Subject Area: Chaucer + Canterbury Tales

Bastardy as a Gifted Status in Chaucer and Malory
1996 0-7734-8875-8
This is the first study on bastardy in Chaucer or Malory, and is highly original in its Feminist and New Historical approach to the subject, applying an illuminating critical methodology to The Canterbury Tales and the Morte D'Arthur. This work is the first to show that Chaucer is empowering illegitimacy by demonstrating that a woman born illegitimately, like the Miller's Wife, can nonetheless lead a normal life emotionally and financially. Malory goes even further, portraying important knights like Arthur, Torre, Borre, Elayne le Blank, Gylberte the Bastarde, Mordred, and Galahad as powerful bastards. The author draws attention to Malory's positive portrayal of the bloodlines, heredity, heraldry, and history, of the fine bastards in his Morte. This is a groundbreaking work which will be of use to medievalists around the world.

Chaucer and the Taverners of Ipswich. The Influence of His Paternal Ancestors Upon Some Portraits in the General Prologue and Upon His Descendants
2014 0-7734-0063-X
New historical facts are brought to light by this distinguished professor of Chaucer studies. Those familiar with the poet will be engaged and delighted by this critical investigation of the Canterbury Tales. Professor Boyd, a specialist in Middle English, brings a new level of understanding to the work by revealing important aspects of the Middle English prose in which it was written.


Chaucer’s the Knight’s Tale and the Limits of Human Order in the Pagan World
2008 0-7734-5059-9
Reveals Chaucer’s understanding of the ancient world and how the he dealt with the complex moral philosophy between Christian and pagan doctrines.

Chaucer’s Tragic Muse. The Paganization of Christian Tragedy
2002 0-7734-6855-2
This work significantly revises the history of literary tragedy. The first half examines the classical background regarding theories of tragedy – philosophical, theological, and literary. The second half investigates tragedy as it appears in various works of Chaucer. A pivotal central chapter demonstrates the previously missing link between Senecan and Chaucerian tragedy. Scholars of drama, especially Renaissance drama, will find this study indispensable, since it presents a challenge to the entrenched theories of the discovery of Senecan tragedy by Renaissance playwrights. It also argues that Boethius is explicitly in dialogue with the late Roman tradition, specifically Seneca, documenting a direct line of influence from Seneca’s Latin plays, through the Consolation of Boethius, to de Meun, Boccaccio and Chaucer. It contributes a corrective to a persistent blind spot in medievalist criticism that would deny the integration of classical secular influences into medieval Christian thought.

Court Poetry of Chaucer
2007 0-7734-5434-9
This work offers facing-page translations of lesser-known poems by Geoffrey Chaucer. The modernization of Chaucer’s verse to date has been restricted largely to the longer poems such as The Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde. While these works demonstrate Chaucer’s mastery of the epic and narrative forms, it is in the court poems that we hear what is closer to the actual voice of Chaucer speaking to his contemporaries. The introduction discusses the “complaint,” a popular medieval genre that Chaucer often used in his verse, sometimes with a straight face, sometimes not. Providing these poems in both their original Middle English and in Modern English, this work will be an attractive addition to the library of any scholar interested in Chaucer and the poetry of his time.

Craft and Anti-Craft in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
2001 0-7734-7509-5
The main focus of this study is Chaucer’s use of the word craft, which in The Canterbury Tales expands beyond mere technical prowess and becomes emblematic of the human predicament, signaling a disjunction between the individual and the world he or she struggles to control through personal expertise and learned tradition. It examines the metaphysics of Chaucer’s epistemology and rhetoric.

Earnest Exuberance in Chaucer's Poetics Textual Games in the Canterbury Tales
1993 0-7734-9381-6
This study provides a closer reading of Chaucer's text than has ever been done before. The emphasis is on the palimpsestic nature of Chaucer's work, providing something largely missing in Chaucer scholarship, a concern with the intertextuality between different parts of the Tales. It argues for organic unity, and attempts to settle several questions such as: the extent of sentence (i.e. morally-religiously redeeming elements) in the fabliaux of the Miller's and the Merchant's Tales; the question of the Pardoner's sexual nature; the question of anti-Semitism in the Prioress' Tale; and how Chaucer felt about the doctrines as well as the practices of the Church, especially with regard to gender issues. It also examines Chaucer's ironic use of gender-crossing and literary allusion.

Jean D' Angouleme Copy of the Canterbury Tales
2008 0-7734-5327-X
This study functions as a significant addition to the Chaucer variorum tradition by making available for the first time a printed copy of the tales which differs significantly from the traditional, anthologized manuscripts such as the Ellesmere and the Hengwrt. The work invites the reader to temporarily de-center “good” Chaucer manuscripts, to question the established nexus points of discussion about the tales based on these manuscripts, and to embrace the freeplay of modernity in Ps fonds anglais 39 which is an early fifteenth-century Canterbury Tales manuscript that reads like a product of a post-Caxton editorial process. Through the process of de-centering, questioning, and ultimately embracing the indeterminacy of the manuscript history of The Canterbury Tales, this book creates an entirely new experience of reading Chaucer’s unfinished masterpiece.

Manly - Rickert Text of the Canterbury Tales
1994 0-7734-1326-X
In addition to correcting errors in studies of or based in part upon Manly-Rickert's Text of the Canterbury Tales (explainable to an extent by the size and complexity of that edition), the present study offers an explanatory chronology of the project which lead to the constitution of the eight volumes; presents the evidence that Chaucer released copies of various links and tales during his lifetime; discusses what the manuscript evidence says was the state of the text when the earliest scribes copied it; presents evidence of the two basic modes of manuscript-production (by independent scribes and in scribal shops); and then concludes with an intensive study of the most important witness of the text, the Hengwrt Manuscript (MS Peniarth 392D) as it relates to such other important manuscripts as the Ellesmere (El) and also to the theory of the circulation of individual links and tales during Chaucer's lifetime.

New Midrashic Reading of Geoffrey Chaucer. His Life and Works
2004 0-7734-6318-6
Chaucer has been noted as “the new man”, without connections to the Church or the feudal monarchy. Normative literary history sees him acting as a confidant, special agent, and master of ceremonies for those in power, all qualities which could mark him, however, as a court Jew. Even in his writing, characteristics that seem anomalous—familiarity with many languages, ability to slide from tradition to tradition, witty scepticism and self-deprecating comedy, and insider/outsider perspectives—also point away from the standard assumptions of a normal fourteenth-century Christian in England. By a series of recontextualizations and other forms of rabbinic-style interrogations of the text of the man and his poetry, this book points to a new way of reading Chaucer as a kind of “Fuzzy Jew” even more than as a Marrano or Crypto-Jew, whether he was actually one or not. Focusing mostly on The Wyf of Bath’s Tale, The Prioress’s Tale and The Book of the Duchess, this midrashic reading explores the way Chaucer constructs a performative self that once conceals and reveals itself as other, takes head-on the problem of anti-Jewishness as a mental as well as moral or spiritual disease, and looks at the strategies of the schlemiel persona in classical, medieval and rabbinic contexts. There are new insights into how to apply the techniques of “midrashing” to secular texts and persons, embedding the strategies into a historical examination of the kabbalah that was created in Spain and France just prior to Chaucer’s life and its integration surreptitiously into European literature.

Revised Edition of the Manly-Rickert Text of the Canterbury Tales
2010 0-7734-1326-X
Ramsey’s study describes the many obstacles that John Manly and Edith Rickert encountered and overcame during the course of producing their monumental Text of the Canterbury Tales (1940), and explains in careful detail the order in which the various volumes were written. It clarifies their conclusions, notably the three stages of Chaucer’s text (piecemeal dissemination of individual tales during Chaucer’s lifetime; composite productions by individual scribes; and productions in scribal shops), and responds to criticisms of their work.

