The edition used is Robert Boenig and Andrew Taylor, eds. The Canterbury Tales, 2nd edition (Broadview, 2012). Please make sure you DO NOT BUY Boenig and Taylor's other book, The Canterbury Tales: A Selection (2009). Students should begin by reading the General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales, or at least the portraits of the Miller, Reeve, Cook, Man of Law, Wife of Bath, Clerk, and Franklin. It would be an advantage to make a start on the tales we will be studying themselves: begin with the Tales of the Miller, Reeve, Cook, and Wife of Bath if you want to get ahead. It would also be some advantage to read The Knight’s Tale, though we will not be studying it directly.
If you are unconfident with Chaucer’s language, then focus on the General Prologue and use Boenig and Taylor’s material on Middle English. Note that there will be a specific component on the course aimed at helping you to read Chaucer’s English, and to do close readings of the texts. We will study texts in the original Middle English and you must quote in the original in all your written work, including the exam.
Useful introductory critical material is: Helen Cooper, Oxford Guides to Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989); Steve Ellis, ed. Chaucer: An Oxford Guide (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005); Helen Phillips, An Introduction to 'The Canterbury Tales' (London: Macmillan, 2000).
If you want to go deeper into Chaucer criticism, you could begin with Kathy Cawsey, Twentieth-Century Chaucer Criticism: Reading Audiences (Farnham; Burlington VT: Ashgate, 2011).
Critical works frequently referred to in lectures include:
David Aers, Chaucer (London: Harvester, 1986)
Carolyn Dinshaw, Chaucer’s Sexual Poetics (London, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1989)
Elaine Tuttle Hansen, Chaucer and the Fictions of Gender (Oxford, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992)
Stephen Knight, Geoffrey Chaucer (Oxford: Blackwell, 1986);
Jill Mann, Chaucer and Medieval Estates Satire (London: Cambridge University Press, 1973)
Lee Patterson, Chaucer and the Subject of History (London: Routledge, 1991)
Derek Pearsall, The Life of Geoffrey Chaucer (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992)
Paul Strohm, Social Chaucer (London, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1989)
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