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Faerie Queene Links

fqSince The Faerie Queene is one of my favorite pieces of literature, and because I have been blogging about it recently, I thought I would share with you some links to various sources that you can use to read the work.

Here is The Faerie Queene in its entirety, as Spenser wrote it.ย  This is what I have been reading, since I have it in book form.ย  The spelling looks daunting at first, but you get used to it after a while.ย  In that time V and U were the same letter; V being used as a capital letter and at the beginning of words, and U elsewhere, in a Latinate fashion.ย  Also this was apparently before the invention of the letter J, so if you come across the word ioy you’ll know what it’s talking about. Read More

So much for a happy ending.

Just this morning I finished the third book of Spenser’s Faerie Queene, the Legend of Britomartis.ย  While the story line took different twists and turns, and chased a rabbit here and there, it comes to a climactic end as Britomart enters the castle of an evil enchanter, attempting to rescue Sir Scudamore’s beloved Amoret who is imprisoned there.ย  Before discussing the ending, however, I want to tell of something else I found interesting. Read More

Flight of Florimell

Flight of Florimell

Like as an hind forth singled from the herd,
That hath escapรฉd from a ravenous beast,
Yet flies away of her own feet afeard,
And every leaf, that shaketh with the least
Murmur of wind, her terror hath increased;
So fled fair Florimell from her vain fear,
Long after she from peril was released:
Each shade she saw, and each noise she did hear,
Did seem to be the same, which she escaped whilere.

All that same evening she in flying spent,
And all that night her course continuรฉd:
Nor did she let dull sleep once to relent,
Nor weariness to slack her haste, but fled
Ever alike, as if her former dread
Were hard behind, her ready to arrest:
And her white palfrey having conquerรฉd
The mastering reins out of her weary wrest,
Perforce her carried, wherever he thought best.

—Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene: Book III, canto VII, stanzas I and II

Painting by Washington Allston, 1819: Flight of Florimell

Summer Reading Plans

One thing I didn’t do much of at college was free reading. And while I would gladly attribute this to my all-consuming studies, the truth is that one will find time for what one loves to do, and I am sure that I could have read more if I had really wanted to.

But now is the summer, and a chance for me to catch up on my reading. Following you will find the various books that I am reading at the moment.

The Geography of Thought – How Asians and Westerners Think Differently…and Why, by Richard Nisbett.ย  This book is very interesting so far.ย  Last fall I wrote a research paper and did a presentation on the history of the linguistic relativity theory, and this reminded a friend of mine of this book, which he then allowed me to borrow.ย  Both this book and my research involved the idea of different world-views—not as religious mindsets, but simply different ways of perceiving and categorizing the world—and this is quite fascinating.

The Legend of Britomartis (Third Book of The Faerie Queene), by Edmund Spenser.ย  I have been slowly working through this great magnum opus of Spenser’s, and despite the archaic language and spelling, the poetry is quite good and I have enjoyed acquainting myself with fantasy from the time of the Renaissance.ย  Each book of The Faerie Queene demonstrates a certain virtue, and this particular book is on chastity.ย  It is interesting to note that the hero of the story is actually a heroine–something that is somewhat unexpected in a work this old.

The Children of Hรบrin, by J.R.R. Tolkien.ย  This is yet another posthumously published work of Tolkien’s, which his son has put together from his writings.ย  I read somewhere that about 30% of the text of this book has never before been published, while the rest may be found in The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales.ย  I have only read a little so far, but this is evident since I have read both of these works.ย  The Children of Hรบrin contains the tragic tale of Tรบrin Turambar, which I highly recommend despite its less-than-happy ending.ย  It somewhat reminds me of ล’dipus.ย  But even if you have already read the Narn i Chรฎn Hรบrin, you may still enjoy this volume for the fine illustrations by Alan Lee.