The Book of the Duchess

( 2 )

Overview

The earliest of Chaucer’s major works, this charming and absorbing dream-poem is traditionally read as an allegorical elegy for Blanche of Lancaster, John of Gaunt’s first wife. A sleepless poet lies in his bed, reading the legend of Ceyx and Alcyone, wishing that he might be granted rest. He finally falls asleep, only to have a beautiful vision. Dreaming himself in a chamber with stained glass windows that portray the tale of Troy, the poet hears the sound of a hunting party, which he hurries to join. When the ...

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The Book of the Duchess

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Overview

The earliest of Chaucer’s major works, this charming and absorbing dream-poem is traditionally read as an allegorical elegy for Blanche of Lancaster, John of Gaunt’s first wife. A sleepless poet lies in his bed, reading the legend of Ceyx and Alcyone, wishing that he might be granted rest. He finally falls asleep, only to have a beautiful vision. Dreaming himself in a chamber with stained glass windows that portray the tale of Troy, the poet hears the sound of a hunting party, which he hurries to join. When the hunt disbands, he follows a small dog into a forest, where he meets a black knight, mourning the loss of his love. The poet cannot understand the exact nature of the knight’s grief until the very end of his dream, when he wakes, book still in hand. Reluctant to forget such a wonderful dream, he determines to put it down in verse.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781843911579
  • Publisher: Hesperus Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2007
  • Series: Hesperus Classics
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 1,270,995
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Geoffrey Chaucer (c.1343–1400) was an English author, poet, philosopher, and diplomat. He is best known for his celebrated work The Canterbury Tales.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 13, 2011

    Great Read

    I thought that this was an excellent read. It was exactly what i was expecting it to be. Chaucer is an amazing author. Everyone who has studied this language should own this novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    "The Book of the Duchess" verse translation by E.B. Richmond is an excellent way to begin a study of Chaucer and Middle English writing.

    If you have an interest in medieval English writing this is a good book to start with. Chaucer's original Middle English is on the left page, Richmond's verse translation is on the right. You have the same verses side by side for easy study and comparison. This was Chaucer's first major original work. The dream-poem format was popular during his lifetime and I see this work as his omage to "Roman De La Rose" more than simply an elegent lament for the loss of John of Gaunt's wife the "Duchess".

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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