Chaucer and His World (New edition)
By: Derek Brewer (author)Paperback
4 - 6 days availability
'This masterly book presents, with a wealth of detail, a panorama of the sixty years of Chaucer's life from 1340-1400 -the transition from the medieval to the modern world which is so vividly reflected in Chaucer's poetry.' Professor Ralph Elliott. Chaucer's English world - that of the second half of the 14th century -is rich in interest of every kind, and Chaucer was a uniquely perceptive recorder of it. The tensions between tradition and innovation led to severe, sometimes violent, clashes; age-old traditions were contested by the new individualism among the educated, passionate religious dissent in high and low, and revolt by peasants. London emerged as an economic and cultural force to rival the great Continental cities; yet it was closely linked with the royal court and the church, strongholds of traditional values. The English language came to its first full flowering since the Norman conquest, and many international influences were absorbed. Among the turmoil, the arts flourished; it was a great period for English poetry. Chaucer stood close to the centre of this world.
He was one of the new literate laymen, a product of the merchant-gentry -from early youth a courtier, briefly a soldier, throughout his life an administrator, diplomat, scholar, withal a very great poet. Derek Brewer's biography offers what cultural anthropologists may call a 'thick description' of his life and times, reflecting first the poetry, but drawing on historical documents and critical insights to give a full and rounded picture of a distant but still relevant age and a fascinating poet. DEREK BREWER has written many books and articles on Chaucer and medieval and later English literature. He was formerly professor of English in the University of Cambridge, and Master of Emmanuel College.
Origins; a 14th-century childhood; a page at court; beginning a career; at the court of Edward III; the unknown years; Chaucer and Italy; London, flower of cities all; rape and rapine; towards the inner life; among the muses in Kent; and pilgrims were they all; forth, pilgrim, forth.
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- ID: 9780859913669
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