Synopses & Reviews
The Cambridge Chaucer Companion contains a series of essays by internationally known Chaucer experts, designed to provide a challenging introduction to the poet. The collection is divided between pieces which concentrate squarely on one or more of Chaucer's major poems, identifying themes, styles, moods and tones, and pieces of wider scope which give more general information about Chaucer's literary sources and historical background, or study his experiments with style and structure over a range of poems, or set his works in the context of medieval genres and literary traditions. While introducing a work or works to the reader, these essays also adopt fresh and rigorous lines of critical enquiry which will encourage him or her to develop and place his or her own interpretations. Taken as a whole, the collection establishes a context for Chaucer, discusses the significance of his position within it, and applies to his poetry detailed and frequently innovative analysis. These three functions combine to provide what should become a standard work of reference for students as well as readers who already have some familiarity with Chaucer but wish to achieve a greater understanding of this major English poet and his oeuvre.
Essays by international Chaucer experts provide a challenging introduction to the poet. They establish a context for Chaucer, discuss the significance of his position within it, and apply detailed and innovative analysis to his poetry.
Table of Contents
The social and literary scene in England /Paul Strohm --Chaucer's continental inheritance: the early poems and Troilus and Criseyde /David Wallace --Old books brought to life in dreams: The book of the duchess, The house of fame, The parliament of fowls /Piero Boitani --Telling the story in Troilus and Criseyde /Mark Lambert --Chance and destiny in Troilus and Criseyde and The knight's tale /Jill Mann --The Canterbury tales: personal drama or experiments in poetic variety? /C. David Benson --The Canterbury tales I: romance /J.A. Burrow --The Canterbury tales II: comedy /Derek Pearsall --The Canterbury tales III: pathos /Robert Worth Frank, Jr. --The Canterbury tales IV: exemplum and fable /A.C. Spearing --Chaucerian realism /Morton W. Bloomfield --Literary structures in Chaucer /Barry Windeatt --Chaucer's narrator: Troilus and Criseyde and The Canterbury tales /Dieter Mehl --Chaucer's poetic style /Derek Brewer --Further reading: a guide to Chaucer studies /Joerg O. Fichte.