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Theory and Spenserian practice
Rachel E. Hile

that has received the bulk of scholarly attention for its influence on early modern pastoral. Similarly, with regard to the literary ancestors of Spenser’s Fox, we can distinguish the foxes that form part of the Aesopian tradition, which tends to comment on political situations, from foxes that derive from sixteenth-century ecclesiastical pastoral and thus comment on concerns about the clergy. Little’s definition of ecclesiastical pastoral as “allegorical pastoral … in which the reader is meant to understand the shepherds as priests and the ‘shepherding’ they discuss

in Spenserian satire