Title page for the "Epithalamion," Spenser's great marriage hymn of 1595

Title page for the Epithalamion by Spencer
Title page for the "Epithalamion," Spenser's great marriage hymn of 1595, from the second edition of the "Works" of Edmund Spenser (1617). This classical genre was not popular during the reign of Elizabeth, in part because of her own stalwart identity as the "virgin queen." The decora- tive device here, in addition to signifying concord, seems to allude to the anchor image which appears on imprints from the famous Aldine press in Venice a century earlier. Spenser wrote this poem to celebrate his own marriage to Elizabeth Boyle in 1594.

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