THEMATIC STUDIES                       

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


247. BREWER, DEREK [S]. "Children in Chaucer." Review of English Literature 5 (1964):52-60. Reprinted in Tradition and Innovation in Chaucer (London: Macmillan Press, 1982), pp. 46-53.

Surveys Chaucer's poetical treatment of children from passing references to his "great success in writing about children," especially the Prioress's Tale, isolating realistic callousness and idealized sentimentality as examples of the poet's "amazing juxtapositions."

248. BREWER, DEREK [S]. "Class Distinction in Chaucer." Speculum 43 (1968):290-305. Reprinted in Tradition and Innovation in Chaucer (London: Macmillan Press, 1982), pp. 54-72.

Chaucer's works reflect three separate systems of class distinction: the essentially social "ladder of degree" that distinguishes rank and mobility; the "socio-moral" distinction of gentility concerned with propriety and virtue more than rank; and the division of society in warriors, clergy, and laborers which allows assessment of people according to how well they fulfill their functions.

249. ELLIOTT, R.W.V. "Chaucer's Reading." In Chaucer's Mind and Art. Edited by A.C. Cawley. Essays Old and New, no. 3. London: Oliver & Boyd, 1969, pp. 46-68.

Surveys the scholarship concerned with Chaucer's reading and assesses the themes of books and reading in his poetry. The genre of dream vision and the theme of dreaming complement and comment upon Chaucer's use of written sources, especially in House of Fame, Parliament of Fowls, and Nun's Priest's Tale.

250. PATCH, HOWARD R. "Chaucer and the Common People." JEGP 29 (1930):376-84.

Studies the attitudes toward the lower classes in Chaucer's works, demonstrating his Boethian "kindly view" of human nature as it extends down the social ladder, his concern for "common profit," and the social range of his poetry.

See also entries 209, 543, 776.

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