Spanish Version of Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde / Version Espanola Del Troilo y Criseida De Chaucer
2008 0-7734-5050-5
A vivid translation of Chaucer’s most ambitious poem, this work renders anew the classic tale of courtly true love.

Statistical Determination of Affiliation in the Landmark Manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales
1993 0-7734-9276-3
This study attempts three tasks: 1) to suggest a procedure for ascertaining statistically meaningful relationships among manuscripts of a given work by the use of common statistic procedures never used before in textual study -- principally linear and multiple correlation tests, cluster analysis, and factor analysis; 2) to apply that method to the "landmark" manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales, i.e., those published within ten years of the death of Chaucer which establish independent lines of transmission; and 3) to draw from that testing a series of limited conclusions and inferences. Statistical procedures are explained, and where general conjectures concerning debatable matters are necessary, they are stated hypothetically in the text and argued briefly in the notes.

Tale of Gamelyn of the Canterbury Tales: An Annotated Edition
2009 0-7734-3852-1
This is a critical edition of the romance known as The Tale of Gamelyn, a poem of 902 couplets, written in Late Middle English towards the end of the second half of the fourteenth century. It is preceded by a discussion of the textual tradition of Chaucer’s work, an analysis of previous editions of Gamelyn, a synoptic edition containing the diplomatic transcriptions of the ten manuscripts collated and some comments on the internal and external features of the Romance.

Tragic Argument of Troilus and Criseyde
2005 0-7734-5934-0
Manuscript is an argument about the argument of the poem Troilus and Criseyde. The author makes no claim to provide a summary of the extensive critical work that has accumulated around Troilus and Criseyde but sets out to demonstrate that Chaucer’s poem is single, self-consistent, and coherent throughout. In consequence Troilus and Criseyde can once again be considered as Chaucer’s finished masterpiece in which profundity of thought is matched by clarity of form and eloquence of style.

Understanding Chaucer’s Intellectual and Interpretative World Nominalist Fiction
1999 0-7734-7972-4
The problem of “undecideability” has long been a major preoccupation of Chaucer criticism. This study, while noting but not trying to ‘account for’ each and every prior approach, proposes the positive alternative that in making his fictions, Chaucer gibes a shape to the Ockhamite nominalist approach to human understanding of the world. By interpreting Chaucer’s fictions, we share his imaginative attempt to understand the splendors and imponderables of God’s fictions. “Foster is conversant with medieval theology and philosophy, and this gives authority to his exposition of his largely new theory. He is also thoroughly familiar both with the Chaucerian corpus and with its voluminous secondary literature. He writes with an engaging variation of level and tone, philosophically informed or critically complex when necessary, with moments of down to earth judgment and the occasional joke which will commend the book to student and Chaucer scholar alike. It is a remarkable conspectus, drawing on mature scholarship and long and hard critical thinking, and its thesis has much to offer even the most experienced reader of Chaucer.” – Michael Alexander

Understanding the Manuscript Frontispiece to Corpus Christi College Cambridge Ms 61. The Political Language of a Lancastrian Portrait
2010 0-7734-4691-5
This study utilizes a two-pronged approach to examine the rationale underlying the iconography of the frontispiece to Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde in Corpus Christi College Cambridge Manuscript 61. It considers Chaucer in light of orality/literacy theory as well as in relation to prelection and interprets the work within a political framework. This book contains one color photograph.

Wives of the Canterbury Tales and the Tradition of the Valiant Woman of Proverbs 31:10-31
1992 0-7734-9803-6
This study examines Chaucer's use of the medieval literary topos which categorized women as either good or evil, and his use of the Song of the Valiant Woman, a pericope appended to the book of Proverbs. It surveys the tradition of Hebraic and Christian commentary on the valiant woman; the significance of the Proverbs epilogue in the works of other authors; analyzes Chaucer's six thematic images of the mulier fortis as mirrored and distorted in the wives' behavior; discusses the implications that his delineation of the ideal wives has on medieval and modern conceptions of women. It also provides a definition of feminine power that re-evaluates the question of maistrie within the tales and challenges the modern feminist attitude towards women's power.