Home  »  Volume XI: English THE PERIOD OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION  »  § 3. The Spenserian Stanza

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XI. The Period of the French Revolution.

XI. The Prosody of the Eighteenth Century

§ 3. The Spenserian Stanza

Another of these centres of free trade in verse was the Spenserian stanza. The dislike of stanzas of all kinds which, as we saw, grew during the seventeenth century, was, as shown below, seriously formulated at the beginning of the eighteenth, and may be said to have been more or less orthodox throughout its course. But the exceptional charm of Spenser broke through this; and no small body of imitations—bad enough, as a rule, but saved by the excellence of at least part of The Castle of Indolence, and, perhaps, The Schoolmistress, as well as by the influence, if not the intrinsic merit, of The Minstrel—found its way into print.