An interactive outline of Book 1 of The Faerie Queene

This site is intended to give students the minimal structure for Spenser's Faerie Queene, allowing them to worry a little less about getting the plot correct and a little more about what Spenser is doing in verse.

Frontispiece for the 1590 Faerie Queene
Frontispiece for the 1590 Faerie Queene

The Faerie Queene is an epic poem written by Edmund Spenser toward the end of the sixteenth century. The original plan was to have 12 books, each one telling the tale of a knight who represented a virtue. The first book, for example, is the story of Redcrosse Knight; he represents holiness. Spenser never finished his work. He published the first three books in 1590 and the second three in 1596. Spenser died in 1599, but a further few cantos—the cantos of Mutabilitie—from an unfinished book were published in 1609.

To use this site, simply navigate to a particular canto. Click on the headings to expand the stanzas beneath. Headings with plus signs at the end have additional subheadings beneath.

Users of this site should note that the headings, and the idea of an outline itself, can be misleading. I encourage all users to check out the pages for students and teachers.

If you find this site lacking, consider contributing. I welcome suggestions from all who would like to improve the content. Please email me at faeriequeeneoutline@gmail.com.

The base text used here is by George Armstrong Wauchope, published in 1903. It has been used because it is in the public domain. Serious study of The Faerie Queene should be done with the Longman edition. All text of The Faerie Queene has been taken from public domain sources. All images appearing here have been taken from Wikimedia Commons and are in the public domain. The actual outline itself is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This means that you can feel free to use the outline freely (copy, print, modify, tweak) given that you attribute its creation, don't use it in commercial products, and make any derivative works available under the same license.