The Faerie Queene
This new translation by Ben Shealy of Spenser’s Faerie Queene seems, upon first look, to be rather easy in intent — a fashionable version of a traditional work, designed to be read aloud to youngsters. But a little bit time spent with the amount quickly brings the cautious reader to the conclusion that it’s, actually, fairly formidable in scope and beautifully realized. Shealy, with skillful support from gifted illustrator Anne Shealy, has managed to make the original textual content — which is impenetrable to the fashionable reader — simultaneously accessible, entertaining and enlightening while reaching the goal of retaining some sense of the original Elizabethan poetic language. The result is a modern day excursion deep into the previous, where knights roam the countryside and dragons and ogres abound. It quickly turns into obvious to the reader what a very deep debt a lot of trendy culture owes to Spenser. Shape-shifters, the occult, and the steady battle between good and evil come to life vividly – straight from the 16th century.