This lively student compendium presents a comprehensive selection of the key critical views of Chaucer in the twentieth century. Stimulating introductions and editorial comment enable students to enter into dialogue with critical opinion, and thereby with Chaucer's writings, whilst the juxtaposition of past and present criticism equips them with a sense of historical perspective. A preliminary chapter addresses the growth of Chaucer criticism over the centuries, and the main developments of the twentieth century, incorporating a range of brief extracts. The structure of the volume then reflects the three major divisions of Chaucer's writing: The Dream Vision poetry 'Troilus and Criseyde' 'The Canterbury Tales'Linking discussions introduce the main themes and critical issues of these works. Each section then presents different seminal approaches. For 'The Canterbury Tales', for example, students can chart their paths through early allegorical readings, iconographic studies, New Historical approaches, and gender theory.
In this way, the volume furnishes the reader with a broader critical repertoire and encourages independence of thought, but also offers a unified discussion of Chaucer's work.
Corinne Saunders is Lecturer at the University of Durham. Her previous publications include Forest of Medieval Romance (1993) and Rape and Ravishment in the Literature of Medieval England (2001)