Thomas Hoccleve (1368-1426) was one of Chaucer's first disciples and is represented in this book by a selection of his works, newly edited from his own copies and fully annotated. It provides students and other readers new to his work with a very fair indication of his range and achievement as original writer and translator and includes a full Introduction and marginal glosses. It also provides those more familiar with his work with a fuller account than has hitherto been available of the manuscripts both of Hoccleve's own texts and, when he was translating from Latin or French, from his sources. Some of the themes and topics explored, with Hoccleve's light and witty touch, include women (for them or against them); money (always short of it, and as likely as not to be paid in counterfeit coin); isolation and suffering (causes various, but always painful); the pains of hell and the joys of heaven; the serendipitous nature of literary production; the writer as translator, reporter, or even as gossip.
Roger Ellis is a senior lecturer in English at the University of Cardiff. Since 1987 he has organised conferences on the theory and practice of translation in the Middle Ages and is editor of volumes 1-6 of The Medieval Translator.