Since its appearance in 1990, The Spenser Encyclopedia has become the reference book for scholarship on Edmund Spenser (1552-99), offering a detailed, literary guide to his life, works, and influence. Comprehensive in scope and international in outlook, the encyclopedia contains some 700 entries by 422 contributors in 20 countries. An index provides access to material not obvious at first glance through the main body of the book, and all works cited more than once in the encyclopedia are included in an extensive bibliography. A brief historical preface and a guide to using the encyclopedia are included. This paperback edition brings this tool within range of all Spenser scholars.
'This is the Spenser encyclopedia ... far surpassing in scope, size, and ambition any Spenser handbooks, reference guides, supplements, or topical dictionaries that have preceded it ... The editors and contributors have produced a monumental work, which in scope and composition, is admirably well conceived and methodologically superior to all other such reference works on literary figures.'
"It is hard to see that the Encyclopedia, given its premises, could be any better than it is ... Certainly every university library ought to order a copy and no one should start to write anything on Spenser without consulting the Encyclopedia first.'