The epic form had been chosen because the themes that emerged from the insight into Spenser’s attitudes were deep enough to require sufficient scope.

The idea then struck me:  if these themes are so fundamental, then the work should cover a great span of time to show that what we are today we have in common with those of the distant past.  A time after I had come to this conclusion I decided that I should look at thousand years of o9ur western civilization,  and in order to do this concentrate on three individuals to span this time:  at the beginning, the myth of Odysseus; in the Elizabethan Period, Spenser, at the centre of the epic; and in our contemporary period, a fictional character, Archer.

The framework was set.  Now what?