Edmund Spensers epic poem The Faerie Queene is what I chose for the 1500-1599 section of the 2016 reading challenge. This book is a poem that was written as a love letter to Queen Elizabeth. Using the power of a fairy tales around him, this poem is like no other I have read. Split into six parts this may be a bit of a long blog post.
In the first part we are introduced to the Redcrosse Knight who receives power from his holiness. From there he and his lady, Una, travel together fight a dragon only to return home to his parents. From there we are lead into the second part of the book where the virtue of temperance is bestowed upon Sir Guyon. However, this man is fleeing from his hometown to escape the Redcrosse Knight. When he discovers a young lady who is trying to kill herself, he is able to stop her. When he starts to relay this information to others he learns of a witch being behind all of this. Soon after Book three starts we learn that the virtue of chastity is bestowed upon Sir Britomart, a lady knight. With the help of Guyon and his friend Arthur, he is able to stop to rescue the Redcrosse Knight. When Britomart informs the men of her quest she is able to resist the sexual temptation and win part of the war. In the final three books we learn of their friendship as it cements further. With the help of one another, they are able to find the final virtues as they are bestowed upon three other knights in their company.
Well this post was shorter than I thought. Throughout this epic poem by Edmund Spenser we are introduced to different virtues as people work together to achieve a common goal. In 1536, The Faerie Queene was published to the likes of every one around.