Selections from The Faerie Queene

  • by Edmund Spenser
  • Narrated by John Moffatt
  • 4 hrs and 1 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This remarkable poem, dedicated to Queen Elizabeth I, was Spenser's finest achievement: the first epic poem in modern English. The Faerie Queene combines dramatic narratives of chivalrous adventure with exquisite and picturesque episodes of pageantry. At the same time, Spenser is expounding a deeply-felt allegory of the eternal struggle between Truth and Error.


Audible Editor Reviews

Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be an academic to appreciate and even thoroughly enjoy Edmund Spenser's classic 16th-century epic poem The Faerie Queene, an allegorical work written in praise of Queen Elizabeth I, and detailing in precise and enchanting Spenserian stanzas the adventures a party of knights encounters while undertaking a quest for the titular "Faerie Queene".
Actor John Moffatt's deep, mellifluous voice accentuates the rich poetry of this enduring work, and he navigates very surely the rhythms of this famed epic. His pronunciation and pacing are nigh flawless, but even more, the energy he brings to this performance makes it easy to lean back and lose yourself in a fantastical realm of monsters, and adventure.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


The description of this Audiobook should have mentioned that this recording only covers the FIRST of the six books of the Faerie Queene. Specifically: It only contains the story of the Redcrosse Knight. (Yes, in hindsight, I now see hints of trouble: i.e., the running time of the recording and the reference in the description to an allegory of truth and error.) Nevertheless, because it was billed as the FAERIE QUEENE (and not just one-sixth of it), I ordered the darned thing. To make matters worse, I burned it to CD, and for some reason Audible's conversion program skips not just words but whole stanzas so that I now have a bunch of fragments of one book of the FAERIE QUEENE, rather than the whole thing. I have fragments of a fragment. Joy, joy. Case in point: The CD I ended up with contains, nowhere in it, the most famous line of the poem -- the first one ("A gentle knight was pricking on the plain..."). It reads off the first three words of that line and then jumps down seven lines; the two parts don't connect at all. Several stanzas latter, there's another skip. Then another. All the way through the entire book. All four of the CDs I ran off in my attempts to make this work do the same thing, and no CDs I burn through other programs do this, so I'm pretty sure this one's Audible's responsibility. I will be trying to get a refund, but am not optimistic. This buyer didn't beware; you should.
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- Graham

Missing and repeated portions

Following on the other reviews, the reading is excellent and the introductory summaries of the cantos are useful. However, my copy seems to repeat some sections of canto 3. At 4 hours I knew this reading couldn't include the whole work, but that a significant section of what's here is the same thing twice is not a pleasant surprise.
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- Wendy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-26-2000
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks