Chaucer: His Life, His Works, His World by Donald Roy Howard, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Chaucer: His Life, His Works, His World

Chaucer: His Life, His Works, His World

by Donald R. Howard
     
 

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Revered for centuries as the father of English poetry, Geoffrey Chaucer was also a central man of his age--a courtier, soldier, diplomat, public official, a man of action, and a man of the world. In this award-winning biography, Donald R. Howard recreates the public, private, and poetic life of this extraordinary man.

Chaucer was born in the latter half of the

Overview

Revered for centuries as the father of English poetry, Geoffrey Chaucer was also a central man of his age--a courtier, soldier, diplomat, public official, a man of action, and a man of the world. In this award-winning biography, Donald R. Howard recreates the public, private, and poetic life of this extraordinary man.

Chaucer was born in the latter half of the fourteenth century, an age of revolution and devastation when Europe was convulsed by the Hundred Years' War, the Black Death, and the social and intellectual upheavals that marked the "autumn of Feudalism." The son of a wealthy London vintner, he maneuvered his way into the turbulent courts of Edward III and Richard II, and thus, without holding noble rank himself, he was able to witness the violent drama of royal power. It was, as Howard demonstrates, the perfect vantage point for a poet. Chaucer's own poetic development from the mannered medieval style of The Book of the Duchess to the rich, comic, human complexity of the Canterbury Tales reflects the transformation of his world. With the Canterbury Tales and the darker, more formal epic Troilus and Criseyde, Chaucer established English for all time as a language of literature.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this massive biography, winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award, Howard, professor of English at Stanford, scans the public and private events of Chaucer's life for their significance to his humanistic art. ``Written in a Chaucerian spirit of inquiry and empathy, this is arguably the best literary biography of Chaucer to date,'' observed PW. Photos. (Feb.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
This exceptionally clear, comprehensive, and well-written book vividly portrays both the public context (14th-century England, Italy, and France) and the family life of the early giant of English poetry. It easily surpasses not only Marchette Chute's outdated Geoffrey Chaucer of England (1946) but also John Gardner's The Life and Times of Chaucer (1977) and Derek Brewer's Chaucer and His World (1978). Accessible to the general reader while useful to the scholar, the book offers informative interpretations of Chaucer's works and literary genius. Highly recommended. Carolyn M. Craft, Longwood Coll., Farmville, Va.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
YA Howard has assembled the schol arly research of Chaucer experts, giv ing readers, in one source, the best, or at least the consensus. He presents lit tle new in the way of research, although his book is filled with speculation and filling in between the lines. For this rea son, and for others, this book is a fine vehicle for students who wish to learn of Chaucer and his environment. How ard takes readers through Chaucer's life, telling them of the odd and the ev eryday. Students who wish to research Chaucerian ideas will be better served by going to the original sources, and to more current ones. For those who wish to get an overall impression, Howard's book is the answer, for he brings Chau cer to life, and causes readers to see the man. George F. Hawkins, Episcopal High School, Bellaire

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781417714117
Publisher:
San Val
Publication date:
02/28/1989

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