Spenser’s Heavenly Elizabeth

Providential History in The Faerie Queene

  • Donald Stump

Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Spenser’s Method and Artistry

  3. Spenser’s Elizabeth

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 103-103
    2. Donald Stump
      Pages 105-160
    3. Donald Stump
      Pages 161-215
    4. Donald Stump
      Pages 217-270
  4. The Faerie Queene in Context

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 271-271
    2. Donald Stump
      Pages 307-328
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 329-337

About this book


This book reveals the queen behind Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene. Placing Spenser’s epic poem in the context of the tumultuous sixteenth century, Donald Stump offers a groundbreaking reading of the poem as an allegory of Elizabeth I’s life. By narrating the loves and wars of an Arthurian realm that mirrors Elizabethan England, Spenser explores the crises that shaped Elizabeth’s reign: her break with the pope to create a reformed English Church, her standoff with Mary, Queen of Scots, offensives against Irish rebels and Spanish troops, confrontations with assassins and foreign invaders, and the apocalyptic expectations of the English people in a time of national transformation. Brilliantly reconciling moral and historicist readings, this volume offers a major new interpretation of The Faerie Queene.


Edmund Spenser The Faerie Queen Queen Elizabeth I of England Elizabeth I Karl Marx Gloriana allegorical representations of Elizabeth New Heaven Book of Revelation English Protestants John Bale John Fox Henry Bullinger Millenarian movement Spenser's apocalypticism Patristic tradition Elizabethan history Sir Phillip Sydney

Authors and affiliations

  • Donald Stump
    • 1
  1. 1.Saint Louis UniversitySaint LouisUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-27114-5
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-27115-2
  • Buy this book on publisher's site