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As literary students have lengthy insisted, an interdisciplinary process is key if sleek readers are to make experience of works of medieval literature. specifically, instead of studying the works of medieval authors as addressing us around the centuries approximately a few undying or ahistorical 'human condition', critics from quite a lot of theoretical methods have in recent times proven how the paintings of poets equivalent to Chaucer constituted engagements with the facility kin and social inequalities in their time. but, probably unusually, medieval historians have performed little half during this 'historical turn' within the research of medieval literature. the purpose of this quantity is to permit historians who're specialists within the fields of financial, social, political, spiritual, and highbrow background the opportunity to interpret some of the most recognized works of center English literature, Geoffrey Chaucer's 'General Prologue' to the Canterbury stories, in its modern context. instead of resorting to conventional ancient makes an attempt to work out Chaucer's descriptions of the Canterbury pilgrims as fast reflections of historic truth or as graphics of real-life humans whom Chaucer knew, the members to this quantity have sought to teach what interpretive frameworks have been on hand to Chaucer in an effort to make experience of truth and the way he tailored his literary and ideological inheritance in order to have interaction with the controversies and conflicts of his personal day. starting with a survey of contemporary debates in regards to the social which means of Chaucer's paintings, the amount then discusses all of the Canterbury pilgrims in flip. Historians on Chaucer might be of curiosity to all students and scholars of medieval tradition whether or not they are experts in literature or background.

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Extra resources for Historians on Chaucer: The 'General Prologue' to the Canterbury Tales

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3 While he worked at the Custom House, Chaucer lived in rooms above the London gate of Aldgate. 4 These journeys would have created short-term circles of their own, formed of men chosen to travel and work together for the period of the embassy. During the twelve years when he was controller of the customs, Chaucer would have been a householder in the ward of Aldgate and, therefore, required to attend ward meetings. He would also have been a parishioner, although it is not certain whether the gatehouse of Aldgate lay within the parish of St Katherine Cree or the extra-mural parish of St Botolph Aldgate.

40–1; Rigby, Chaucer in Context, p. 171. 53 However, two different, if overlapping, tendencies can be found amongst those scholars who postulate a sceptical Chaucer. In the first of these, his work is said to offer a critique of, or indeed an alternative to, the mainstream view of society. In the second, Chaucer is seen as countering the didactic certainty which characterized so much contemporary thought through his adoption of literary techniques which leave his text open-ended, thereby posing moral questions and dilemmas which lack ready-made answers or pat solutions.

E. as buttressing ideological orthodoxy, as challenging conventional wisdom, or as posing questions to which the answers are left open), they are likely to remain relevant even as new literary theories and critical approaches emerge in the future. For instance, an ‘eco-critic’ might focus on the ‘General Prologue’, along with Chaucer’s other works, as an example of the conservative, hierarchical outlook which characterized so much medieval thought in which the natural world is consistently distinguished from and seen as inferior to the human world.

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