By Alastair Minnis, Stephen Rigby
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 examining the works of medieval authors as addressing us around the centuries approximately a few undying or ahistorical 'human condition', critics from a variety of theoretical techniques have in recent times proven how the paintings of poets comparable to Chaucer constituted engagements with the ability kin and social inequalities in their time. but, possibly unusually, medieval historians have performed little half during this 'historical flip' within the examine of medieval literature. the purpose of this quantity is to permit historians who're specialists within the fields of monetary, social, political, non secular, and highbrow background the opportunity to interpret some of the most well-known works of center English literature, Geoffrey Chaucer's 'General Prologue' to the Canterbury Tales, in its modern context. instead of resorting to conventional old makes an attempt to work out Chaucer's descriptions of the Canterbury pilgrims as fast reflections of historic truth or as pictures of real-life humans whom Chaucer knew, the individuals to this quantity have sought to teach what interpretive frameworks have been on hand to Chaucer so one can make feel of truth and the way he tailored his literary and ideological inheritance on the way to have interaction with the controversies and conflicts of his personal day. starting with a survey of modern debates concerning the social that means of Chaucer's paintings, the amount then discusses all 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 historical past
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Extra resources for Historians on Chaucer: The 'General Prologue' to the Canterbury Tales
37 Nevertheless, while such satires often mounted virulent attacks on the social abuses of their own day, their criticisms were not accompanied by any call for a change in the social structure. e. in terms of whether or not one performed the duties of one’s estate, the abuses from which society was said to be suffering were seen as the expression of individual sinfulness. Accordingly, the remedy which was proposed for such abuses was not social reform but personal contrition. In attacking the supposed vices of the times, such estates satires can be seen, in terms of Bakhtinian literary theory, as being ‘monologic’ in nature.
Consequently, there is often an overlap between readings of Chaucer’s work which see it as challenging the hierarchical social theory of his day and those which deem it to be open-ended and dialogic. After all, it was a medieval commonplace that, in the words of Robert of Rypon in the early fifteenth century, ‘the Knight of La Tour-Landry, Compiled for the Instruction of his Daughters, ed. , 33 (1868), pp. 28–9; The Book of the Knight of the Tower Translated by William Caxton, ed. Y. S. supplementary series, 2 (1971), pp.
7 Henry T. Riley, Memorials of London and London Life (London: Longmans, Green and Co, 1868), p. 377. 8 Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London: Letter Book G, ed. Reginald R. Sharpe (London: John Edward Francis, 1905), p. 24. 9 The doors to rooms above the city gates almost always faced into the city and, in the thirteenth century, Bishop Roger Niger had decreed that a house belonged to the parish in which its front door was situated, see Councils and Synods with Other Documents relating to the English Church, Volume 2, eds Frederick M.