By Corinne Saunders
This concise better half offers a succinct advent to Chaucer’s significant works, the contexts during which he wrote, and to medieval suggestion extra regularly. Opens with a normal introductory part discussing London existence and politics, books and authority, manuscripts and readers. next sections specialize in Chaucer’s significant works – the dream visions, Troilus and Criseyde and The Canterbury stories. Essays spotlight the main non secular, political and highbrow contexts for every significant paintings. additionally covers very important common themes, together with: medieval literary genres; dream concept; the Church; gender and sexuality; and interpreting Chaucer aloud. Designed in order that every one contextual essay will be learn along one in all Chaucer’s significant works.
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Extra info for A Concise Companion to Chaucer (Concise Companions to Literature and Culture)
Perhaps most problematic for successive editors have been the difficulties posed by attempting to reconcile the order of tales in different manuscripts with the order of places and times specified on the journey towards Canterbury. These points are worth stressing because they remind us that the form in which we read Chaucer in modern editions is one far removed from the manuscript forms in which his works survive. In important respects the modern forms of Chaucer give his poems an appearance of order that they have not historically possessed.
Yet Chaucer says nothing directly; rather, in a move that we might describe as characteristically Chaucerian, he leaves the reader to draw his or her own conclusions, to decide for him or herself whether the poet is talking about the god of Love, Richard, neither or both. Parliament is given similar treatment in his work. Chaucer does not talk explicitly about a contemporary parliament – in which he himself sat – but he stages crucial parliament scenes, most notably in the 17 Marion Turner Parliament of Fowls and in Book IV of Troilus and Criseyde.
The patchiness which characterizes the later transmission of these short poems during the fifteenth century may well underline the special circumstances of their composition and early circulation: few survive in early fifteenth-century copies, and the witnesses overall vary widely in number, from twenty-two surviving manuscripts of ‘Truth’ to only single ones of ‘To Rosemounde’ and the ‘Envoy to Bukton’ and ‘Adam Scriveyn’. Whatever forms these copies may have taken, they seem to reflect problems in the processes of faithful textual transmission held up as an ideal by Chaucer in his words to Adam.
A Concise Companion to Chaucer (Concise Companions to Literature and Culture) by Corinne Saunders