As each pilgrim tells their tale, the response of others is part of the story: the exchanges between the Miller and the Reeve, or between the Friar and the Summoner, for example. The host, Harry Bailly, and the Knight represent more authoritative figures of judgment and assessment. So the emerging vernacular European form of the story collection was taken by Chaucer to new and transcendent heights. It is a marvellously inviting introduction to the poet who shaped English literature: not only its new linguistic capacity but also the dramatic narrative life that ultimately informed the observant, keen-eyed fictional world of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.
Photo of Geoffrey Chaucer
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Cold Warriors: History has rarely seemed as compelling. The Irrational Ape: how flawed logic puts the world in danger. The Book Club. Nonetheless, Chaucer moved to a house in the Westminster Abbey Close because a house on church grounds granted him sanctuary from creditors.
That Chaucer was buried in Westminster Abbey was due primarily to the fact that his last residence was on the abbey grounds. Prose Home Harriet Blog. Visit Home Events Exhibitions Library. Newsletter Subscribe Give. Poetry Foundation.
Chaucer was more than English: he was a great European poet
Back to Previous. Geoffrey Chaucer. Poems by Geoffrey Chaucer. Related Content. More About this Poet. Region: England. Poems by This Poet Related Bibliography. The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue. The Parlement of Fowls. To Rosemounde: A Balade. The Imaginative Man. By Laura C. Read More. True West. By Colin Dickey. Thynne London: Printed by T. Godfray, The Book of the Duchess circa Manuscripts: There are three extant transcriptions, included in three manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford: Fairfax 16 circa , Tanner circa , and Bodley circa The Canterbury Tales circa Manuscripts: Of the more than eighty whole or partial transcriptions of The Canterbury Tales , the bases for most editions are two of the earliest: the Hengwrt Manuscript at the National Library of Wales and the Ellesmere Manuscript at the Henry E.
Huntington Library, both dating from to and thought to be the work of the same copyist, working under different editors. While some recent scholars consider the Hengwrt Manuscript to be the more accurate of the two, the Ellesmere Manuscript is the more complete, and its ordering of the tales is widely accepted. John M. Manly and Edith Rickert, editors of the comparative edition based on all known manuscripts of The Canterbury Tales , see the Hengwrt Manuscript as the earliest attempt--after the death of Chaucer--to arrange the unordered tales, and so closest to Chaucer's intentions.
Blake, in The Textual Tradition of the Canterbury Tales , has presented the strongest case for the primacy of the Hengwrt Manuscript.
Chaucer’s Divine Seriousness
The Ellesmere Manuscript, more regular in spelling and dialect--as well as more complete--remains the choice of most modern editors. The House of Fame circa Manuscripts: There are two texts. Two manuscripts at the Bodleian Library, Bodley circa and Fairfax 16 circa , both include transcriptions in the hand of the "A" copyist, while Pepys circa at Magdalene College, Cambridge, includes a copy in the hand of scribe "B. The Parliament of Birds circa Manuscripts: All of the fourteen extant manuscripts seem deficient.
Modern editions are largely based on the texts in Cambridge University Library Gg 4. Troilus and Criseyde circa Manuscripts: There are twenty extant manuscripts of which four represent fragments. Benson Boston: Houghton Mifflin, We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. We have taken reasonable measures to protect information about you from loss, theft, misuse or unauthorised access, disclosure, alteration and destruction.
World of Chaucer - Boydell and Brewer
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A portrait of Geoffrey Chaucer from the Regiment of Princes , c Courtesy the British Library. Marion Turner. Her latest book is Chaucer: A European Life Edited by Marina Benjamin.
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- Review – The Poet’s Tale: Chaucer and the Year that Made the Canterbury Tales.
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- Indulgence in Death (In Death, Book 31).
This mantle of patriarchal Englishness would have seemed distinctly odd to Chaucer himself. Chaucer was able to transform English poetry the way he did precisely because of his internationalism, not his nationalism.
Like all educated men of his day, he was multilingual. He devoured late-antique philosophy, Latin translations of Arabic scientific treatises, and French love poems.
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