Study Guide

Burbon & Fleurdelis in The Faerie Queene

By Edmund Spenser

Burbon & Fleurdelis

A knight who Arthegall helps deals with the tyrant Grantorto, Burbon is one of the most direct representations of a particular historical character in the entire poem: King Henry IV of France, the first of the Burbon line. Henry IV was originally a French protestant in an almost entirely Catholic country, so he did require some support and intervention from Protestant England to assure his throne before he converted to Catholicism.

Fleurdelis, his fickle lady-love, is an embodiment of France itself (the flower Fleur-de-Lis is an ancient symbol of France) which was not particularly pleased with their king's protestant background even after he converted.