Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 181
Edmund Spenser's ‘‘The Shepheardes Calendar’’ (1579) is a series of poems that celebrate the pastoral tradition and perfection of country life.
John Milton's Paradise Lost (1667) is the story of the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. Milton derived many of his ideas from The Faerie Queene.
Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur (1485) is the story of King Arthur. Spenser also uses many of the Arthurian legends in The Faerie Queene.
Sir Philip Sidney's Defence of Poesy (1579) argues that poetry serves an important purpose in the education of people and maintains that poetry is superior to philosophy and history in teaching about virtue.
Virgil's The Aeneid (30-11 B.C.) is a Roman epic that served as an important influence for Spencer's epic. The story of Aeneas and his journey establishes a history for the Roman people and the heroic behavior of Aeneas serves as a model for which men should strive.
The Cambridge Cultural History: 16th Century Britain (1992) edited by Boris Ford, provides an accessible history of sixteenth century life, including: cultural and social life, architecture, literature, music, art, and Renaissance gardens.
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