LITERARY INFLUENCE AND REPUTATION             

[Cross-references included at the bottom of the page]

 

193. ALDERSON, WILLIAM L., and HENDERSON, ARNOLD C. Chaucer and Augustan Scholarship. University of California Publications Series, no. 35. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1970, 284 pp.

Describes the reception of Chaucer between 1660 and 1750 by assessing the editions of his works published during this time: the "Edition of 1687" (a reissue of Speght), Dryden's Fables, Urry's, and Morrel's. These editions of the Augustan era are "pivotal" in several respects: they comprise the first attempts to collate identifiable manuscripts, record variant readings, "annotate" Chaucer's details, and understand Chaucer's language according to his contemporary usage. These endeavors reflect much about Augustan social, aesthetic, and lexicographic assumptions, and anticipate the more scholarly techniques of Tyrwhitt's edition (1775). Includes an important collection of Chaucer allusions that supplements Spurgeon (entry 202); the chapter on Urry is excerpted in Ruggiers' Editing Chaucer (entry 21).

194. BREWER, D[EREK] S. "Images of Chaucer 1386-1900." In Chaucer and Chaucerians: Critical Studies in Middle English Literature. London: Thomas Nelson & Sons; University: University of Alabama Press, 1966. Reprint. Norwich: Nelson's University Paperbacks, 1970. pp. 240- 70.

Surveys Chaucer's reputation as a poet among English literary figures from his contemporaries to 1900, noting the effect on his reputation of such factors as the increasing obscurity of his language, changing literary taste, and rising literary scholarship.

195. FOX, DENTON. "The Scottish Chaucerians." In Chaucer and Chaucerians: Critical Studies in Medieval Literature. Edited by D.S. Brewer. London: Thomas Nelson & Sons; University: University of Alabama Press, 1966. Reprint. Norwich: Nelson University Paperbacks, 1970, pp. 164- 200.

Describes the literary tradition of the fifteenth- century Scottish Chaucerians, concentrating on Robert Henryson, William Dunbar, and Gavin Douglas to clarify the appropriateness of the term "Chaucerian" and to assess their poetic achievements. What Henryson lacks of Chaucer's poetic voice, he makes up in earnestness. Dunbar's range and the musical quality of his works perhaps owe their inspiration to Chaucer. Douglas's rhetorical virtuosity and narrative dexterity reflect a profound understanding of Chaucer's works.

196. HIEATT, A. KENT. Chaucer, Spenser, Milton: Mythopoeic Continuities and Transformations. Montreal: McGill- Queen's University Press, 1975, 306 pp.

Examines the Chaucerian narratives that most directly influenced Spenser and identifies the poets' mutual concern with Neoplatonic love, friendship, and political harmony. Influenced by the sixteenth-century editions of Chaucer, Spenser finished Squire's Tale in Book IV of Faerie Queene, modelling his plot and themes on Knight's Tale and emulating the "mythic" concern with "unconstrained sexual choice" and "charitable self- control" he found in the Marriage Group. Spenser's Mutability Cantos owes much to Chaucer's Parliament of Fowls, considering Neoplatonic issues against a "moralized landscape" and, as elsewhere, reflecting Spenser's philosophical and narrative dependence upon Chaucer. Examines, in similar fashion, Milton's appropriation of Spenser.

197. LOOMIS, DOROTHY BETHURUM. "Chaucer and Shakespeare." In Chaucer's Mind and Art. Edited by A.C. Cawley. Essays Old and New, no. 3. London: Oliver & Boyd, 1969, pp. 166-90.

Surveys points of similarity and contrast between the two great writers, including biography, relation to contemporary traditions, and taste for bawdry. Assesses Shakespeare's use of Troilus and Criseyde and Knight's Tale, and compares the comic techniques of these "supreme masters of comedy in English literature."

198. MISKIMIN, ALICE S. "The Illustrated Eighteenth-Century Chaucer." Modern Philology 77 (1979):26-55.

Analyzes the popular understanding of Chaucer as reflected in eighteenth-century editions, book illustration,and painting, noticing the disregard of his wit and the concentration upon the shallowly perceived romantic elements of gentilesse, sentiment, and the supernatural. Focuses principally upon Urry's edition and Stothard's depictions.

