Geoffrey Chaucer: A Very Short Introduction [#611]
Geoffrey Chaucer: A Very Short Introduction [#611]

教会や学問ではラテン語、支配階級はフランス語が標準とされた時代に世俗の言葉だった中英語で創作に取り組み『カンタベリー物語』でその名を英文学史に刻んだジェフリー・チョーサー(1343年頃-1400年)。詩作を生業としたわけではなく、宮廷に出仕し数々の公職を歴任したことが記録に残っています。鋭い人間観察や豊かな学識に加え、そうして広めた見聞が多彩な人物の設定や書き分けを可能にしたと考えられます。今もなお世界の読者を魅了し続けるチョーサーの来歴、業績、作品に着目します。(cf. The Canterbury Tales (Oxford World's Classics); Troilus and Criseyde (Oxford World's Classics))

  • Offers an engaging introduction to Geoffrey Chaucer's works, informed by his own life and the times he was writing in
  • Analyses the lasting appeal of Chaucer's works, and considers their adaptations and performances through the centuries since they were written
  • Draws out some of the most innovative features of Chaucer's work, such as his blend of genres and strong female voices, and discusses why these made his writing so unique
  • Considers Chaucer as a playwright, writer, and poet, and discusses these seperate features of his work
  • Previously published in hardback as Geoffrey Chaucer: A New Introduction

Originally writing over 600 years ago, Geoffrey Chaucer is today enjoying a global renaissance. Why do poets, translators, and audiences from so many cultures, from the mountains of Iran to the islands of Japan, find Chaucer so inspiring? In part this is down to the character and sheer inventiveness of Chaucer's work. 
At the time Chaucer's writings were not just literary adventures, but also a means of convincing the world that poetry and science, tragedy and astrology, could all be explored through the English language. French was still England's aristocratic language of choice when Chaucer was born; Latin was used for university education, theological discussion, and for burying the dead. Could a hybrid tongue such as English ever generate great writing to compare with French and Latin? Chaucer, miraculously, believed that it could, through gradual expansion of expressiveness and scientific precision. He was never paid to do this; he was valued, rather, as a capable civil servant, regulating the export of wool and the building of seating for royal tournaments. Such experiences, however, fed his writing, leading him to achieve a range of social registers, from noble tragedy to barnyard farce, unrivalled for centuries. His tale-telling geography is vast, his fascination with varieties of religious belief endless, and his desire to voice female experience especially remarkable. Many Chaucerian poets and performers, today, are women. In this Very Short Introduction David Wallace introduces the life, performance, and poetry of Chaucer, and analyses his astonishing and enduring appeal.


1: Beginnings
2: Schoolrooms, science, female intuition
3: A life in poetry
4: Poetry at last: Troilus and Criseyde
5: Organizing, disorganizing: The Canterbury Tales
6: Something to believe in
7: Performance and new Chaucers
Timeline: a well-documented life
Further Reading


David Wallace studied at York and Cambridge. Currently Judith Rodin Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, he has held visiting positions at Jerusalem, Melbourne, London, and Princeton. He has served as President of the New Chaucer Society, is currently Second Vice President of the Medieval Academy of America, and has made a series of documentaries for BBC Radio 3. He most recently published Europe: A Literary History, 1348-1418 (2016) and Strong Women (2012), both with OUP.

Review from previous edition 
Prof. Wallace has produced a superb introduction: an adroit, authoritative, fresh, energetic delight." - The New English Review

"This is a book which shows up everything you thought you knew about Chaucer, but didn't, and has a knack of making you want to find out even more." - Sandra Callard, On: Magazine

"This smart and attractive little book is a very quick read, and Wallace's conversational style has warm appeal." - Laura Ashe, Times Literary Supplement

"Showing a solid command of history, Wallace provides fascinating analyses of Chaucer's personal and literary evolution. He is a master of his subject, insightful and provocative throughout." - Kirkus Review

"A thoroughly fresh engagement...which gives us Chaucer as a writer of his moment wide open to the future and the world." - Paul Strohm, author of The Poet's Tale

"Along with its other mind-broadening features, this introduction offers a timely reminder that Chaucer benefited from a Europe-wide perspective and continues to evoke creative responses across cultures and borders." - Nicholas Havely, University of York


ISBN : 9780198767718

David Wallace
144 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





Geoffrey Chaucer: A Very Short Introduction [#611]

Geoffrey Chaucer: A Very Short Introduction [#611]

Geoffrey Chaucer: A Very Short Introduction [#611]