CR Episode 44: The Faerie Queene, Book III, Cantos 1-6

Britomart, by Walter Crane
Britomart, by Walter Crane

Download Link: Released 2020.07.06

The panel adds a new member, and begins a discussion of the first half of The Faerie Queene, Book III, by focusing on the character of Britomart, her historical and mythological characterisation, potential allegorical connexions, and chivalric impact.


  1. This past semester in my lit theory class we read through The Faerie Queene among other works from the Elizabethan era. For my term paper, I read an article that talked about how Britomart, who is commonly associated with Elizabeth, is actually going against that association because of her sole mission in her book is to find Artegall and have children, the one things that Elizabeth never did. I was wondering what you guys thought of that reading and if you see this usurp of Elizabeth’s authority in other parts of the poem. Maybe Spenser wasn’t as supportive of Elizabeth as it initially comes across, so kind of a Reconstructionist reading in a way.

  2. @Claire: Thank you for your comment!

    The idea of Britomart as complicating an Elizabethan allegorical reading is one that our panelists quite like, so we’ll be taking up your question in our next episode. If you happen to have the article reference, I’ll ‘assign’ it to the other panelists before we record on Wednesday. :)

  3. I’m so sorry, I just saw this. I honestly wasn’t expecting a response. I know it’s late so you won’t be able to talk about the article but the title is “Displacing Feminine Authority in the Faerie Queene” by Villeponteaux if you want to read it for fun I guess, I got access through Jstor!

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