199. MISKIMIN, ALICE S. The Renaissance Chaucer. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1975, 375 pp.

Investigates the critical perception of Chaucer and his works in the Renaissance by tracing the understanding of his language, canon, and persona--his development into "England's Homer." Early chapters treat Chaucer's works as precursors of Sydney's, Spenser's, and Shakespeare's, that is, as self-conscious pieces which explore the relations among authority, the poet, the audience, and the value of art. Later chapters trace the decline of the Troilus story from Chaucer to Dryden, examine the Renaissance Chaucer canon and editions of Chaucer, and assess Spenser's lionization of him in Shepherd's Calendar.

200. PEARSALL, DEREK. "The English Chaucerians." In Chaucer and Chaucerians: Critical Studies in Middle English Literature. Edited by D.S. Brewer. London: Thomas Nelson & Sons; University: University of Alabama Press, 1966. Reprint. Norwich: Nelson's University Paperbacks, 1970, pp. 201-39.

Surveys Chaucer's influence, modified by John Lydgate, on fifteenth-century English poetry. Only Thomas Hoccleve tries to emulate Chaucer's natural language and ironic personas. Others, including John Clanvowe, Stephen Hawes, John Skelton, Alexander Barclay, etc., all copy Lydgate's ponderous imitations of Chaucerian moral vision, rhetoric, and courtly allegory.

201. ROBINSON, IAN. Chaucer and the English Tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972, 307 pp.

Studies Chaucer's place at the head of the English tradition of poetry, analyzing his individual works for their progress towards "pure poetry," comparing him to his Italian predecessors, his English contemporaries, and his Scottish successors, and commenting upon the directions of Chaucer criticiam. Treats the relations between literature and language and the interaction of convention and context, arguing that Chaucer created a particularly English poetry which combines comic method and serious intent. Chaucer's most successful works-- Parliament of Fowls, General Prologue, Miller's Tale, Nun's Priest's Tale, and Wife of Bath's Prologue--fulfill the potential of English letters in such a way as to establish the meaning of poet, poem, and tale, and give to English literature the form it has today.

202. SPURGEON, CAROLINE F.E. Five Hundred Years of Chaucer Criticism and Allusion, 1357-1900. 7 vols. Chaucer Society Publications, Second Series, nos. 48-50, 52-56. London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, & Co., and Oxford University Press, 1908-1917. Reprint. 3 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1925; New York: Russell & Russell, 1960, 1437 pp.

The most extensive collection of references to Chaucer and his works, documenting the history of Chaucer's literary reputation and recording the development of Chaucer studies to the twentieth century. Drawn from literature, histories, criticism, and popular works, the references are "fairly" complete to 1800, selective from 1800 to 1868, and restricted to "chief editions" and "notable or typical criticism" from 1869 to 1900. Arranges individual entries chronologically and presents original-language quotation of commentary on Chaucer, complete with bibliographic information. The bulk of the main list is English, with some Latin entries included, while French and German references (and addenda) appear in appendices. The extensive introduction outlines Chaucer's literary reputation and the evolution of his biography, classifies the quotations by content, and theorizes about the development of literary criticism and scholarship. Along with author and subject references, the index includes an extensive analysis of the quoted material under the entry "Chaucer, Geoffrey."

203. SWART, FELIX. "Chaucer and the English Reformation." Neophilologus 62 (1978):616-19.

Explains the importance of the apocryphal Pilgrim's Tale and Plowman's Tale to the sixteenth-century view of Chaucer as a proto-Reformer.

204. THOMPSON, ANN. Shakespeare's Chaucer: A Study in Literary Origins. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press; New York : Barnes & Noble, 1978, 249 pp.

Summarizes Chaucer's reputation in the English Renaissance and surveys the use of his poetry by Renaissance dramatists as background to discussing Shakespeare's considerable debt to him. In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare borrowed elements from Legend of Good Women, Merchant's Tale, Knight's Tale, and perhaps Parliament of Fowls. The latter two influenced other Shakespearan works, especially Knight's Tale on the Two Noble Kinsmen. Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, modified for dark effect, stands behind Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida and is a subsidiary source for Romeo and Juliet.

See also entries 5, 8, 26, 34, 36, 55, 117-18, 120, 143, 359, 614, 635, 695, 726, 768, 771, 864.

Table of Contents

Previous Section: Contemporary English Literary Relations

Next Section: Philosophy and Religion