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On this day in history, July 12, 1389, Geoffrey Chaucer was named Chief Clerk by Richard II.
Geoffrey Chaucer, born in London in 1340, has often been credited as one of the most important figures in English literature. Chaucer's literary achievement have been broken down into three periods. The first period included his early works based largely on French models. The second period, referred to the Italian period focused on Dante and Boccaccio. And, the third period, known as the Canterbury Tales, is the most well known. The Canterbury Tales is a poem of almost 17,000 lines and is often cited as the most brilliant works in all of literature. The Canterbury Tales was left unfinished when Chaucer died on October 25, 1400.
The Canterbury Tales introduces a group of pilgrims journeying from London to the shrine of St. Thomas à Becket at Canterbury. To help pass the time they decide to tell stories. Together, the pilgrims represent a wide cross section of 14th-century English life. (Have you read the Canterbury Tales? Discuss this topic in our Community Forums.)
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This edition provides the general information on Chaucer's life, language,
and works that one needs for a first reading of Chaucer, and difficult
words and constructions are glossed on the pages. The Appendix contains
the materials, including the extensive notes and glossary, for a more
thorough understanding of Chaucer's works.
Works of Geoffrey Chaucer: A facsimile of the William Morris Kelmscott
The Kelmscott Chaucer is the most memorable & beautiful edition
of the complete works of the first great English poet. Next to the Gutneberg
Bible, it is considered the most outstanding typographic achievement
of all time. ... The present facsimile edition is a faithful reproduction,
slightly reduced in size, of the original & contains the complete
original text & all eighty-seven woodcuts by Sir Edward Burne-Jones,
engraved by W.H. Hooper, & the borders, decorations , & initials
drawn by Morris for the original work... the stamping on the front cover
of this book is a replica of the original famous pigskin binding of
the Kelmscott edition, which was designed by William Morris.
Often called the first great English novel, Troilus and Cressida, a
tragic love story set during the siege of Troy, is Chaucer's masterpiece.
Troilus, a valiant warrior, is scornful of love until he catches a glimpse
of Cressida. With the help of his friend and her uncle Pandarus, Troilus
wins Cressida over. But their happiness is destroyed when, summoned
to a Greek camp, Cressida seeks the protection of one Diomede and ultimately
Essays by international Chaucer experts provide a challenging introduction
to the poet. They establish a context for Chaucer, discuss the significance
of his position within it, and apply detailed and innovative analysis
to his poetry.