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A View of the State of Ireland [Paperback]

Edmund Spenser , Andrew Hadfield , Willy Maley
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 22, 1997 0631205357 978-0631205357
This student edition is based on the first published text and offers an authoritative introduction, discussing the View's reception, relating it to Spenser's corpus as a whole, and summarising recent scholarship.

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A View of the State of Ireland + Spenser: The Faerie Queene + The Shorter Poems (Penguin Classics)
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Editorial Reviews


"It will certainly be good to have an easily available and affordable version of the Vewe, and this volume has several virtues which will recommend it to students and teachers of Spenser and related topics. It will certainly further Spenser studies, especially among undergraduates, to have this user-friendly edition available, and the editors and publisher are to be congratulated on its appearance." Spenser Newsletter 28, 2 (1997)

"This timely edition of Spenser's infamous prose treatise about Ireland... which .includes a judicious introductory essay outlining the current state of critical debate about Spenser, a chronology of his life, a glossary, and an annotated bibliography, goes a long way towards redressing ill-informed suppositions about this sixteenth-century dialogue. The edition has the further virtue that it does not overwhelm the text with commentary or annotation. This deft, informative and user-friendly edition of A View of the State of Ireland persuasively urges us not just to read Spenser's text in the first instance but to give full consideration to the historical and political contexts and epistemological frameworks within which readings of this highly problematical but central colonial treatise are constructed." Irish University Review, Spring/Summer

"The appearance of a new paperback edition of Ware's version of the Vewe, carefully prepared for a non-specialist audience by Andrew Hadfield and Willy Maley, is bound to raise the temperature of this debate. Mindful that other scholars might complain that Ware's text is corrupt, Hadfield and Maley have overcome this problem by including an appendix of those passages that were omitted from Spenser's text by Ware. This is arguably the most important part of their attractive and accessible little book, and it should guarantee that their edition will become a standard reference for academics as well as general readers. Ireland

"The introduction as a whole is a model of clarity, balance and compression which will admirably fulfil the editors aim of bringing Spenser's View to a far wider readership and they have provided also a critical guide to further reading which, both in its comprehensiveness and its detachment from the scholastic wranglings that have so often disfigured Spenser commentary, is exemplary." Irish Studies Review

From the Back Cover

Edmund Spenser's A View of the State of Ireland is an exemplary text that participates in several historical moments. Since its first publication in 1633 it has been read as an anti-Irish treatise. As a critical intervention in the public sphere by a major canonical author it has been drawn upon by some of the most important writers of subsequent ages, from Milton through to Wordsworth and Heaney.

The View has formed a key text in discussion of modern Ireland by distinguished critics such as Edward Said, Stephen Greenblatt and Declan Kiberd. This new edition of a founding document of English colonial culture promises to bring a compelling and controversial text to a larger audience than has hitherto been possible. As a highly influential colonial discourse and an exemplary exercise in the Renaissance dialogue form it merits the attention of scholars working across a range of disciplines and periods - in the Renaissance, in Irish studies, in the new British history, and in post-colonial theory. In literary studies, the View is now especially valued for the key it provides to the allegorical treatment of Ireland in Spenser's epic The Faerie Queene. In this new edition, aimed at securing for this vital document the wide readership it deserves, the editors offer the first published text, as edited by Sir James Ware (1633). Ware's preface and notes are supplemented with an authoritative introduction, discussing the View's reception, relating it to Spenser's corpus as a whole, and summarizing recent scholarship. The editors also provide a bibliography of criticism, and detailed notes designed to help the student.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell (October 22, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631205357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631205357
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #343,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fanning the Flames of Hatred and Violence February 18, 2006
As difficult as it is to give a "star rating" to a book that advocates the genocide of an entire nation, this volume is a valuable scholarly resource. And, indeed, the total destruction of the Irish "race" is Edmund Spenser's aim and rallying cry in writing this volume, addressed to the first Queen Elizabeth. The text takes the form of a Platonic/dramatic dialogue between Irenaeus, lately returned from Ireland (as was Spenser), and his compatriot, the reasonable Eudoxus.

A capsule-summary of the book's tone is possible by a brief description of the half-dozen pages that Spenser spends describing a single article of traditional Irish clothing: the mantle, a long, warm cloak worn by common countryfolk. Even the clothing of the Irish, Spenser/Irenaeus argues, is an incitement towards crime and vice: the mantle can be used to hide anything from weapons to stolen goods to illegitimate pregnancies, and serves as both shelter and bed for outlaws, as well as serving as an effective shield in swordplay. This simple garment, he concludes, must be outlawed. Elsewhere, he also attempts to dissuade British functionaries similarly stationed in Ireland from taking Irish wives or wetnurses, because the women will infect your home and family, resulting in somehow "going native."

So be warned, this is a hateful volume, advocating step-by-step for the Irish people to be killed off so that England can flourish without a sore on her side, and warning, in fact, that the "great scourge" of Ireland presents an eminent danger to the Queen if she does not immediately invade and crush that nation. He argues that the Irish people are so barbarous that English laws will not rule them (and Irish "law" is simply "wrong," encouraging immorality), that the Irish people are uncivilizable, and thus barely human.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars For Spencerian scholars only! February 26, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you want a readable description of Elizabethan Ireland this will be a frustrating book to choose. Just too disorganized , too old fashioned , too Anglo-centric. Also too over priced even
for a used copy. If you see it in a thrift store for a dollar or so , get it, otherwise forget it.
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