Focusing on four aspects of Chaucer's poetics-use of narrative, speech, rhetoric, and figurative language-this is the first book-length study to identify Chaucer's distinctive poetic strategies by making specific comparisons with known textual sources. The author provides a combination of analysis of both poetic stylistics and sources, reading The Legend of Good Women and five of The Canterbury Tales (The Knight's Tale, The Man of Law's Tale, The Physician's Tale, The Monk's Tale, and The Manciple's Tale) against their textual sources, including Ovid's Metamorphoses and Heroides, Boccaccio's Teseida, Virgil's Aeneid, Le Roman de la Rose, and histories by Nicholas Trevet and Guido delle Colonne. Holton provides a picture of Chaucer's habits as a writer, showing that he was consistent in asserting his own techniques against the pressure of his sources and in keeping control over words and their meaning.
'…a very good and very useful book… [Amanda Holton] also makes original critical observations that I found to be the most memorable aspects of the book.' The Medieval Review 'Holton achieves something substantive by using source-comparison in relation to a selection of texts to chart some recurrent and consistent patterns across the Knight’s, Man of Law’s, Physician’s, Monk’s, and Manciple’s Tales and the Legend of Good Women. […]In sum, this book has something fresh to report, and of how many new books on Chaucer can that be said?' Notes and Queries
Contents: Introduction; Narrative; Speech; Rhetoric; Figurative language; Conclusion; Appendix; Works cited; Index.