Derek Brewer The World of Chaucer

ISBN 13: 9780859916073

The World of Chaucer

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9780859916073: The World of Chaucer
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Geoffrey Chaucer died on 25 October 1400. To mark the six-hundredth anniversary of his death Derek Brewer's classic book is once again available in a fully illustrated version: over one hundred contemporary colour and black and white illustrations, from the homely to the refined - from children's games and cooking to falconry and music-making - bring the late middle ages to life. Chaucer's English world - that of the second half of the fourteenth century - is rich in interest of every kind, and Chaucer was a uniquely perceptive recorder of it. The tensions between tradition and innovation led to severe, sometimes violent, clashes; age-old customs were contested by the new individualism among the educated, by passionate religious dissent in high and low, and by peasants in revolt. London, caught up in the intellectual ferment, became an economic and cultural force to rival the great Continental cities, yet remained closely linked with the royal court and the church, strongholds of tradition. The English language came to its first full flowering since the Norman conquest, and many international influences were absorbed; among the turmoil, the arts flourished. Chaucer stood close to the centre of this world. He was one of the new literate laymen, a product of the merchant-gentry, from early youth a courtier, briefly a soldier, throughout his life an administrator, diplomat, scholar. He was also a very great poet: drawing freely from his work, Derek Brewer's biography gives a full and rounded picture of a distant but fascinating age.

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From the Back Cover:

Chaucer's English world-that of the second half of the 14th century-is rich in interest of every kind, and Chaucer was a uniquely perceptive recorder of it. The tensions between tradition and innovation led to serve, sometimes violent, clashes; age-old traditions were contested by the new individualism among the educated, passionate religious dissent in high and low, and revolt by peasants.

About the Author:

DEREK BREWERhas written many books and articles on Chaucer and medieval and later English literature. He is professor of English literature emeritus in the University of Cambridge, and was Master of Emmanuel College from 1977-90.

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