Troilus and Criseydeby Geoffrey Chaucer, Nevill Coghill
Often called the first great English novel, Troilus and Cressida, a tragic love story set during the siege of Troy, is Chaucer’s masterpiece. Troilus, a valiant warrior, is scornful of love until he catches a glimpse of Cressida. With the help of his friend and her uncle Pandarus, Troilus wins Cressida over. But their happiness is destroyed when, summoned to a Greek camp, Cressida seeks the protection of one Diomede and ultimately betrays Troilus.
“James Dean and Harriet Spiegel have produced an elegant edition of Chaucer’s masterpiece that will stand next to the Broadview Canterbury Tales as the most widely adapted classroom edition. It wears its considerable learning lightly and lets Chaucer’s poetry speak for itself, while still providing helpful notes and glosses to guide the reader. Spiegel is widely known as a translator of medieval literature and Dean is one of the most respected scholars and editors of his generation. Together they make a great team, and it shows on every page and every line of this edition. It will be on my syllabus, and I recommend it to everyone who teaches the Troilus.” John Ganim, University of California at Riverside
“Everything a reader of Troilus would want: generous glossing; a lucid review of critical history; excerpts from Boccaccio and Benoît de Sainte-Maure; and a full text and translation, prepared specifically for this edition, of Henryson’s Testament. And much more.” Sarah Stanbury, College of the Holy Cross
Meet the Author
Geoffrey Chaucer was born in London, the son of a wine-merchant, in about 1342, and as he spent his life in royal government service his career happens to be unusually well documented. By 1357 Chaucer was a page to the wife of Prince Lionel, second son of Edward III, and it was while in the prince's service that Chaucer was ransomed when captured during the English campaign in France in 1359-60. Chaucer's wife Philippa, whom he married c. 1365, was the sister of Katherine Swynford, the mistress (c. 1370) and third wife (1396) of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, whose first wife Blanche (d. 1368) is commemorated in Chaucer's ealrist major poem, The Book of the Duchess.
From 1374 Chaucer worked as controller of customs on wool in the port of London, but between 1366 and 1378 he made a number of trips abroad on official business, including two trips to Italy in 1372-3 and 1378. The influence of Chaucer's encounter with Italian literature is felt in the poems he wrote in the late 1370's and early 1380s – The House of Fame, The Parliament of Fowls and a version of The Knight's Tale – and finds its fullest expression in Troilus and Criseyde.
In 1386 Chaucer was member of parliament for Kent, but in the same year he resigned his customs post, although in 1389 he was appointed Clerk of the King's Works (resigning in 1391). After finishing Troilus and his translation into English prose of Boethius' De consolatione philosophiae, Chaucer started his Legend of Good Women. In the 1390s he worked on his most ambitious project, The Canterbury Tales, which remained unfinished at his death. In 1399 Chaucer leased a house in the precincts of Westminster Abbey but died in 1400 and was buried in the Abbey.
Nevill Coghill (1899–1980) held many appointments at Oxford University. His translation of Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde is also published by Penguin Classics.
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This book was good but i've read better. I thought the writting was good but it just didn't keep me interested. Try reading Chaucer and War by John Pratt.
Chaucer creates a new approach to the tradition of courtly love in medieval French and English literature. A master of style, he brilliantly shows the complexity of love and also the folly inherent in courtly love. A great read, funny and sad with beautiful language.