These essays, written between 1937 and 1960, have remained classics of their kind. They include important discussions on irony—its native traditions and its occurrence in early English literature, an account of critics’ appreciation of Chaucerian irony prior to this century, and a detailed examination of four of the Canterbury Tales. The illuminating analysis of the complex use of various kinds of irony in the Miller’s Tale, the Friar’s Tale, the Summoner’s Tale, and the Manciple’s Tale emphasizes aspects of Chaucer’s art that are very acceptable to contemporary. As a result, these essays lead today’s reader towards a fuller understanding of Chaucer’s achievement.
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About the Author
Beryl Rowland, ed. was the President of the New Chaucer Society, the sole international organization of Chaucerians, and served on the boards of the Chaucer Review and Floriegium.