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Chaucer and His Times   By:

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HOME UNIVERSITY LIBRARY OF MODERN KNOWLEDGE

CHAUCER AND HIS TIMES

BY GRACE E. HADOW

LONDON WILLIAMS & NORGATE

HENRY HOLT & Co., NEW YORK CANADA: WM. BRIGGS, TORONTO INDIA: R. & T. WASHBOURNE, LTD.

1914

HOME UNIVERSITY LIBRARY OF MODERN KNOWLEDGE

Editors : HERBERT FISHER, M.A., F.B.A, LL.D. PROF. GILBERT MURRAY, D.LITT., LL.D., F.B.A. PROF. J. ARTHUR THOMSON, M.A., LL.D. PROF. WILLIAM T. BREWSTER, M.A. (Columbia University, U.S.A.)

NEW YORK HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY

CHAUCER AND HIS TIMES

BY GRACE E. HADOW

LECTURER IN ENGLISH, LADY MARGARET HALL, OXFORD; LATE READER IN ENGLISH, BRYN MAWR COLLEGE, U.S.A.

LONDON WILLIAMS AND NORGATE

The following volumes of kindred interest have already been published in this Library :

43. English Literature: Mediæval. By Prof. W. P. Ker. 13. Mediæval Europe. By H. W. C. Davis, M.A. 45. The English Language. By L. Pearsall Smith, M.A. 35. Landmarks in French Literature. By G. L. Strachey.

First Printed April 1914

CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE

NOTES ON CHAUCER'S USE OF 'E' vi

I CHAUCER'S LIFE AND TIMES 7

II CHAUCER'S WORKS 32

III CHAUCER'S TREATMENT OF HIS SOURCES 69

IV CHAUCER'S CHARACTER DRAWING 106

V CHAUCER'S HUMOUR 143

VI CHAUCER'S DESCRIPTIVE POWER 173

VII SOME VIEWS OF CHAUCER'S ON MEN AND THINGS 196

VIII CHAUCER'S INFLUENCE 229

BIBLIOGRAPHY 254

INDEX 255

NOTES ON CHAUCER'S USE OF 'E'

1. Final e is usually sounded in Chaucerian verse, but

( a ) it is slurred over before a word beginning with a vowel, e.g. I noldë sette [slur] at al that noyse [slur] a grote; before certain words beginning with h , such as he ; any part of the verb to have ; the adverbs heer , how , and a mute h as in honour e.g. Tho redde [slur] he me how Sampson loste [slur] his heres:

( b ) it is sometimes dropped in certain words in common use such as were , hadde , wolde , etc. e.g. Wolde [slur] go to bedde, [slur] he wolde [slur] no lenger tarie.

2. Middle e is sometimes dropped: e.g. hav(e)nes.

3. Final e should always be sounded at the end of a line.

These notes are based on the grammatical hints given in Professor Skeat's Introduction to his single volume edition of Chaucer's complete works (Clarendon Press, 1901), from which the illustrations in this book are also drawn. To his researches and to those of Professors Lounsbury and Ten Brink, and of the members of the Chaucer Society, all students of Chaucer must gratefully acknowledge their indebtedness. In quoting from Chaucer I have kept to Professor Skeat's spelling. All attempts to modernise Chaucerian verse inevitably result in destroying something of the charm and melody of the original. Readers whose eyes are not accustomed to the forms of Middle English will find practically all difficulty disappear if they read the passages aloud with modern pronunciation. With other Middle English and Scottish poets I have reluctantly taken greater liberties, since their language is often more remote from the speech of to day. An example of the original Scottish forms will be found on p. 240.

G. E. H.

CHAUCER AND HIS TIMES

CHAPTER I

CHAUCER'S LIFE AND TIMES

"The biography of Chaucer is built upon doubts and thrives upon perplexities" according to one of the most famous of Chaucer scholars, and the more carefully we consider the evidence upon which this statement is based, the more fully do we find it endorsed... Continue reading book >>




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