This volume contains ten essays, principally on Chaucer, but also on other English writers of the period such as John Gower, Ranulph Higden and Thomas Hoccleve. The Chaucerian focus includes the dream visions and Troilus and Criseyde as well as the Canterbury Tales.
Reading Chaucer is divided into three sections, on Borderlands, Interiors and After-Images. The essays are representative of methods and approaches to Chaucer that are central to current scholarship: textual criticism, interdisciplinarity, manuscript study, cultural context, iconography, close reading and historicism. The book provides a coherent and authoritative introduction to some of the key frameworks – literary, political, social, scientific, aesthetic and religious – within which Chaucer’s works are now read, while covering the full range of his writings and the defining genres of his creative moment, including the chronicle, romance, fabliau and petition.
Peter Brown is Professor of Medieval English Literature at the University of Kent in Canterbury. He has been reading Chaucer and contextual materials throughout his professional life and has authored or edited a number of books on Chaucer and medieval literature, including The Age of Saturn (1991; with the medieval historian Andrew Butcher), Chaucer at Work (1994), