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Spenser and Ovid, Hardback Book


In Spenser and Ovid, Syrithe Pugh gives the first sustained account of Ovid's presence in the Spenser canon, uncovering new evidence to reveal the thematic and formal debts many of Spenser's poems owe to Ovid, particularly when considered in the light of an informed understanding of all of Ovid's work.

Pugh's reading presents a challenge to New Historicist assumptions, as she contests both the traditional insistence on Virgil as Spenser's prime classical model and the idea it has perpetuated of Spenser as Elizabeth I's imperial propagandist.

In fact, Pugh locates Ovid's importance to Spenser precisely in his counter-Virgilian world view, with its high valuation of faithful love, concern for individual freedom, distrust of imperial rule, and the poet's claim to vatic authority in opposition to political power.

Her study spans Spenser's career from the inaugural Shepheardes Calender to what was probably his last poem, The Mutabilitie Cantos, and embraces his work in the genres of pastoral, love poetry, and epic romance.


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