Edmund Spenser has been beleaguered by some critics who deem him to be a willing and active representative of the worst of English colonial aspirations, and defended by others who see him as a humanist poet caught in the closing jaws of an imperial mission. This vacillation of opinion is seen in the rewriting of Spenser by Irish writers over time. Spenser has also haunted Irish critical work, moving through the contemporary academy in a swift transmission beginning in the 1980s, when 'Spenser and Ireland' became a subject of some significance. Yet now, only thirty years later, that attention has been diverted, leaving Spenser, in an Irish context at least, as a placeholder of memory. This essay considers key moments or changes in the rewriting of Spenser's cultural memory in Ireland, considering the long duration of his figuring in Irish literature and culture as a case study of transhistorical memory.