We were inspired to look more closely at some of the key figures that appear in our Little History books by an interaction with a reader on the Little History facebook page. We really liked the idea of finding out what the series has to say about all sorts of ‘remarkable people’, both heroes and villains, and we’re putting together this resource for you to explore. Whether you’re looking for help with your homework (!), or trying to fill a gap in your knowledge, Little History books and their cast of characters have plenty to offer.
Renaissance English poet and author of 'The Faerie Queene'
1552 – 1599
Born in London and educated at Cambridge, Edmund Spenser was a major English poet during the Renaissance. His first important work, The Shepheardes Calender, was published around 1579. Shortly thereafter, he was posted to Ireland to serve as secretary for the Lord Deputy, Arthur Grey. There, he wrote most of his masterpiece, The Faerie Queene (1590), an allegorical poem which glorifies the reign of Elizabeth I and imaginatively pits the forces of Protestantism against the threat of Catholicism.
In A Little History of Literature, Sutherland introduces great classics in his own irresistible way, enlivening his offerings with humour as well as learning: Beowulf, Shakespeare, Don Quixote, the Romantics, Dickens, Moby Dick, The Waste Land, Woolf, …