Rebecca taught literature and rhetoric in a classical school for seven years, where she also served as department chair. Currently, she is the Editorial Director for Oasis Family Media in Carol Stream, Illinois. She studied English at Georgetown College as an undergraduate and received her MA in Storytelling/Oral Literature from East Tennessee State University. She has worked as a lyricist for Ron Block of Alison Krauss and Union Station and has been a featured speaker at Hutchmoot, both in the United States and in the United Kingdom. She is also the author of Courage, Dear Heart, published by Nav Press. Rebecca has a weakness for Elizabethan literature, university libraries, sencha tea, and her Cavalier King Charles spaniel–who is likely sitting on her lap at this very moment.
Her interest in creating a text-faithful rendering of the The Faerie Queene began while teaching Book One, Canto One to a classroom full of ninth graders. She says, “I realized that Spenser was largely overlooked in most curriculum plans, and what a shame! Because Spenser was writing with an archaic language style that never really existed, he was much harder to understand than relative contemporaries like Shakespeare and Marlowe. Fourteen-year-olds who could easily read Julius Caesar, were stumped trying to access The Faerie Queene. Yet, Spenser’s stories are rich, inspiring a great many authors and poets who followed him. As I took time to help my students understand Spenser, they were delighted. I knew then, I had to help other readers too daunted to tackle this challenging but magical text on their own.”
Justin Gerard, Illustrator
Justin is an independent artist based in Greenville, South Carolina. He has worked within the publishing and film industries, providing illustrations for such clients as Disney, Dreamworks, Warner Brothers, Harper Collins, Penguin Books, and Random House. He has also worked in the game industry for Sony, Riot, Blizzard, Hasbro, Wizards of the Coast, Kabaam, Cryptozoic, and Riotminds. Justin’s work has been regularly featured in art competitions such as Spectrum Fantastic Art and The Society of Illustrators Annuals and Expose. He also contributes articles and tutorials for Imagine FX and Muddycolors His work has been featured in Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, and the Society of Illustrators 50th Annual of American Illustration.
From a young age, Justin studied the work of Arthur Rackham and other Golden Age illustrators. He was also inspired by the books of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. After earning a BFA in painting and drawing, Gerard furthered his foundational knowledge by studying Renaissance and modern masters, including Rembrandt and many of the Victorian painters. You can see more of Justin Gerard’s work on Gallery Gerard. Justin gave up a life of gambling, piracy and horse-thieving in 2013 to marry Annie Stegg.
Edmund Spenser, Creator
Edmund Spenser was an English poet and official during the Elizabethan era. He was born to a modest family in London, attended the Merchant Taylors’ School and through financial assistance, matriculated at Pembroke College, Cambridge. Spenser served as an English official in Ireland under Lord Grey, eventually taking up residence in Kilcolman Castle. Spenser published his first three books of The Faerie Queene in 1590, then he introduced the remainder of his epic poem (along with a new ending for Book Three) in 1596. Two remnant cantos, presumed to be a part of an unfinished Book Seven, were found after his death. Spenser received a rare life pension from Queen Elizabeth I. During the Nine Year’s War, in 1598, he was driven from Kilcolman Castle by the Irish. Kilcolman was burned, and Ben Jonson claimed that Spenser lost an infant son in the fire. After fleeing Ireland, Spenser returned to London, where he died the next year at age forty-six. Spenser is known as one of England’s greatest poets, and The Faerie Queene is his masterpiece.
Steven W. May
Steven W. May is an American academic and author specializing in English Renaissance poetry. He received his Ph.D. at University of Chicago and served as professor of English at Northern Illinois University and then at Georgetown College. He received the Cawthorne “Excellence in Teaching” Award in 1991. He currently is a senior research fellow and the principal investigator on the “Early Modern Manuscript Poetry: Recovering our Scribal Heritage” project at the University of Sheffield. He has published numerous books and articles on Renaissance literature.
Suzannah Rowntree’s early love of Narnia and Middle-earth translated into an obsession with medieval history and literature, including Norse sagas, Old and Middle English epics, chivalric romances, Chretien de Troyes, Malory, Dante, Spenser, Tasso, and Ariosto. She decided to study law upon realizing that a number of her favorite authors had begun as failed lawyers. After completing her law degree, she self-published her debut novel, Pendragon’s Heir, a retelling of Arthurian legend born from many years of wrestling with Thomas Malory. She is author of the critically-acclaimed Watchers of Outremer series and the bestselling Miss Sharp’s Monsters series. She fell in love with Edmund Spenser at the age of 16. She writes, “Of all the epics I’ve read – and I’ve read a ton – The Faerie Queene is my favourite. I’m so thrilled to have been a part of bringing Rebecca’s new modern English rendition of this classic story to a new audience.”
Elizabeth Schroll has a passion for wordsmithery. A member of the Academy of Christian Editors and ACES: The Society for Editing, she has taught and tutored writers at the university level. Since obtaining her MA in English from Kansas State University in 2013, Elizabeth has worked in the publishing industry. She plays with words, researches intriguing topics, and contemplates obscure grammar rules to her heart’s content as a copy editor at NavPress. When she isn’t knee-deep in a manuscript, Elizabeth enjoys being in the great outdoors, snuggling with her two cats, and spending quality time with her husband, George, who graciously endures occasional dinnertime lectures on the merits of em dashes.