Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer: Chaucerian and Other Pieces (Google eBook)

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Cosimo, Inc., 2008 - Fiction - 696 pages
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It is impossible to overstate the importance of English poet GEOFFREY CHAUCER (c. 1343 c. 1400) to the development of literature in the English language. His writings which were popular during his own lifetime with the nobility as well as with the increasingly literate merchant class marked the first celebration of the English vernacular as a tongue worthy of literary endeavor, most notably in his unfinished narrative poem The Canterbury Tales, the format and structure of which continues to be imitated by writers today. But the impact of Chaucer s work was felt even into the 16th and 17th centuries, when the first major collections of his writings set a high standard for how authors should be presented to the reading public. This widely esteemed seven-volume set first published in the 1890s by British academic WALTER WILLIAM SKEAT (1835 1912), Erlington and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Cambridge University is based solely on Chaucer s original manuscripts and the earliest available published works (with any significant variations or deviations between versions highlighted in the extensive notes), and comes complete with Skeat s informative commentary on many passages. Volume VII features works generally appended to collections of Chaucer s work, and sometimes attributed to him, including: Thomas Usk: The Testament of Love The Plowmans Tale Jack Upland John Gower: The Praise of Peace Thomas Hoccleve: The Letter of Cupid John Lydgate: The Complaint of the Black Knight Sir Richard Ros: A Balade: Warning Men to Beware of Deceitful Women and more.
  

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Contents

I
ix
II
1
III
147
IV
191
V
205
VI
217
VII
233
VIII
237
XV
295
XVI
299
XVII
327
XVIII
347
XIX
359
XX
361
XXI
380
XXII
405

IX
245
X
266
XI
275
XII
281
XIII
285
XIV
291
XXIII
408
XXIV
409
XXV
448
XXVI
449
XXVIII
450
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

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.

Walter William Skeat, English philologist, was born in London on November 21,1835, and educated at King's College School (Wimbledon), Highgate School, and Christ's College, Cambridge, of which he became a fellow in July 1860. His grandsons include the noted palaeographer T. C. Skeat and the stained glass painter Francis Skeat. Skeat's principal achievement was his Etymological English Dictionary. While preparing the dictionary he wrote hundreds of short articles on word origins for the London-based journal: Notes and Queries. Skeat is responsibel for coining the meaning of a "ghost word" --- a meaningless word that came into existence or acceptance, not by being derived through long-standing usage, nor by being coined at need, but only as the result of an error. His other works include: A Concise Dictionary of Middle English (1888), in conjunction with A. L. Mayhew; A Student's Pastime (1896), a volume of essays; The Chaucer Canon (1900); and A Primer of Classical and English Philology (1905). Skeat died in 1912.

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