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Love Visions

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  390 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Spanning Chaucer's working life, these four poems build on the medieval convention of love visions' - poems inspired by dreams, woven into rich allegories about the rituals and emotions of courtly love. In "The Book of the Duchess", the most traditional of the four, the dreamer meets a widower who has loved and lost the perfect lady, and "The House of Fame" describes a dre ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 25th 1983 by Penguin Classics (first published 1368)
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David M.
The middling rating for this book is based not on the merit of the poems themselves, but on the near criminal editorial attention the translator gave to this collection. First, the title is inaccurate; a better title might be "Dream Visions", as three out of the four poems begin with the conceit that Chaucer is relating a dream engendered, of course, by the aid of a good book. Second, the editor freely admits he chose texts based on personal preference, and in doing so, alters the translation to ...more
I was so happy to find the Book of the Duchess and six other lyrics included in the back of my copy of Chaucer's the Canterbury Tales. It is a narrative poem which illustrates that Chaucer was heavily influenced by French poetry in his early compositions. At the start of the poem, a young poet falls asleep after reading a book. He dreams that he awakes in an elegant chamber, hears from the hall that a hunt is to take place, and ventures out to see it begin. After seeing the hunters and all of th ...more
All of Chaucer's dream visions are strange entrances into a medieval and fantastic world. Unfortunately, these works are often forgotten because < u>The Canterbury Tales steals the focus. "The Parliament of Fowls" is a fun dream vision to read around Valentine's Day. In addition to his shorter poems and the visions, this Norton edition includes excerpts from Chaucer's sources which serve to contextualize his allusions.
I absolutely love Chaucer's work, though the only negative thing I'd have to say is that despite how well you've accustomed yourself to the language, it really slows you down and takes away from the reading experience.

However, if you have the time and the patience, I highly recommend this book as well as Troilus and Criseyde. For this book, in particular, The House of Fame was definitely worth the read!
I really enjoyed The Parliament of Fowls and The Legends of Good Women. The first was very humorous and the second was a nice defense of womanhood against courtly love and exploiting men. My edition also had critical essays and background sources. The sources were interesting and a few of the essays were but some of them really got on my nerves. Over all, I enjoyed reading the Middle English because it's pretty similar to modern English but different enough that it was like reading a foreign lan ...more
J. Alfred
So some of us don't know much about Chaucer (cringing) and those of us who know only a very little bit think of him as primarily a comic writer. He may well be, but he's also intensely skilled, and can be downright thoughtful and serious when he wants to. Still nothing I'd pick up for pleasure on a Friday night, but worth your while figuring out all the irritating Middle English quirks. ("Hir" means "their," not "her." What the heck, Middle English??)
Read "The Parliament of Fowls," "Gentilesse," and "Truth." Also read "Scipio's Dream," "Commentary on Scipio's Dream," "The Consolation of Philosophy," and "Romance of the Rose" from the Contexts section. The contexts were more interesting than the dream visions, but I would like to read more of them at some point.
Xavier Guillaume
Feb 10, 2012 Xavier Guillaume rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Chaucer
I must admit, I didn't understand the point of Dream Visions. This was the last book I read of my undergraduate career, and I must have been beyond tired at this point.

I probably have to reread it to fairly assess this, but it was definitely not as good as Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde.
Nov 09, 2008 Tiffany rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Romantics that are looking for a bit more to their stories of love
These stories were great! They are entertaining and thoughtful on the surface level, but offer even more as allegories. What's more, the stories are short which makes it easy to pick them up and put them down whenever you have time.
We started off the Canterbury Tales course with the House of Fame and the Book of the Duchess. I enjoyed them both, but I'm more partial to the House of Fame
Kevin Albrecht
Mar 10, 2009 Kevin Albrecht marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Any book of poetry by Chaucer will do. See for a list
Superb anthology of Chaucer's shorter works.
Beautiful, amazing! The Book of the Duchess is what poetry is supposed to be like.
I'm a Chaucer nerd. I will not lie. I also love old stories in middle English.
Really good edition; superceded when I acquired a Riverside.
I, for one, don't think The House of Fame is unfinished at all.
Aug 02, 2008 Ian marked it as to-read
Shelves: literature
* not in Middle English
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Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343 – October 25, 1400?) was an English author, poet, philosopher, bureaucrat, courtier and diplomat. Although he wrote many works, he is best remembered for his unfinished frame narrative The Canterbury Tales. Sometimes called the father of English literature, Chaucer is credited by some scholars as being the first author to demonstrate the artistic legitimacy of the vernacu ...more
More about Geoffrey Chaucer...
The Canterbury Tales The Riverside Chaucer Troilus and Criseyde The Canterbury Tales: Nine Tales and the General Prologue: Authoritative Text, Sources and Backgrounds, Criticism The Wife of Bath

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