Chaucer and the City

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Ardis Butterfield
DS Brewer, 2006 - Literary Criticism - 231 pages
Essays exploring Chaucer's identity as a London poet and the urban context for his writings.

Literature of the city and the city in literature are topics of major contemporary interest. This volume enhances our understanding of Chaucer's iconic role as a London poet, defining the modern sense of London as a city in history, steeped in its medieval past. Building on recent work by historians on medieval London, as well as modern urban theory, the essays address the centrality of the city in Chaucer's work, and of Chaucer to a literature and a language of the city. Contributors explore the spatial extent of the city, imaginatively and geographically; the diverse and sometimes violent relationships between communities, and the use of language to identify and speak for communities; the worlds of commerce, the aristocracy, law, and public order. A final section considers the longer history and memory of the medieval city beyond the devastations of the Great Fire and into the Victorian period.

Dr ARDIS BUTTERFIELD is Reader in English at University College London.

Contributors: ARDIS BUTTERFIELD, MARION TURNER, RUTH EVANS, BARBARA NOLAN, CHRISTOPHER CANNON, DEREK PEARSALL, HELEN COOPER, C. DAVID BENSON, ELLIOTKENDALL, JOHN SCATTERGOOD, PAUL DAVIS, HELEN PHILLIPS

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Contents

Preface
11
Chaucer and the Detritus of the City
11
LOCATIONS
11
Marion Turner
25
Ruth Evans
41
Chaucers Poetics of Dwelling in Troilus and Criseyde
57
41
84
COMMUNITIES
91
Literary Contests and London Records in the Canterbury Tales
129
The Shipmans Tale
145
Chaucers Complaint to his Purse
162
Chaucer and Urban Poetics 16661743
177
Chaucer and the NineteenthCentury City
193
Bibliography
211
Index
225
Copyright

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Page 8 - The city, however, does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand, written in the corners of the streets, the gratings of the windows, the banisters of the steps, the antennae ot the lightning rods, the poles of the flags, every segment marked in turn with scratches, indentations, scrolls.

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