Selected Poems and Prose By Gerard Manley Hopkins For Sale
Selected Poems and Prose By Gerard Manley Hopkins
Hopkins, Gerard Manley
Click to view details

Spenser, Edmund - The Faerie Queene Limited Edition - ( Item 120473 )

Published in London by Folio Society. 2012. First Thus. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Near Fine slipcase. Paper cover of slipcase unstuck in top rear left hand corner of the slipcase. 1,712 pages in total. Book Size: 10¾" x 8½". Bound in Wassa goatskin, blocked in gold. Ribbon markers. Limited to 1,000 copies of which this is number 102. Gilded top edges. Printed on watermarked laid paper. Presented in a wooden slipcase covered in Toile Vendôme, with a sliding tray in the base for ease of use. One of the most beautiful works of the Arts and Crafts Movement - a gorgeous facsimile of a piece of publishing history. Strictly limited to 1,000 numbered copies. The sixteenth century was the golden age of English poetry. Edmund Spenser burned to create an English equivalent to Virgil's Aeneid. Instead of lauding the Caesars, he would glorify Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen. Where Virgil connected Rome to the heroic past of Troy, Spenser would forge a link between Tudor England and the mythological age of King Arthur. The result was The Faerie Queene, a rich allegory which elevated Protestant virtues through the medium of a romantic, chivalric epic. Today the power of Spenser's story and the beauty of his verse still live in 'famous memory'. Rather as Spenser himself looked to 'antique times', the Arts and Crafts movement of the late-19th century looked back nostalgically to the Middle Ages. Walter Crane, an illustrator and associate of William Morris, was inspired by Edmund Spenser. He, after all, was a quintessentially English writer, dedicated to the noble aims of justice, honour and chivalry to which Crane himself, a socialist and romantic, was also committed. He illustrated the poem so lavishly that this sumptuous edition became a legend of book production in its own right. Born in London around 1552 to a family of modest means, Edmund Spenser was educated as a poor scholar at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He managed to gain work with the government, and served in Ireland, where he met the influential court favourite and poet, Sir Walter Raleigh. His own poetry, including The Faerie Queene, was written in between his official duties and he succeeded in gaining an introduction to read his works to the Queen in 1589. The Queen was so impressed with his epic that she granted Spenser an annual pension of £50. Elizabeth's chief minister Lord Burghley is supposed to have grumbled, 'What, all this for a song!' Spenser's Irish estate was burned during an attack in 1598. He left Ireland a year later and returned to London, where he died aged 47. His coffin was interred in Westminster Abbey close to Chaucer, an indication of the immense stature he had acquired. His inscription hails: 'Prince of Poets in his tyme; whose Divine Spirrit needs noe othir witnesse then the works which he left behinde him.' Each Book tells the adventure of a different knight, representing a virtue. Prince Arthur, who is searching for the Faerie Queene, acts as a common thread through the Books, assisting the various knights in their quests. Spenser wrote to Sir Walter Raleigh describing an ambitious plan of twelve Books, and perhaps even more. He completed six, which, at a total of 35,000 lines, makes The Faerie Queene the longest poem in the English language. Such is the quality of his poetry and storytelling that it is hard to think of The Faerie Queene as unfinished, rather it presents a series of adventures as timeless as any myth or legend.

Price £ 460.00                 Other items you may like                 Others by the same author

To buy this item online using any major credit or debit card or Paypal, click the appropriate delivery option below to add the item to your basket, depending on where you are in the world. Alternatively please contact us at for further information or to order with payment by direct bank transfer or cheque if you are in the UK.

Safe and Secure Online Buying

To buy online, please click the appropriate postage option in the item boxes above. You will be transferred to secure pages hosted by Paypal, the largest online transaction processor in the world. You can pay with any major credit or debit card or by Paypal. When ordering multiple items in the UK, you may be entitled to a postage discount. This will be refunded when your order is received. If you prefer to pay by cheque, or would like a quotation for buying multiple items, please email us at with the unique item numbers required.

Money Back Guarantee, Secure Packaging and Fast Response

We are a major online trader with excellent feedback from satisfied customers on Amazon and Ebay (over 25,000 customers). We will refund your costs for items returned within seven days for any reason. If we are at fault we will also refund your return postage. Items are sent in top grade book boxes for protection. Large items or multiple purchases may be boxed. Items will be despatched within a day of receipt of your order, usually on the same day if ordered before noon.

[Back to top]

Useful Links

Home Page
Contact Us


Terms and conditions
Delivery information
About Ardis Books


Returns policy
Cancellation policy


Customer services
Email Ardis Books
What our customers say