Book II, Canto X
At the end of the last post we left off with Arthur reading a book. It’s almost exactly the same content as The History of the Kings of Britain by Geoffrey of Monmouth, and Spenser spends most of this canto summarizes the genealogy and stories. My head hurts thinking about summarizing a summary of another book (which itself borrows heavily from other sources), so instead I am going to direct you to the venerable Wikipedia, where you can learn more about Geoffrey’s book and the stories of Brutus and the founding of Albion, King Lear, Boadicea, and more!
I know this may seem like a cop-out, but you’re not the one who will have to type out all 63 stanzas of names, now are you?
The book that Arthur is reading cuts off abruptly during the story of Uther Pendragon (who is Arthur’s biological father, in case you don’t know anything about him). Arthur has a 1-stanza burst of patriotism and then we turn to Guyon’s reading material.
Prometheus created the first being, an elf. The elf went out one day and encountered an unknown creature he named a Faery. It appears that their offspring multiplied quickly, with the eldest son Elfin ruling the land of India and America. His son Elfinan founded Cleopolis (the capitol city of Faerieland), and after several more characters whose named begin with Elf-, we learn that a ruler named Oberon was the father of Tanaquill, known to us as Gloriana.
Thus our knights learn their countries’ history and the ancestry of their monarchs. At last Alma in her wisdom knows that it is time for dinner and the knights depart the library.