An Introduction to Geoffrey Chaucer

Tison Pugh


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"Offers a welcome vade mecum to the Chaucer reader, whether a student or teacher. Impressively interweaving a lifetime of teaching Chaucer with a deep knowledge of his texts, Pugh compresses into one elegantly written, slim handbook the essential Chaucer. A college course in a book! And not a dull moment in it."--Jane Chance, author of The Literary Subversions of Medieval Women

"Focusing on genre theory and contemporary cultural connections, Pugh has produced a fresh and stimulating introduction to Chaucer’s oeuvre."--Kathleen Forni, author of The Chaucerian Apocrypha

"Always engaging and lucid, An Introduction to Geoffrey Chaucer will help even beginners understand and appreciate the poet's writing."--David Raybin, coeditor of Chaucer: Contemporary Approaches


Geoffrey Chaucer is widely considered the father of English literature. This introduction begins with a review of his life and the cultural milieu of fourteenth-century England and then expands into analyses of such major works as The Parliament of Fowls, Troilus and Criseyde, and, of course, the Canterbury Tales, examining them alongside a selection of lesser known verses.

One of the early hurdles faced by students of Chaucer is achieving ease and fluency with Middle English, but Tison Pugh provides a clear and concise pronunciation guide and a glossary to help novice readers navigate Chaucer's literature in its original language. Additional critical apparatus, including a survey of the writer's sources and brief summaries of major plot lines, make An Introduction to Geoffrey Chaucer an indispensable resource for students, teachers, and anyone who has ever wanted to learn more about this crucial figure of English literature.

Tison Pugh, professor of English at the University of Central Florida, and world-renowned expert on Chaucer, has written an eminently readable introduction to the "father of English literature," that begins with a review of his life and the cultural milieu of fourteenth-century England and then expands into analyses of his major works alongside a selection of lesser-known verses.

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“This introductory overview of... Chaucer’s life, culture, works, and language offers novice readers of Chaucer a means of familiarizing themselves with these key areas before undertaking study of the text themselves… recommended.” Choice

“Pugh shares his enthusiasm with wit and verve.” The Medieval Review

“Pugh sustains an accessible and engaging tone throughout this artful compression of an entire Chaucer course – or two, or three – into a single slim volume.” Comitatus

“On the whole, Tison Pugh’s Introduction to Geoffrey Chaucer deserves a very warm welcome and recommendation.” Mediaevistik

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