Spenser is believed to have been born in London, England in c.AD1552. Edmund Spenser was born into nobility, to a family that is well known today. He is reputed to have been part of the Spencer’s of Althorpe Park, the same ancestral line as Princess Diana.
He received the majority of his education at tow institutions, the first being Merchant Taylor’s School and later at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, England leaving in AD1576.
Spenser is known as an Elizabethan English poet and courtier, believed to have gained first employment with the Earl of Leicester and to have been a companion of another English poet Sir Philip Sidney (AD1554-86). His relationship with Sidney has been the cause of much speculation despite Sidney’s marriage to Francis, the daughter of Sir Francis Walsingham in AD1583.
He is also reputed to have been a member of the Society of Wits, or ‘Areopagus’. The blossoming of Elizabethan poetry is said to have been led by Spenser, with his inspirational work entitled ‘The Shepheard’s Calender’ in AD1579, a work dedicated to Sydney (a reference to his companion, and patron, who is buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, England). During the 1590’s Spenser is believed to have been in the employment of Lord Essex.
Having been appointed a secretary to the Lord Deputy of Ireland in AD1580, Spenser received the present of Kilcolman Castle, County of Cork, for his help in helping to quash the Irish rebellion. He is believed to have moved here in AD1586, but after a further Irish rebellion it was burned to the ground in AD1598. He escaped with his wife, nee Elizabeth Boyle to the safety of Cork and then to London.
Whilst at Kilcolman Castle, Dyce set about writing the works of the ‘Faerie Queene’ which he presented to Queen Elizabeth I in London, England. It is through this work that he is associated with Arthurian legend rather than Arthurian historical fact, as it reflects all that was held in high state during the Renaissance. The fourth book of the Faerie Queene series was completed in c.AD1589, being published in AD1590, with the last edition being completed in c.AD1598.
Died in c.AD1599, and was buried at Westminster Abbey, London, England..
Other works by Edmund Spenser
Complaints inc. Muiopotmos (c.AD1591)
Mother Hubberd’s Tale, date uncertain.
The Early Tears of the Muses, date uncertain.
Colin Clout’s Come Home Again (AD1595)
The Four Hymns (c.AD1596)
View of the Present State of Ireland (c.AD1597)