The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

Maik Goth, Monsters and the Poetic Imagination in The Faerie Queene, and Tara Pedersen, Mermaids and the Production of Knowledge in Early Modern England

Katritzky, M. A. (2016). Maik Goth, Monsters and the Poetic Imagination in The Faerie Queene, and Tara Pedersen, Mermaids and the Production of Knowledge in Early Modern England. Spenser Review, 46(1), article no. 6.

URL: http://www.english.cam.ac.uk/spenseronline/review/...
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

[Book reviews]

Maik Goth’s stated aim is “a comprehensive reading of monsters and monstrous beings” throughout the whole of The Faerie Queene. Parts I and II of this ambitious, innovative contribution to Spenser studies place The Faerie Queene’s monsters in the context of teratological, historical, and literary perspectives on the monstrous, and offer a valuable taxonomic account under six headings: dragons, four-footed beasts, human-animal composites, giants, monstrous humans, and automata. Part III analyzes their relevance to Early Modern discourse on poetic creation and advances Goth’s illuminating theory of Spenser as Prometheus. The volume is rounded off with a brief conclusion (Part IV), substantial bibliographies of primary and secondary sources, and a scholarly index. Tara Pedersen’s monograph brings together four chapters and an afterword, consecutively discussing, in relation to a single type of monster (mermaids), Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton’s The Roaring Girl, Margaret Cavendish’s The Convent of Pleasure, The Faerie Queene (chapter 3: “Perfect Pictures: the Mermaid’s Half-theater and the Anti-theatrical Debates in Book II of Spenser’s The Faerie Queene”), Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra, and Hamlet. Literary monsters, central to Goth’s argument, but pushed to the margins of Pedersen’s discussion of The Faerie Queene, which foregrounds “the text itself as mermaid” (82), inform their shared theme. Both identify Spenser as a writer whose reactions to ongoing cultural trends shaped his poetry, and privilege the monstrous as a major key to placing his creative output in relation to Early Modern literary theory, as expressed in George Puttenham’s Arte of English Poesie of 1589 and Philip Sidney’s Defence of Poesy of 1595 (Goth), and Stephen Gosson’s Playes Confuted in Fiue Actions of 1582 and School of Abuse of 1579 (Pedersen).

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2016 The Author
Extra Information: Goth, Maik.
Monsters and the Poetic Imagination in The Faerie Queene: ‘Most ugly shapes, and horrible aspects.’
Manchester UP, 2015.
viii + 365 pp.
ISBN: 978-0719095719.

Pedersen, Tara.
Mermaids and the Production of Knowledge in Early Modern England.
Ashgate P, 2015.
x + 155 pp.
ISBN: 978-1472440013.
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities > English & Creative Writing
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: History of Books and Reading (HOBAR)
Item ID: 46506
Depositing User: M. A. Katritzky
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2016 09:47
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 08:48
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/46506
Share this page:

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU