Faerie Queene Introductory Materials

This introduction to The Faerie Queene will help you to understand the time period when it was written, meet the author Edmund Spenser, and interpret the text’s allegory and verse structure.

By Dr. George Armstrong Wauchope, Professor of English, South Carolina College

Faerie Queene Introduction

Edmund Spenser, author of The Faerie Queene, was one of the greatest English poets.

Edmund Spenser
by James Thomson (Thompson)

stipple engraving, early 19th century
(NPG D25478)
© National Portrait Gallery, London
Creative Commons License

I. The Age which produced the Faerie Queene
II. The Author of the Faerie Queene
III. Study of the Faerie Queene:

1. A Romantic Epic
2. Influence of the New Learning
3. Interpretation of the Allegory
4. The Spenserian Stanza
5. Versification
6. Diction and Style

IV. Chronological Table of Events

Letter to Sir Walter Raleigh


These texts by Dr. Wauchope come from Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, Book 1 (New York: MacMillan, 1921).


When will you read Edmund Spenser’s writing in Excellence in Literature?

E4.3 Focus text: The Faerie Queene (Book 1) and the “Letter to Raleigh”

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