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Reconstructing Lord Grey's Reputation: A New View of the View

Catherine G. Canino
The Sixteenth Century Journal
Vol. 29, No. 1 (Spring, 1998), pp. 3-18
DOI: 10.2307/2544378
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2544378
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Reconstructing Lord Grey's Reputation: A New View of the View
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Abstract

The View of the Present State of Ireland, a work traditionally attributed to the poet Edmund Spenser, purports to defend the reputation of Arthur, Lord Grey of Wilton, lord deputy of Ireland from 1580 to 1582. Because Spenser was Grey's secretary during his tenure in Ireland, generations of historians have accepted the View as an accurate characterization of the lord deputy and his handling of the battle of Smerwick on November 11, 1580. Specifically, the View contends that Grey's treatment of the Smerwick captives earned him censure throughout England and eventually precipitated his recall from Ireland in disgrace. However, read in the light of contemporary accounts and the state papers, the View's assessment of Grey seems to be inaccurate and incompatible with the experience and insight of Edmund Spenser. In fact, the View may be the source, rather than response, to rumors regarding Lord Grey.

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