A Concise Companion to Chaucer (Concise Companions to by Corinne Saunders

By Corinne Saunders

This concise significant other presents a succinct creation to Chaucer’s significant works, the contexts during which he wrote, and to medieval proposal extra quite often. Opens with a common introductory part discussing London existence and politics, books and authority, manuscripts and readers. next sections specialise in Chaucer’s significant works – the dream visions, Troilus and Criseyde and The Canterbury stories. Essays spotlight the major spiritual, political and highbrow contexts for every significant paintings. additionally covers very important basic themes, together with: medieval literary genres; dream thought; the Church; gender and sexuality; and examining Chaucer aloud. Designed in order that each one contextual essay could be learn along considered one of Chaucer’s significant works.

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Extra info for A Concise Companion to Chaucer (Concise Companions to Literature and Culture)

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Those of his contemporaries to whom Chaucer refers also reflect the diversity of his audience and companions (Strohm 1989: 47–83). In three of his short poems Chaucer mentions courtiers who seem to have been his friends: Sir Philippe de la Vache (in ‘Truth’), Henry Scogan (in ‘Lenvoy de Chaucer a Scogan’) and Sir Peter Bukton (in ‘Lenvoy de Chaucer a Bukton’). Vache was a chamber knight who served under Edward III, Richard II and Henry IV, Scogan a squire in the king’s household who later became tutor to the sons of Henry IV, and Bukton a steward to Henry of Derby (later Henry IV) (Pearsall 1992: 181–5).

This is an altogether more socially elevated sphere. Those of his contemporaries to whom Chaucer refers also reflect the diversity of his audience and companions (Strohm 1989: 47–83). In three of his short poems Chaucer mentions courtiers who seem to have been his friends: Sir Philippe de la Vache (in ‘Truth’), Henry Scogan (in ‘Lenvoy de Chaucer a Scogan’) and Sir Peter Bukton (in ‘Lenvoy de Chaucer a Bukton’). Vache was a chamber knight who served under Edward III, Richard II and Henry IV, Scogan a squire in the king’s household who later became tutor to the sons of Henry IV, and Bukton a steward to Henry of Derby (later Henry IV) (Pearsall 1992: 181–5).

Both texts are marketplaces, packed with competing voices and jostling discourses, places in which political hierarchies struggle to maintain their structure, and discourses interrupt and contradict each other (Strohm 1989: 168–72). But Chaucer is careful to say nothing directly, and never commits himself openly to a political point of view. The variety of discourses that Chaucer employed reveals his interesting (and precarious) social and political position: he straddled court and city. He was undoubtedly the most skilled poet of his day.

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