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Geoffrey Chaucer: A Very Short Introduction David Wallace (Judith Rodin Professor of English & Comparative Literature, University of Pennsylvania)

Geoffrey Chaucer: A Very Short Introduction By David Wallace (Judith Rodin Professor of English & Comparative Literature, University of Pennsylvania)

Summary

Covering Geoffrey Chaucer's life and work, David Wallace considers the influence and enduring appeal of his body of writing, explores the wide ranging geography and iconic characters in his stories, and discusses how Chaucer's own experiences contributed to his literature.

Geoffrey Chaucer: A Very Short Introduction Summary

Geoffrey Chaucer: A Very Short Introduction by David Wallace (Judith Rodin Professor of English & Comparative Literature, University of Pennsylvania)

Originally writing over 600 years ago, Geoffrey Chaucer is today enjoying a global renaissance. Why do poets, translators, and audiences from so many cultures, from the mountains of Iran to the islands of Japan, find Chaucer so inspiring? In part this is down to the character and sheer inventiveness of Chaucer's work. At the time Chaucer's writings were not just literary adventures, but also a means of convincing the world that poetry and science, tragedy and astrology, could all be explored through the English language. French was still England's aristocratic language of choice when Chaucer was born; Latin was used for university education, theological discussion, and for burying the dead. Could a hybrid tongue such as English ever generate great writing to compare with French and Latin? Chaucer, miraculously, believed that it could, through gradual expansion of expressiveness and scientific precision. He was never paid to do this; he was valued, rather, as a capable civil servant, regulating the export of wool and the building of seating for royal tournaments. Such experiences, however, fed his writing, leading him to achieve a range of social registers, from noble tragedy to barnyard farce, unrivalled for centuries. His tale-telling geography is vast, his fascination with varieties of religious belief endless, and his desire to voice female experience especially remarkable. Many Chaucerian poets and performers, today, are women. In this Very Short Introduction David Wallace introduces the life, performance, and poetry of Chaucer, and analyses his astonishing and enduring appeal. Previously published in hardback as Geoffrey Chaucer: A New Introduction ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Geoffrey Chaucer: A Very Short Introduction Reviews

Review from previous edition Prof. Wallace has produced a superb introduction: an adroit, authoritative, fresh, energetic delight. * The New English Review *
This is a book which shows up everything you thought you knew about Chaucer, but didn't, and has a knack of making you want to find out even more. * Sandra Callard, On: Magazine *
This smart and attractive little book is a very quick read, and Wallace's conversational style has warm appeal. * Laura Ashe, Times Literary Supplement *
Showing a solid command of history, Wallace provides fascinating analyses of Chaucer's personal and literary evolution. He is a master of his subject, insightful and provocative throughout. * Kirkus Review *
A thoroughly fresh engagement...which gives us Chaucer as a writer of his moment wide open to the future and the world. * Paul Strohm, author of The Poet's Tale *
Along with its other mind-broadening features, this introduction offers a timely reminder that Chaucer benefited from a Europe-wide perspective and continues to evoke creative responses across cultures and borders. * Nicholas Havely, University of York *

About David Wallace (Judith Rodin Professor of English & Comparative Literature, University of Pennsylvania)

David Wallace studied at York and Cambridge. Currently Judith Rodin Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, he has held visiting positions at Jerusalem, Melbourne, London, and Princeton. He has served as President of the New Chaucer Society, is currently Second Vice President of the Medieval Academy of America, and has made a series of documentaries for BBC Radio 3. He most recently published Europe: A Literary History, 1348-1418 (2016) and Strong Women (2012), both with OUP.

Table of Contents

1: Beginnings 2: Schoolrooms, science, female intuition 3: A life in poetry 4: Poetry at last: Troilus and Criseyde 5: Organizing, disorganizing: The Canterbury Tales 6: Something to believe in 7: Performance and new Chaucers Timeline: a well-documented life Further Reading Index

Additional information

GOR011315617
9780198767718
0198767714
Geoffrey Chaucer: A Very Short Introduction by David Wallace (Judith Rodin Professor of English & Comparative Literature, University of Pennsylvania)
Used - Very Good
Paperback
Oxford University Press
2019-09-05
168
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

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