Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

English, MA


Spenser, Edmund, 1552?-1599; Faerie queene (Spenser, Edmund); Literature; Ireland In literature; Ireland


The departure of Spenser for Ireland in 1580 as secretary to Lord Grey of Wilton, newly appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland, marks a significant point in the poet's career. Save for occasional trips to England, the remaining years of his life Spenser spent in this "salvage land", among a hostile and turbulent people, far from the brilliance of English court life and "Elisa's blessed fields." The appointment to service in Ireland seems to have been a disappointment to the poet who had shortly before thought himself assured of an official career in England under the patronage of Leicester. In October of the preceding year he had expected to be sent on a foreign mission in "his Honour's service" but the trip seems never to have taken place. Written later from Ireland, Virgil's Gnat shows the hurt and disappointed poet bemoaning his banishment which he attributes to a well-meant but resented warning to Leicester, probably Mother Hubbards Tale.