A king for the queene: Samuel Sheppard's the faerie king and his reception of Spenser's epic authority
University College Cork
This thesis is the study of the use and abuse of Edmund Spenser as an authority in native English epic literature of the early seventeenth century, within fifty years of his death. It focuses on attempts to emulate or adapt his seminal text, The Faerie Queene (1596), and offers a comparative analysis of two such approaches by the liminal authors, Ralph Knevet and Samuel Sheppard. The former, a tutor to the wealthy Norfolk Paston family, produced his A Supplement of the Ferie Queene in the pre-Civil War period (c.1630-1635), while the latter wrote The Faerie King at the very end of the social upheaval of the war (c.1648-54). The thesis privileges the study of the holograph manuscripts (Cambridge University Library, MS Ee.3.53 and Bodleian Library MS Rawl. Poet. 28 respectively) over the basic editions of these neglected texts. It argues for the need to re-evaluate the significance of such texts within the Spenserian canon and, through new readings of the texts' structures and contexts, the thesis questions the legitimacy of canon formation and continuation, as well as the influence editorial policies and decision making can have on subsequent readers and receptions of the text
English Civil War , Seventeenth-century epic , Adaptation and appropriation , English literature - history and criticism , Spenser studies
O'Mahony, C. 2013. A king for the queene: Samuel Sheppard's the faerie king and his reception of Spenser's epic authority. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.