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Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Dan Geffrey with the New Poete

This is a much-needed volume that brings together established and early career scholars to provide new critical approaches to the relationship between Geoffrey Chaucer and Edmund Spenser. By reading one of the greatest poets of the Middle Ages alongside one of the greatest poets of the English Renaissance, this collection poses questions about poetic authority, influence and the nature of intertextual relations in a more wide-ranging manner than ever before. With its dual focus on authors from periods often conceived as radically separate, the collection also responds to current interests in periodisation. This approach will engage academics, researchers and students of medieval and early modern culture.

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Post-Reformation memory and the medieval romance
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Difficult pasts combines book history, reception history and theories of cultural memory to explore how Reformation-era audiences used medieval literary texts to construct their own national and religious identities. It argues that the medieval romance book became a flexible site of memory for readers after the Protestant Reformation, allowing them to both connect with and distance themselves from the recent ‘difficult past’. Central characters in this study range from canonical authors like Geoffrey Chaucer and Edmund Spenser to less studied figures, such as printer William Copland, Elizabethan scribe Edward Banister and seventeenth-century poet and romance enthusiast, John Lane. In uniting a wide range of romance readers’ perspectives, Difficult pasts complicates clear ruptures between manuscript and print, Catholic and Protestant, or medieval and Renaissance. It concludes that the romance book offers a new way to understand the simultaneous change and continuity that defines post-Reformation England. Overall, Difficult pasts offers an interdisciplinary framework for better understanding the role of physical books and imaginative forms in grappling with the complexities of representing and engaging with the past.

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Society, allegory and gender
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This book on Geoffrey Chaucer explores the relationship between Chaucer's poetry and the change and conflict characteristic of his day and the sorts of literary and non-literary conventions that were at his disposal for making sense of the society around him. Critics who consider the social meaning of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales fall into two main schools: those who present his social thought as an expression of the dominant spirit or ideology of his day and those who see Chaucer as possessing a more heterodox voice. Many of the present generation of Chaucer critics have been trained either as 'Robertsonians' or as 'Donaldsonians'. For D. W. Robertson, even those medieval poems which do not explicitly address religious issues were frequently intended to promote the Augustinian doctrine of charity beneath a pleasing surface; for E. Talbot Donaldson, there are 'no such poems in Middle English'. The book sets out the basics of the Augustinian doctrine of charity and of medieval allegorical theory and examines 'patristic' interpretations of Chaucer's work, particularly of the 'Nun's Priest Tale'. It looks at the humanist alternative to the patristic method and assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the patristic approach. The book also outlines some of the major medieval discourses about sexual difference which inform Chaucer's depiction of women, in particular, the tendency of medieval writers to polarise their views of women, condemning them to the pit or elevating them to the pedestal.

Performing passion in Chaucer and Shakespeare
Andreas Mahler

moments in English history in which the ‘literary’ can be seen to emerge, one (predictably) around 1600, the other one (not so predictably) roughly two centuries earlier. It has tried to show that Geoffrey Chaucer, as early as 1385, in juxtaposing the Platonic and the Petrarchist discourse on love (and mingling this with the idea of amor hereos ), managed to display the rivalry of two incompatible

in Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare
Criseyde to Cressida
Wolfram R. Keller

. 207–30 (pp. 209–10), but cf. G. Mieszkowski, ‘Chaucer’s much loved Criseyde’, Chaucer Review , 26:2 (1991), 109–32. 25 On the close proximity of the Poet and Criseyde, see e.g. J. L. Lowes, Geoffrey Chaucer (London: Oxford University Press, 1934), pp. 152–4; Donaldson, Speaking of

in Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare
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Reading, space and intimacy in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde
Andrew James Johnston

, and Will in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde (New York and London: Routledge, 2006), p. 69). 8 See for instance B. Nolan, Chaucer and the Tradition of the ‘Roman Antique’ , Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature 15 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), p. 228

in Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare
Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida and literary defacement
James Simpson

vols (London: Nutt, 1894). 9 Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde , in The Riverside Chaucer , third edition, gen. ed. L. D. Benson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988). All citation from this poem is made by book and line number from this edition in the body of the text

in Love, history and emotion in Chaucer and Shakespeare
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Real-life observation versus literary convention
S. H. Rigby

heretical doctrines of John Wyclif and his Lollard followers, doctrines which provided an all-out attack on the wealth, power and status enjoyed by the clerical estate and which were to find a sympathetic audience even amongst some members of the royal court. As the son of a London vintner, a member of royal and aristocratic households, a civil servant and a diplomat, Geoffrey Chaucer enjoyed a privileged

in Chaucer in context