Spenser's Secret Career
Cambridge University Press, 1993 M02 26 - 164 pages
Edmund Spenser (c.1552-99) conducted two careers at once: a celebrated poet, he also pursued a lifelong career as secretary to various political and ecclesiastical figures. Richard Rambuss's book explores how this latter career, usually allotted only cursory mention in accounts of Spenser's professional ambitions, informed his poetic career. Working from the fact that contemporary bureaucratic treatises defined the management of secrets as the central occupation of secretaryship, this study provides a careerist context for the attention to secrecy throughout Spenser's poetry. It takes issue with prevailing new historicist accounts which see Spenser's careerism as shaped entirely by a single-minded pursuit of laureateship along a Virgilian route from pastoral to epic. Spenser's Secret Career presents an alternative picture, arguing that for Spenser the manipulation of secrets - his own and others' - provided a strategy of self-promotion for both of his careers.
1590 Faerie Queene allegorical authority Belphoebe Blatant Beast Book bureaucratic Burghley cabinet Calender's Calidore Calidore's canto Cecil claim closet Colin Cloute Complaints concealment court courtly D. A. Miller Day's dictation discourse discussion Earl eclogue edition Edmund Spenser Elizabeth Elizabethan England English Secretary epic epistle essay Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Faerie Queene figure friendship Gabriel Harvey Gloriana gloss Goldberg hand haue Helgerson hermeticism hidden Hobbinol Ibid Ireland Irish Julye kind knight Leicester letters letterwriter literary London Lord loue male marriage master means Mother Hubberds Tale muse pastoral patron Philip Sidney poem poem's poet poet's poetic career poetry political position Principal Secretary privy proem Puttenham Ralegh relation Renaissance royal satire scrine secrecy secretary's secretaryship selfe Shepheardes Calender Sidney Similarly social sonnet Spenser's career Spenser's poetic Spenserian stanza suggest Thomalin Thomas Nashe treatises trope University Press veil Virgilian vocation writing
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