Edmund Spenser and the romance of space

By Tamsin Badcoe

Edmund Spenser and the romance of space


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-6400-1
  • Pages: 344
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £20.00
  • Published Date: August 2022
  • BIC Category: Early Modern Literature, Theatre Studies, Literature, Literary studies: poetry & poets, Ireland, 16th century, c 1500 to c 1599, PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General, LITERARY CRITICISM / Poetry, LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: poetry & poets, Literature & literary studies / Literature: history & criticism, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800
  • Series: The Manchester Spenser


Edmund Spenser and the romance of space advances the exploration of literary space into new areas, firstly by taking advantage of recent interdisciplinary interests in the spatial qualities of early modern thought and culture, and secondly by reading literature concerning the art of cosmography and navigation alongside imaginative literature with the purpose of identifying shared modes and preoccupations. The book looks to the work of cultural and historical geographers in order to gauge the roles that aesthetic subjectivity and the imagination play in the development of geographical knowledge: contexts ultimately employed by the study to achieve a better understanding of the place of Ireland in Spenser's writing. The study also engages with recent ecocritical approaches to literary environments, such as coastlines, wetlands, and islands, thus framing fresh readings of Spenser's handling of mixed genres.


'In this fascinating, interdisciplinary study Tamsin Badcoe reads Spenser's works alongside the practical arts of cosmography and navigation and considers the poet's green, muddy and coastal settings in relation to the imagined spaces of William Cuningham, John Dee and Sir Walter Ralegh. By bringing together literary, cultural and historical geographers she explores how the imagination contributes to early modern developments in geographical knowledge. [The book] contributes vitally to the knowledge of early modern literatures and environments ... This complex, highly nuanced analysis of literary and geographical works by Spenser and other makers of the spatial imaginary offers new, compelling readings of The Faerie Queene, 'Colin Clouts Come Home Againe', A View of the Present State of Ireland, and the 'Mutabilitie Cantos'.... Badcoe's brilliant inquiry, which charts the labyrinthine course of literary and geographical terrain and plumbs the depths of the English and Irish seas with literal and figurative navigational tools, is well worth a careful read.'
Jennifer C. Vaught, The Spenser Review



Winner of the 2020 University English Book Prize


Part I: Orientations
1 Strange paths and perspective glasses
2 Movement and measurement
3 Feyned no where acts
4 Compassing desire: cosmography and chorography
Part II: Environments
5 Seamarks and coastal waters
6 Wetlands and Spenser's 'personal curvature'
7 Spenser's insular fictions


Tamsin Badcoe is a Lecturer in English at the University of Bristol

Edmund Spenser and the romance of space

By Tamsin Badcoe

Paperback £20.00 / $29.95

Hardcover £80.00 / $120.00

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