The Poetry of Chaucer: A Guide to Its Study and Appreciation

The Poetry of Chaucer: A Guide to Its Study and Appreciation

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The Poetry of Chaucer: A Guide to Its Study and Appreciation

The Poetry of Chaucer: A Guide to Its Study and Appreciation

Read FREE!

Excerpt

During the last twenty years, the poetry of Chaucer has been attaining an ever increasing popularity. Not only in our colleges and universities, but among the lovers of good literature at large, the discovery has been made that the difficulty of Chaucer's language is by no means so great as at first appears, and that whatever difficulty there may be is richly compensated by the delights which his poetry has to offer. Meanwhile the scholars of Europe and America have been busy at the task of explaining what needs explanation, of investigating the problems of Chaucer's sources, and of determining the order in which his works were composed. It is the purpose of the present volume to render accessible to readers of Chaucer the fruits of these investigations, in so far as they conduce to a fuller appreciation of the post and his work. For the benefit of those who wish to go more deeply into the subject, rather copious bibliographical references are given in the footnotes. Of Chaucer's biography we know little that is really significant; and that little has been frequently retold. It has, therefore, seemed better to omit any connected account of Chaucer's life, and to give in the discussion of the individual poems such biographical details as serve to illuminate them.

From the very nature of his task, the author's obligations are manifold. From Tyrwhitt down, there is hardly a Chaucerian scholar by whose labors he has not profited, as a glance at the footnotes will show. To Professor Ten Brink, to Professor Lounsbury, to . . .

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