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The Life of Geoffrey Chaucer: A Critical Biography
This important new critical biography traces in carefully considered detail what is known of Geoffrey Chaucer's personal life while exploring the fascinating relationship between the man of affairs, who made so many 'improvisations and accommodations' to ensure his own survival, and the poet. A major reexamination of England's greatest narrative poet, it is supplemented wi ...more
Paperback, 380 pages
Published January 9th 1995 by Wiley-Blackwell
(first published December 31st 1992)
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(showing 1-30 of 50)
Heavy on what historical details are available, low on speculation, and not particularly enjoyable if you want to clear picture of Chaucer. That, apparently, cannot be had unless one takes liberties, in which case we'd get a fictionalized portrait. The title does say "Critical Biography," and it deals with Chaucer's writing in detail. I have read only "The Canterbury Tales," but I am now curious about some of the other works.
Densely packed with information, there is a lot to take in on each page. I liked Pearsall's style previously, having encountered him through Langland criticism and his edition of the C text of Piers Plowman. This did not disappoint in that regard. Pearsall is remarkably knowledgeable about the period and demonstrates this. He can also be blunt and assertive, and adds small touches of humour to his analysis which makes otherwise fairly dry topics rather readable. I feel my knowledge and understan ...more
The critical parts of the biography went beyond what my brain could reasonably digest without serious study of his and other contemporary works. More readable areas were gleaned from Life Record documents and author's studied perception of what probably occurred. Will hereafter use as a reference.