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Amoretti was a sonnet cycle written by Edmund Spenser in the 16th century. The cycle describes his courtship and eventual marriage to Elizabeth Boyle.

Amoretti was first published in 1595 in London by William Ponsonby. It was printed as part of a volume entitled “Amoretti and Epithalamion. Written not long since by Edmunde Spenser.” The volume included the sequence of 89 sonnets, along with a series of short poems called Anacreontics and an Epithalamion, a public poetic celebration of marriage. “The volume memorializes Spenser’s courtship of Elizabeth Boyle, a young, well-born Anglo Irish woman, and the couple’s wedding on June 11, 1594”. (Prescott, Anne Lake. “Spenser’s Shorter Poems.”)

Amoretti has been largely overlooked and unappreciated by critics, who see it as inferior to other major Renaissance sonnet sequences in the Petrarchan tradition. In addition, it has been overshadowed by Spenser’s other works, most notably The Faerie Queene, his epic allegorical masterpiece. C. S. Lewis, among the most important contemporary Spenser scholars said that “Spenser was not one of the great sonneteers”. However, closer examinations have shown that Spenser’s sonnets are innovative, express a range of tones and emotions, and are much more skillful and subtle than generally recognized.

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