Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene (1590; 1596) is an epic romance teeming with dragons, fantastic animals, giants, grotesque human-animal composites, monstrous humans and other creatures. This monograph is the first ever book-length account of Spenser's monsters and their relation to the poetic imagination in the Renaissance. It provides readers with an extended discussion of the role monstrous beings play in Spenser's epic romance, and how they are related to the Renaissance notions of the imagination and poetic creation. This book first offers a taxonomic inventory of the monstrous beings in The Faerie Queene, which analyses them along systematic and anatomical parameters. It then reads monsters and monstrous beings as signs interacting with the early modern discourse on the autonomous poet, who creates a secondary nature through the use of his transformative imagination and fashions monsters as ciphers that need to be interpreted by the reader. -- .