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Edmund Spenser (c.1552-99) conducted two careers at once: a celebrated poet, he also pursued a lifelong career as secretary to various political and ecclesiastical figures. Richard Rambuss's ground-breaking book explores the ways in which this latter profession informed his poetic career. It argues that for Spenser, the manipulation of secrets provided a strategy for self-promotion and a means of measuring his distance from royal and aristocratic power. The study presents a new picture of Spenser and examines ideas of gender, power, and subjecthood in the Renaissance.