Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Queen of Fairy Land in Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, allegorically representing England’s Queen Elizabeth I.

Gloriana was the daughter of Oberon and was originally named Tanquill. In the poem, Gloriana presides over a magic court and sends knights of her Order of Maidenland on righteous quest: the Red Cross Knight to free a land from a dragonSir Guyon to destroy the lecherous Bower of BlissSir Artegall to slay the giant Grantorto; and Sir Calidore to capture the ravaging Blatant Beast.

Prince Arthur saw Gloriana in a dream, fell in love with her, and journeyed to Fairy Land to find her. In the unfinished poem, Arthur never meets the Fairy Queen, but had Spenser completed it, they presumably would have been united.

The Faerie Queene | Edmund Spenser, 1570-1599