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Edmund Spenser Printed Works

Date range: 16th-17th centuries

Medium: Printed

Number of items: 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).

The Library does not hold the exceedingly scarce first edition of the Shepheardes Calender, of which only seven copies are recorded, but does have the third edition (1586). There is also 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.

Further information:

Recorded in Library Search.


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