than any other comparable volume. All selections are based on early and established texts, fully glossed and precisely annotated, with an Editor's Note following each section.
To facilitate discussion of the place of the body and of pastoral elements in Spenser's epic, the Third Edition includes more of The Faerie Queene: from Book II, canto ix (the House of Alma), and from Book VI, the remainder of canto x and all of cantos xi-xii. The Shepheardes Calender is represented by six eclogues, including the much-discussed "Februarie." Colin Clouts Come Home Againe, increasingly a focus of critical attention, is an important addition, and Amoretti is offered in its entirety.
Seventeen critical essays, judiciously chosen from the many published since 1982, have been added to supplement eleven earlier commentaries. New to the Third Edition are the perspectives of Spenser's contemporary William Camden, Virginia Woolf, William Nelson, A. Bartlett Giamatti, Donald Cheney, Judith Anderson, Richard Helgerson, Louis Adrian Montrose, and David Lee Miller. The critical essays on the House of Busyrane, Spenser's pastoral, Muiopotmos, and Amoretti are grouped to "speak" to each other in ways sure to stimulate classroom discussion. This class-tested feature is back by popular demand along with essays by D. C. Allen, Robert A. Brinkley, Ronald P. Bond, Anne Lake Prescott, Andrew D. Weiner, Susanne Lindgren Wofford, Harry Berger, Jr., and Paul Alpers.
A Chronology of Spenser's life and an extensive Bibliography are also included.