The English Presence in Spenser’s Ireland
Many of the concerns voiced by Spenser, in both the View and the Faerie Queene, can only be comprehended when they are considered in the context of England's experience with Ireland during Spenser's own lifetime. The most striking dimensions to the English presence in Ireland at the time of the composition of the View, compared to what it had been but twenty years previously, were its size and its ubiquity. These features alone would not have satisfied Spenser that Ireland was set on a right course. This chapter shows that there were indeed considerations concerning both the personnel and the preoccupations of the English who served and settled in Ireland that occasioned unease for commentators who were altogether less sensitive than Edmund Spenser. The nature of those problems will become clear once account is taken of how English authority in Ireland had been increased over the preceding decades.
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