1805
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Works of Edumnd Spenser.

The Works of Edumnd Spenser with the Principal Illustrations of Various Commentators. 8 Vols [Rev. Henry John Todd, ed.]

Edmund Spenser


Henry John Todd's landmark variorum edition of the Works of Spenser is dedicated to George III. The contents include: "Some Account of the Life of Spenser," "List of Editions," "Alterations of Spenser," "Pieces of Criticism relating to Spenser," "Imitations of Spenser," "Commendatory Verses on Spenser," as well as reprints of essays by Hughes, Spence, Warton, Upton, and Hughes, "Glossorial Index," "Accentual Index," and "General Index." The General Index is very imperfect, and much more information on Spenser's reception may be found by trolling through the volumes.

Henry John Todd: "To the reverend John Warton, the son of Dr. Joseph Warton, I am highly indebted for the use of the second folio edition of Spenser's Works, the margins of which contain the manuscript notes of his uncle, the reverend Thomas Warton. These notes, as far as they relate to the Faerie Queene, are the rudiments of the admirable Observations on that poem long since published; but, in regard to the remaining Poems, they are often new, curious, and highly interesting; and are inserted in their proper places" (1805) 1: preface.

Jewel Wurtsbaugh: "While his labors hardly attained to the standard he claims, Todd's text is obviously an improvement upon others, notably as regards the minor poems. Professor Ernest de Selincourt, one of the most painstaking of the recent editors of the poems, commends his predecessor's work as a valuable and fully annotated edition. He shows that Todd printed the Shepheardes Calender from the third quarto, collating with the second and fifth, but with no reference to the first or fourth. The absence of a date from the title page of the second perhaps misled him into thinking it the first. He frequently refers to the first folio of the Works, but where this and the second folio differ as to the minor poems, Todd follows the lections of 1617. Like Upton, he was confused by the binding up of a 1611-1612 or 13 Faerie Queene with copies of the minor poems in the text of 1617. Todd, however, was the first editor after 1679 to print E.K.'s gloss and the 'Arguments' to the Calender; he was also the first editor to annotate all the minor poems" Two Centuries of Spenserian Scholarship (1936) 144-45.