Originally published in 1972. This important work of Chaucerian scholarship deals with two aspects of the poet and his work - his individual achievement and his place in history - and demonstrates that in both these senses Chaucer is a maker of English poetry.
The author explores Chaucer’s narrative art. The book includes an examination of the puzzling question of narrative structure in the Canterbury Tales and of the nature of Chaucerian comedy in these works. The author surveys the major themes of the poems: Fortune and free will, marriage, and the nobleness of man. In the final chapter she treats of the meaning of Chaucer’s art for his successors. Throughout the work, Miss Kean deals extensively with the sources which Chaucer used for the writing of his poems, in a way which directs light on the more difficult aspects of his art.
1. The Knight’s Tale 2. The Canterbury Tales: The Problem of Narrative Structure 3. The Canterbury Tales: Chaucerian Comedy 4. The Canterbury Tales: Major Themes – Fortune and Free Will, Marriage, The Nobleness of Man 5. The Religious Poetry 6. Aftermath: The Noble Rethor Poet