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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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‘The Stream and Current of Time’: Chorography and the Presence of the Past

‘The Stream and Current of Time’: Chorography and the Presence of the Past

(p.49) Chapter 2 ‘The Stream and Current of Time’: Chorography and the Presence of the Past
Spenser’s Forms of History

Bart van Es (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines a possible solution to the problems presented by the first chapter. It shows the importance of chorography for both historiographic and political debate. Following an analysis of various chorographic texts, it demonstrates how the same structures appear in Books III and IV of The Faerie Queene as well as in Colin Clouts Come Home Againe and Prothalamion. It explains that these structures have an unusual capacity for absorbing rival voices. It discusses that through the combination of land and history they gave Spenser freedoms not to be found within the confines of chronicle. It shows that readings of Spenser's river passages expose an alliance between historical and political narratives. It adds that particularly, the poet can be revealed to have used rivers with exceptional subtlety to connect ancient history with current colonial endeavor.

Keywords:   The Faerie Queene, Colin Clouts Come Home Againe, Prothalamion, chorography, historiography, river passages, political narratives

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