Interviews,  Show Notes,  Uncategorized

Episode 95: An Introduction to Edmund Spenser with Kelly Cumbee

This week, your Literary Life podcast hosts, Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks are happy to be joined by Kelly Cumbee to talk about Edmund Spenser. They begin the conversation with Kelly giving a little biographical information on Spenser. Kelly shares how she came to read The Faerie Queene with her own children and for her education, then fell in love with it herself. Angelina talks about Spenser’s style of writing and his vision for creating a medieval feel in his work. Kelly gives us a brief synopsis of the general outline of The Faerie Queene and the virtues that are the focus of each book. Some other topics they discuss are the courtly love tradition, the harmony between the court and the country, the journey of the soul pictured in the quest stories, and the levels of reading that may be applied to The Faerie Queene.

Cindy is hosting a new summer discipleship course for moms this year, so head over to for more info and to sign up! Thomas and Angelina also have some great summer classes coming up, and you can check those out at

You can find Kelly Cumbee on her blog at Landscape Plotted and Pieced.

Listen to The Literary Life:

Commonplace Quotes:

That best portion of a good man’s life,

His little, nameless, unremembered acts

Of kindness and of love…

William Wordsworth

That men have been burnt alive willingly is a fact of no little interest to anyone who has ever put his hand in the flame of a candle.

G. K. Chesterton

The poem is a great palace, but the door into it is so low that you must stoop to go in. No prig can be a Spenserian. It is, of course, much more than a fairy tale, but unless we can enjoy it as a fairy tale first of all, we shall not really care for it.

C. S. Lewis

I chose books that I wanted to read for my own education and brought the children along with me. This made homeschooling and morning time a feast for my soul as well as theirs.

Jamie Marstall

Amoretti LXXV: One Day I Wrote her Name

by Edmund Spenser

One day I wrote her name upon the strand,
But came the waves and washed it away:
Again I wrote it with a second hand,
But came the tide, and made my pains his prey.
“Vain man,” said she, “that dost in vain assay,
A mortal thing so to immortalize;
For I myself shall like to this decay,
And eke my name be wiped out likewise.”
“Not so,” (quod I) “let baser things devise
To die in dust, but you shall live by fame:
My verse your vertues rare shall eternize,
And in the heavens write your glorious name:
Where whenas death shall all the world subdue,
Our love shall live, and later life renew.”

Book List:

The Shepheard’s Calendar by Edmund Spenser

St. George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges and Trina Schart Hyman

Fierce Wars and Faithful Loves by Edmund Spenser and Roy Maynard

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser, ed. by A. C. Hamilton

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser, Penguin edition

Orlando Furioso by Lodovico Ariosto

The Aeneid by Virgil

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

The Allegory of Love by C. S. Lewis

The Last Romantics by Graham Hough

A Book of Emblems by Andrea Alciati

Stories from The Faerie Queene by Jenny Lang

Stories from The Faerie Queene by Mary Macleod

Hackett Classics Faerie Queene Collection

Amoretti by Edmund Spenser

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at

Find Cindy at, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going!

Subscribe to The Lit Life:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *