Originally published in 1968. A critical interpretation of Chaucer's narrative poetry which concentrates on three major groupings - the early love-visions, the ‘tragedye’ of Troilus and Criseyde, and the Canterbury Tales. Emphasis is laid on Chaucer as an oral narrator and on the varying skills which this role encourages and sustains. The quotations are liberal and throughout help is given to the reader unfamiliar with Middle English.
Table of Contents
Foreword. Introduction 1. Adventures of a Dreamer: The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, The Parliament of Fowls 2. The Writer as Dependant: Troilus and Criseyde (I) 3. Tragedye and Tragedy: Troilus and Criseyde (II) 4. A Return to Authority: The Legend of Good Women 5. Tales and Tellers: The Canterbury Tales (I) 6. Auctoritee and Pref: The Canterbury Tales (II)
Review of the original publication:
"The treatment of the tales is wise and balanced . . . his examination of key medieval oppositions, such as authority and experience, brings us close to the heart of Chaucer's achievement." Cambridge News