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Spenser’s Forms of History$
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Bart van Es

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199249701

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249701.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Spenser’s Forms of History

Bart van Es (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the conflict that arises from different readings of the past, with the historical visions in Poly-Olbion as an example. It explains that this conflict provides the snapshot of a changing situation that is of vital importance for understanding Edmund Spenser. It examines Drayton's and Selden's position as a Spenserian, as well as how they view the Poly-Olbion. It adds that each age develops its own readings of the past. It discusses the main goal of this book, which is to build upon a very long tradition of ‘reading Spenser historically’. It highlights that above all, it is the choice of form that determines and expresses a writer's historiographic perspective. It explains that in Early Modern history, the method of history and substance depend greatly on one another. It investigates the different forms of history in the works of Spenser.

Keywords:   conflict, historical visions, Poly-Olbion, Edmund Spenser, Drayton, Selden, Early Modern history, forms of history

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