Chaucer / Edition 1

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This lively student compendium presents a comprehensive selection of the key critical views of Chaucer in the twentieth century. Stimulating introductions and editorial comment enable students to enter into dialogue with critical opinion, and thereby with Chaucer's writings, whilst the juxtaposition of past and present criticism equips them with a sense of historical perspective. A preliminary chapter addresses the growth of Chaucer criticism over the centuries, and the main developments of the twentieth century, incorporating a range of brief extracts. The structure of the volume then reflects the three major divisions of Chaucer's writing: The Dream Vision poetry'Troilus and Criseyde''The Canterbury Tales' Linking discussions introduce the main themes and critical issues of these works. Each section then presents different seminal approaches. For 'The Canterbury Tales', for example, students can chart their paths through early allegorical readings, iconographic studies, New Historical approaches, and gender theory. In this way, the volume furnishes the reader with a broader critical repertoire and encourages independence of thought, but also offers a unified discussion of Chaucer's work.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The acuteness of Corinne Saunders's analyses makes this volume considerably more than a collection of critical extracts; it manages to be at once illuminating about Chaucer, Chaucerian criticism, and twentieth-century criticism in general, its range, its concerns, its disagreements, and its radical insights." Medium Aevum LXXI/2002

"Saunders's Chaucer is a thought-inspiring and highly recommended coursebook to use beside The Riverside Chaucer." English Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631217114
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/31/2001
  • Series: Blackwell Guides to Criticism Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Corinne Saunders is Lecturer at the University of Durham. Her previous publications include Forest of Medieval Romance (1993) and Rape and Ravishment in the Literature of Medieval England (2001).

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 The Development of Chaucer Criticism 5
2 Chaucer's Reading and Audience: Critical Extracts 22
The English and European Literary Traditions 22
Chaucer: The Teller and the Tale 32
The Audience 43
3 Dream Vision Poetry: An Overview 57
4 Dream Vision Poetry: Critical Extracts 68
The Lady White and the White Tablet: The Book of the Duchess 68
'The Dido Episode' in The House of Fame 76
Chaucer's Fame and Her World: The Poem 83
Park of Paradise and Garden of Love 96
The Parliament of Fowls 101
The Narrator as Translator 115
Chaucer's Classical Legendary 121
5 Troilus and Criseyde: An Overview 129
6 Troilus and Criseyde: Critical Extracts 139
The Ending of 'Troilus' 139
The Heart and the Chain 150
Criseyde: Woman in Medieval Society 161
Coda: The Narrator 171
History versus Romance 177
7 The Canterbury Tales: An Overview 189
8 The Canterbury Tales: Critical Extracts 201
The Unity of the Canterbury Tales 201
The Esthetics of this Form 212
An Encyclopedia of Kinds 218
The Knight's Tale and Its Settings 239
Fabliau, Confession, Satire 250
Gems of Chastity 269
Anti-feminism 283
The Franklin's Tale 299
'Glose/Bele chose': The Wife of Bath and Her Glossators: Eunuch Hermeneutics 307
Epilogue 325
Bibliography 327
Index 350
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