Gail Ashton is an academic, writer and poet with research and publishing interests in medieval and women's literature, poetry and contemporary literary theory. Recent books include Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales (Continuum, 2007) and the co-edited Teaching Chaucer (Palgrave, 2007).
Chaucer's 'The Canterbury Tales': A Reader's Guideby Gail Ashton
This fresh and comprehensive guide to Chaucer's most famous poem The Canterbury Tales introduces readers to Chaucer's life and times and reconsiders both the impact and the context of its inception. It carefully details Chaucer's cultural and literary world, as well as reviewing the publishing history of the Tales and examining some of the issues surrounding the nature of the material production of medieval texts. In addition, it raises matters of 'Englishness' and Chaucer's choice of the vernacular in which to write his works. A highly-readable survey of the critical reception of the Tales, from early responses to recent critical perspectives, works together with a series of exemplary, close readings of key tales and ideas to explore questions such as narrative voice, genre, language and form, gender and authority. This introduction to the text is the ideal companion to study, offering guidance on: Literary and historical context Language, style and form Reading The Canterbury Tales Critical reception and publishing history Adaptation and interpretation Further reading.
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