Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Chaucer's Dream Poetry

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Chaucer's Dream Poetry

Article excerpt

Chaucer's Dream Poetry, ed. Helen Phillips and Nick Havely, Longman Annotated Texts (London: Longman, 1997). xiv + 438 pp. ISBN 0-58204012-4; L48.00 (hard covers). ISBN 0-582-04011-6; L17.99 (p/b). The idea of a separate collection of Chaucer's dream-visions is an imaginative one. This edition comprises The Book of the Duchess (BD), House of Fame (HP), Parliament of Fowls (PF), and the Prologue and Legend of Dido from the Legend of Good Women (LG?). There is a general introduction and introductions to each work; all the texts are newly edited (with selective variant readings), and provided with on-page notes and glosses; there are also a glossary and bibliography.

Overall, this is a very useful edition, one that revises and enlarges earlier ones of individual works by each of the editors, BD (Phillips) and HF (Havely), and responds sensitively to new editorial challenges. The general introduction and the separate individual introductions are judicious summaries of critical approaches shaped by independent and illuminating thinking. The actual editing is of a predictably high standard although there is a rather odd lack of procedural consensus between the editors. For example, emendations are regularly signalled by Phillips in the conventional way, within square brackets; Havely simply records them in the textual notes. …

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