These studies represent the first fruits of a Faculty Research Fellowship granted by Vassar College. Parts of four chapters have been read at annual meetings of the Modern Language Association in 1952, 1953, 1954, and 1955.
My greatest debt is to Miss Dorothy Everett who first helped me to read Chaucer. To Professors John M. Manly and Edith Rickert I owe the privilege of working under their instruction on photostats of Chaucer manuscripts and historical documents which they had collected for their edition of the Canterbury Tales.
Miss Patricia Kean read and discussed with me three chapters while she was at work upon her edition of Miss Everett Essays on Middle English Literature. Professors Michael Crow and Clair Olson have checked some details with the collection of documents from which they are now preparing the new edition of the Chaucer Life Records. Dr. Leslie Macfarlane generously offered the results of his research in the Vatican Archives while his doctoral dissertation was in progress. Professor Idris Foster has kindly supplied a paraphrase of a Welsh poem by Iolo Goch. Professors Ida Bergeret, Adolph Katzenellenbogen, and Barbara Swain have made valuable suggestions. Professor Frances Foster read the entire manuscript and raised questions helpful for revision.
To the librarians and staffs of the Bodleian Library, and British Museum Library, and the Index of Christian Art at Princeton University I am grateful for much kindness. Miss Dorothy Plum and Miss Elizabeth Richards of the Vassar College Library assisted in procuring microfim and inter-library loans.
For permission to quote freely from recent editions of Chaucer thanks are due to Professor Fred N. Robin-