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Andrew Hadfield

Författare till Edmund Spenser: A Life

31+ verk 290 medlemmar 2 recensioner

Om författaren

Andrew Hadfield is Professor of English at the University of Sussex and Visiting Professor at the University of Granada.

Inkluderar namnet: Andrew ed. Hadfield

Inkluderar även: A. Hadfield (1)

Foto taget av: University of Sussex

Verk av Andrew Hadfield

Edmund Spenser: A Life (2012) 37 exemplar, 2 recensioner
Early Modern English Drama: A Critical Companion (2005) — Redaktör — 30 exemplar
Shakespeare and Republicanism (2005) 12 exemplar
Literature and Popular Culture in Early Modern England (2009) — Redaktör — 8 exemplar
Edmund Spenser (1996) 7 exemplar
Julius Caesar 1 exemplar

Associerade verk

A View of the State of Ireland (1633) — Redaktör — 38 exemplar
The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare (Oxford Handbooks) (2012) — Bidragsgivare — 30 exemplar
The Shakespeare circle : an alternative biography (2015) — Bidragsgivare — 26 exemplar
The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Religion (2019) — Bidragsgivare — 12 exemplar
The Oxford handbook of Shakespearean tragedy (2016) — Bidragsgivare — 9 exemplar
The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Drama (Oxford Handbooks) (2012) — Bidragsgivare — 7 exemplar
Shakespeare studies Volume XL (2012) — Bidragsgivare — 4 exemplar


Allmänna fakta




Good for what there is to work with, but most of that isn't very interesting. One of the few cases where the poet's life doesn't at all approach the level of interest that the poet's work commands.
judeprufrock | 1 annan recension | Jul 4, 2023 |
The first word that comes to mind after reading through this monumental new biography of the 16th-century poet is definitely thoroughness. Hadfield does an excellent job of filling in the lacunas surrounding Spenser who, as with his contemporary William Shakespeare, left little in the form of hard evidence concerning his life. Of course, there is always the poetry, which is obviously the main reason for being interested in Spenser. But Hadfield goes much further than this in giving an overview of the milieu in which Spenser existed. This biography gives one great insight into the late 16th century, contextualising Spenser and his contemporaries while still focussing on the tangible aspects of Spenser’s life.

Hadfield mentions in the introduction that some literary critics actively dislike “speculative” biographies (of course, all biography is, to a degree, speculative). But he points out that, given the dearth of evidence concerning Spenser’s life, it is often necessary to offer some conjectures about Spenser and his work that are not cast in stone. For the most part, Hadfield walks a careful line, avoiding overly trite speculations while not being afraid of relating Spenser’s life to what is genuinely known about other 16th-century writers. Admittedly, I sometimes found myself strongly disagreeing with some of his suppositions, especially regarding his readings of some parts of The Faerie Queene. But Hadfield is thoroughly aware that everyone will not agree with his arguments, and he gives ample notes on differing interpretations. The notes are on the whole incredibly thorough, and Hadfield also provides a detailed bibliography at the back of the book for anyone interested in Spenseriana. He also has appendices on Spenser’s progeny, portraits of Spenser, and other biographical writing on Spenser.

The book has interesting things to say about Spenser’s upbringing and his religion which, although Protestant, seems to have been more ecumenical than previously thought (both his sons seem to have become Catholic, although one later recanted). Hadfield’s account of the growth of “The Prince of Poets’” sensibilities is enthralling, showing how the imposition of Protestantism in England affected the common people and the aristocracy, as well as artists and writers. Spenser’s career is clearly delineated, showing that he was never really an insider at court, but neither was he banished to Ireland (well, probably not). Hadfield does an excellent job of tying together the different strings of Spenser’s life, sifting fact from fiction, and presenting Spenser as the pre-eminent poet of his generation, who was much more highly regarded than Shakespeare at the time.

Hadfield also writes sensitively about Spenser’s time in Ireland and his writings concerning the Irish, which have often been vociferously criticised. Hadfield makes clear the historical situation and the pressures that Spenser experienced as a new inhabitant/colonialist, without making excuses for Spenser’s sometimes shocking responses to the situation in Ireland and his defence of English policy in the country. I am somewhat wary of writing too much about this, as it is hard to give a swift overview of this aspect of Spenser’s writings without distorting the truth or hurting the feelings of those whose ancestors suffered because of English policy. Perhaps I should just say that I admire Spenser’s poetry, dislike his writing about Ireland, but understand the context in which he wrote. I would rather focus on his accomplishment as a poet, while not condoning his other views.

This is Hadfield’s first full biography (he has written short entries for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography), and he claims that it might be the last one he writes. This would be a shame, as he writes superlatively well, and obviously has an extensive knowledge of the period. Although I did not always agree with him, I genuinely enjoyed reading the book. It might, however, be heavy going for people who have not read anything by Spenser. I finished reading The Faerie Queene in conjunction with Hadfield’s book, which enriched my reading of Spenser. Now I only have to get to his shorter poems.
… (mer)
3 rösta
dmsteyn | 1 annan recension | Dec 24, 2012 |


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