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Edmund Spenser Collection

125 items (dispersed).

The Library has a particularly fine collection of 16th-century editions of Spenser’s poetry.

Works represented in first edition include:

  • Complaints: containing sundrie small poemes of the worlds vanitie (1591)
  • Colin Clouts come home againe (1595)
  • Amoretti and Epithalamion (1595)
  • Fowre Hymnes (1596)
  • Spenser’s allegorical masterpiece, the Faerie Queene (1590–96)

While the collection lacks the exceedingly scarce first edition of the Shepheardes Calender, of which only seven copies are recorded, the third edition (1586) is present.

The Library also holds a first edition of the prose work A View of the Present State of Ireland, written in 1595–96, but not published until 1633.

Among the many later editions and critical literature, a copy of the majestic Ashendene Press edition of the Faerie Queene (1923) merits special notice, being one of twelve printed on vellum.

Finding aids

Recorded in general printed-book catalogue.


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library

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