Beloved Allegory: Spenser After C.S. Lewis

full name / name of organization: 
The Sixteenth-Century Studies Society and Conference

The Allegory of Love, first published in 1936, revolutionized the reading of The Faerie Queene. Lewis's learning, the brilliance of his style, and above all the absolute seriousness with which he took the poem gave an impetus to Spenser studies from which we all continue to benefit. Or do we? According to Paul Alpers, Lewis left "a mixed heritage to Spenser criticism". Is Lewis's uncompromising moralism a drawback to his his work? Or is it an essential part of treating Spenser, to quote Alpers again, "as a living poet"? This panel aims to consider the value, cost, and future of Lewis's influence. Some questions we might consider are: 1) how radical was Lewis's reading? 2) How far is he still taken seriously today? 3) How did Spenser influence Lewis's own fiction and poetry? 4) Can Lewis, himself so popular among the young, help us to bring Spenser back to the classroom – or is he more of a stumbling-block, in a world with such different erotic preconceptions?
Please send abstracts (c. 250 words) by March 15th to .