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The Life of Geoffrey Chaucer: A Critical Biography
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The Life of Geoffrey Chaucer: A Critical Biography

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  23 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
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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Jun 19, 2014 Richard rated it liked it
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.
Feb 08, 2014 Tom rated it liked it
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
Dwayne Coleman
Probably the best biography of Chaucer there is.
Aug 30, 2015 Linda rated it really liked it
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.
Peter Levi
Mar 04, 2013 Peter Levi rated it it was amazing
My favourite Chaucer biography. Pearsall sticks with the facts and his conclusions seem unavoidable. He also offers terrific insight into Chaucer's works and what influenced them.
Becky Hoffman
Mar 05, 2012 Becky Hoffman rated it liked it
This was required reading for my Chaucer class. I'm really REALLY trying to enjoy it. It's ok, nothing to write home about, not like anyone at home would really care anyway.
Jan 28, 2008 Shannon rated it did not like it
Required reading for my Chaucer class. This book will be the death of me.
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