A woodcut from "The Shepheardes Calender" from the 1617 folio, the second edition of the complete poems of Edmund Spenser

A woodcut from "The Shepheardes Calender" from the 1617 folio, the second edition of the complete poems of Edmund Spenser
A woodcut from "The Shepheardes Calender" from the 1617 folio, the second edition of the complete poems of Edmund Spenser. The genre of the illustrated shepherd"s calendar originated in France in the early sixteenth century. The blocks from which these woodcuts were printed date back to the first edition of the "Calender" in 1579, and were destroyed at some point in the seven-teenth century after publication of the second edition of the complete poems, the last book in which these woodcuts appear. The images are not necessarily consistent with the text (unlike those found in sixteenth century emblem books), but note the broken bagpipe at Colin Clout's feet symbolizing his rejection of poetry as an earthly vanity.

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