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date: 13 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines Spenser's secretarial career. It looks carefully at published and prescriptive accounts of the office of a secretary in Elizabethan England, as well as the archival evidence of Spenser's practice of secretaryship in Ireland, where the idea of a secretarial career found (for Spenser) its covert, particular, material, and significant expression. From the opposition between these two ways of examining Spenser as a secretary — ideal and particularized, English and Irish — will emerge those ethical and epistemological problems, with their concomitant opportunities, that Spenser seems to have discovered in his epistolary career.

Keywords: secretary, secretaryship, Ireland, Elizabethan England

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