By Derek Brewer
Geoffrey Chaucer died on 25 October 1400. To mark the six-hundredth anniversary of his loss of life Derek Brewer's vintage booklet is once more to be had in an absolutely illustrated model: over 100 modern color and black and white illustrations, from the homely to the sophisticated - from kid's video games and cooking to falconry and music-making - carry the overdue center a while to existence. Chaucer's English international - that of the second one 1/2 the fourteenth century - is wealthy in curiosity of each variety, and Chaucer used to be a uniquely perceptive recorder of it. The tensions among culture and innovation resulted in serious, occasionally violent, clashes; age-old customs have been contested by way of the recent individualism one of the trained, by way of passionate spiritual dissent in low and high, and by way of peasants in insurrection. London, stuck up within the highbrow ferment, turned an financial and cultural strength to rival the nice Continental towns, but remained heavily associated with the royal courtroom and the church, strongholds of culture. The English language got here to its first complete flowering because the Norman conquest, and plenty of foreign impacts have been absorbed; one of the turmoil, the humanities flourished. Chaucer stood on the subject of the centre of this global. He was once one of many new literate laymen, a made of the merchant-gentry, from early early life a courtier, in brief a soldier, all through his existence an administrator, diplomat, student. He was once additionally a really nice poet: drawing freely from his paintings, Derek Brewer's biography supplies a whole and rounded photo of a far off yet interesting age. DEREK BREWERhas written many books and articles on Chaucer and medieval and later English literature. he's professor of English literature emeritus within the college of Cambridge, and used to be grasp of Emmanuel university from 1977-90.
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