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Spenser's ethics

Empire, mutability, and moral philosophy in early modernity

By Andrew Wadoski

Spenser's ethics
Hardcover

ALSO AVAILABLE IN OTHER FORMATS:

  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-6543-5
  • Pages: 232
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: June 2022
  • BIC Category: LITERARY CRITICISM / Poetry, LITERARY CRITICISM / Renaissance, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: poetry & poets, Literature & literary studies / Literature: history & criticism, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800, Literary studies: c 1400 to c 1600, LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 16th Century
  • Series: The Manchester Spenser

Description

Spenser's ethics offers a novel account of Edmund Spenser as a moral theorist, situating his ethics at the nexus of moral philosophy's profound transformation in the early modern era, and the English colonisation of Ireland in the turbulent 1580's and 90's. It revises a scholarly narrative describing Spenser's ethical thinking as derivative, nostalgic, or inconsistent with one that contends him to be one of early modern England's most original and incisive moral theorists, placing The Faerie Queene at the centre of the contested discipline of moral philosophy as it engaged the social, political, and intellectual upheavals driving classical virtue ethics' unravelling at the threshold of early modernity.

Contents

Introduction: Emptying the virtuous middle in Elizabethan Ireland
1. Milton's Spenser: An alternative virtue for a fallen world
2. Purposeful lives: Romance narrative and the generation of empires
3. Magnificence: Fashioning the imperial commonwealth
4. The metaphysics of moral being: Time, change, and flourishing in the Gardens of Adonis
5. Civility and government: Virtuous discipline in the mutable world
6. Immoderation and necessity: Spenser's Machiavelli
Coda
References
Index

Author

Andrew Wadoski is Assistant Professor of English at Virginia Tech

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