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Ceremonies of Innocence, originally published in 1989, was the most comprehensive study of pastoralism in Edmund Spenser's poetry undertaken. The book traces the evolution of Spenser's own role as a poet in Elizabethan courtly society through an examination of his use and definition of pastoral. Rather than concentrating exclusively on his works in pastoral genres, it includes pastoral themes, motifs, and patterns in all of the works against the background of ideas about the contemplative life, medieval allegorical readings of Virgil, and the pastoral as an established courtly mode. It specific thesis is that Spenser gradually evolves a 'pastoral of contemplation' as against the sychophantic 'pastoral of power' identified by some Spenser and Renaissance scholars.