Dream Visions and Other Poems: Authoritative Texts, Contexts, Criticism

Front Cover
W.W. Norton & Company, 2007 - Fiction - 396 pages
9 Reviews
The texts are extensively glossed and are accompanied by individual introductions and explanatory annotations. A lightly regularized system of spellings has been adopted. No prior knowledge of Chaucer is assumed."Contexts" connects the poems to their classical and medieval foundations and includes works by Virgil, Ovid, Cicero, Boethius, Dante, and Boccaccio, among others.From the wealth of scholarly work available, the editor has chosen for "Criticism" six essays that address the poems' central themes. Contributors include Charles Muscatine, A. C. Spearing, R. T. Lenaghan, Richard Firth Green, Elaine Tuttle Hansen, and Steven Kruger.A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - waltzmn - LibraryThing

It isn't exactly a dream come true. This volume contains what it says: Chaucer's dream poems, plus a few others. So we have The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, The Parliament of Fowls, The ... Read full review

Review: Dream Visions and Other Poems (Norton Critical Edition)

User Review  - Brierly - Goodreads

Superb anthology of Chaucer's shorter works. Read full review

About the author (2007)

Geoffrey Chaucer, one of England's greatest poets, was born in London about 1340, the son of a wine merchant and deputy to the king's butler and his wife Agnes. Not much is known of Chaucer's early life and education, other than he learned to read French, Latin, and Italian. His experiences as a civil servant and diplomat are said to have developed his fascination with people and his knowledge of English life. In 1359-1360 Chaucer traveled with King Edward III's army to France during the Hundred Years' War and was captured in Ardennes. He returned to England after the Treaty of Bretigny when the King paid his ransom. In 1366 he married Philippa Roet, one of Queen Philippa's ladies, who gave him two sons and two daughters. Chaucer remained in royal service traveling to Flanders, Italy, and Spain. These travels would all have a great influence on his work. His early writing was influenced by the French tradition of courtly love poetry, and his later work by the Italians, especially Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch. Chaucer wrote in Middle English, the form of English used from 1100 to about 1485. He is given the designation of the first English poet to use rhymed couplets in iambic pentameter and to compose successfully in the vernacular. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is a collection of humorous, bawdy, and poignant stories told by a group of fictional pilgrims traveling to the shrine of St. Thomas a Becket. It is considered to be among the masterpieces of literature. His works also include The Book of the Duchess, inspired by the death of John Gaunt's first wife; House of Fame, The Parliament of Fowls, and The Legend of Good Women. Troilus and Criseyde, adapted from a love story by Boccaccio, is one of his greatest poems apart from The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer died in London on October 25, 1400. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, in what is now called Poet's Corner.

Kathryn L. Lynch is Katharine Lee Bates and Sophie Chantal Hart Professor of English at Wellesley College. She is the author of The High Medieval Dream Vision: Poetry, Philosophy, and Literary Form and Chaucer s Philosophical Dream Visions and editor of Chaucer s Cultural Geography. Her articles have appeared in, among other publications, The Chaucer Review, Studies in the Age of Chaucer, and Speculum.

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