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Chaucer and the subject of history / Lee Patterson.

By: Patterson, Lee.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, c1991Description: xiv, 489 p. ; 24 cm.ISBN: 029912830X; 9780299128302; 0299128342 (pbk.); 9780299128340 (pbk.).Subject(s): Chaucer, Geoffrey, d. 1400 -- Knowledge -- History | Chaucer, Geoffrey, d. 1400 -- Political and social views | Historical poetry, English -- History and criticism | History, Ancient, in literature | Social problems in literature | Middle Ages in literatureAdditional physical formats: Online version:: Chaucer and the subject of history.; Online version:: Chaucer and the subject of history.DDC classification: 821/.1 LOC classification: PR1933.H57 | P38 1991Other classification: 18.05
Contents:
"Thirled with the poynt of remembraunce" : the Theban writing of Anelida and Arcite -- Troilus and Criseyde and the subject of history -- Knight's Tale and the crisis of chivalric identity -- From tragedy to comedy through the Legend of Good Women -- Miller's Tale and the politics of laughter -- Wife of Bath and the triumph of the subject -- Chaucerian commerce : bourgeois ideology and poetic exchange in the Merchant's and Shipman's Tales -- Subject of confession : the Pardoner and the rhetoric of penance.
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Book University of Texas At Tyler
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PR1933.H57 P38 1991 (Browse shelf) Available 0000000773887

Includes bibliographical references (p. 429-476) and index.

"Thirled with the poynt of remembraunce" : the Theban writing of Anelida and Arcite -- Troilus and Criseyde and the subject of history -- Knight's Tale and the crisis of chivalric identity -- From tragedy to comedy through the Legend of Good Women -- Miller's Tale and the politics of laughter -- Wife of Bath and the triumph of the subject -- Chaucerian commerce : bourgeois ideology and poetic exchange in the Merchant's and Shipman's Tales -- Subject of confession : the Pardoner and the rhetoric of penance.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

In this complex and scholarly study, Patterson, a leading medievalist, examines the tension between subject and history in Chaucer's works. He begins with an extended discussion of Troilus and Criseyde and looks at the ways Chaucer initially explored the subject of history using traditional material. Subsequent chapters analyzing ``The Knight's Tale,'' ``The Wife of Bath's Tale,'' and ``The Pardoner's Tale,'' among others, show how this material was ultimately transformed in The Canterbury Tales to reveal unmistakable contemporary meanings dealing with the crisis of chivalric identity, the triumph of the spirit, and the subject of confession. Scrupulous notes and extensive bibliography accompany a text in which the author shares his own political views and exhibits an ability to extract underlying meanings and essential issues from specific literary instances. A substantial contribution to historical criticism and Chaucer scholarship that belongs in academic collections.-- Jacqueline Adams, Carroll Cty. P.L., Westminster, Md. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Probably the most important Chaucer study to appear this year and one certain to influence Chaucer studies in the future. Author of the highly influential Negotiating the Past (1987), Patterson lives true to his reputation for thorough scholarship and remarkable insight as he examines Chaucer's conception of history, arguing convincingly that "history impelled Chaucer toward the modern." It is the poet's questioning of "the historical world itself" that leads to his using his contemporary world as setting in the Canterbury Tales, a result of "a reorientation of thinking" determined by his social and political world. Patterson accounts for Chaucer's shift from tragedy to comedy in a chapter on The Legend of Good Women. Indeed, his studies of individual poems and tales in the eight chapters validate the thesis of his introduction, but they are also cogent and compelling studies in themselves. Among the most provocative are those on the subject of history in Troilus and Criseyde; "the crisis of chivalric identity" in the Knight's Tale; the rhetoric of peasant movements in the Miller's Tale; "the triumph of the subject" in the Wife of Bath's Tale; "bourgeois ideology and poetic exchange" in the Merchant's and Shipman's Tales; "the subject of confession and the rhetoric of penance" in the Pardoner's Tale, a tale that Patterson finds to contain a familiar Theban thread. This book is a "must read" for any serious student of Chaucer at either the graduate or the undergraduate level.-D. D. Evans, Bemidji State University

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