Abstract

“Blood Guiltiness” situates book 2 of Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene in the context of the protocapitalist mode of production, nascent in late-sixteenth-century England and in the colonial New World. The Mammon episode in particular mounts a critique of temperance in its protocapitalistic conception—the virtue of patient delay Max Weber would call the “Protestant ethic”—as a whitewashing fiction obscuring the violent truth of colonial mining. Spenser’s Guyon hides behind his eponymous virtue to deny his complicity in the hellish suffering of New World labor, revealing the inadequacy of temperance to serve as an ethical foundation in the newly transatlantic world.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 35-66
Launched on MUSE
2009-02-13
Open Access
No
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