Aims to study the age of Chaucer and the events that shaped his career, and to show how the age made the poet. It also pays considerable attention to the precise poetic means Chaucer used to produce his effects. The writings of Lydgate, Hoccleve, Pecock, Fortescue, Caxton and other unknownwriters of the 15th century are also assessed. Their work covered subjects such as love, war, religion, history, medicine, travel and practical affairs. This book sums up the contribution of the 15th century to the body and continuity of English literature.… (more)
PREFACE This book forms part one of Volume II of The Oxford History of English Literature, of which part two, under the title 'The Close of the Middle Ages', has already appeared (1945).
I CHAUCER AND HIS AGEThe city of London in the fourteenth century, despite the fact that it was incomparably the greatest city of the kingdom, was comparatively small -- indeed insignificant when compared with the 'great Wen" of to-day.