E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Gloriana. (Queen Elizabeth considered as a sovereign.)
Spenser says in his Faërie Queene that she kept an annual feast for twelve days, during which time adventures appeared before her to undertake whatever task she chose to impose upon them. On one occasion twelve knights presented themselves before her, and their exploits form the scheme of Spensers allegory. The poet intended to give a separate book to each knight, but only six and a half books remain.