Una, Mercilla, and the Elizabethan Apocalypse

  • Donald Stump
Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)


Focusing on prophecies in the Book of Revelation, this chapter explores the possibility that Spenser thought Elizabeth was fulfilling prophecies of the End Times, acting as St. John’s Woman Clothed with the Sun, mother of the Rider on the White Horse, a figure traditionally associated with Christ’s Second Coming. To identify the Rider with Redcrosse in his defeat of the dragon and with Prince Arthur in his later rescue of Belge is, however, to mistake Spenser for a follower of earlier English Protestant polemicists such as Bale, Foxe, and Bullinger, who saw the unfolding of the End Times as linear and imminent. The apocalyptic passages in The Faerie Queene align better with the recursive and temporally indeterminate views of early Latin Fathers, as synthesized by Augustine.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

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

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