Chaucer's Pilgrims

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Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is one of the oldest and most widely studied works of English literature. The tales provide a glimpse of medieval life, and the professions of the pilgrims figure prominently in the poetry. To have a clear understanding of Chaucer's work, the reader needs to know about the vocations of the pilgrims. For some 600 years, this information has been difficult to locate. This reference work conveniently synthesizes and discusses information about the occupation of each of Chaucer's pilgrims and provides an historical context.

The volume contains individual entries for each of Chaucer's pilgrims, and the entries share a similar format to foster comparison. Each entry includes three parts. First, the pilgrim's profession is discussed in terms of the daily routine of the medieval occupation. Second, the vocation is examined in terms of its reflection in the tale told by the pilgrim. Third, the vocation and the tale are discussed, when possible, in relation to the descriptions of the characters provided in the General Prologue. Each entry includes a bibliography, and the volume concludes with a list of works for further reading.

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Editorial Reviews

A reference that examines the various vocations of the pilgrims in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Each expert chapter describes a particular pilgrim's specific function in 14th-century England. The emphasis is on the historical position of the various vocations foreworded in the "General Prologue." Other considerations are the link between each pilgrim's profession and the content or direction of his or her tale; the link between the profession and tale in terms of the pilgrim's character as defined in the "General Prologue"; and the ways in which the pilgrim's character goes beyond what might normally be expected from a member of such a group. Each chapter concludes with a bibliography of recent critical works relative to that pilgrim. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275966294
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/5/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 416
  • Lexile: 1410L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

LAURA C. LAMBDIN teaches Professional Communications in the University of South Carolina's Moore School of Business.

ROBERT T. LAMBDIN is Assistant Professor of English in the Provisional Year Program at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.

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Table of Contents

1 A Knyght Ther Was 1
2 A Yong Squier 14
3 A Yeman Had He 27
4 Ther Was Also A Noone, A Prioresse 38
5 Another Nonne With Hire Hadde She 47
6 And Preestes Thre 55
7 A Monk Ther Was, A Fair for the Maistrie 69
8 A Frere Ther Was, A Wantowne and a Meryee 80
9 A Merchant Was Ther With a Forked Berd 93
10 A Clerk Ther Was of Oxenford Also 108
11 A Sergeant of the Lawe, War and Wyse 116
12 A Frankelyn Was In His Compaingnye 135
13 An Haberdasher ... 145
14 ... And a Carpenter... 154
15 ... A Webbe... 170
16 ... A Dyere... 180
17 ... And a Tapycer 192
18 A Cook They Had With Hem For the Nones 199
19 A Shipman Ther Was, Wonynge Fer By Weste 210
20 With Us Ther Was a Doctour of Phisik 220
21 A Good Wive Was Ther of Biside Bath 243
22 And Was a Povre Persoun of a Toun 256
23 With Hym Ther Was a Plowman, Was His Brother 263
24 The Millere Was a Stout Carl for the Nones 271
25 A Gentil Maunciple Was Ther of a Temple 281
26 The Reve Was a Sclendre Colerik Man 288
27 A Sumonour Was Ther With Us In That Place 300
28 With Hym Ther Rood a Gentil Pardoner 314
29 Harry Bailly: Chaucer's Innkeeper 324
30 I Demed Hym Som Chanoun For To Be 340
31 His Yeman Eek Was Ful of Curteisye 357
32 "What Man Artow?": The Narratorr as Writer and Pilgrim 369
Selected Bibliography 385
Index 391
About the Editors and Contributors 395
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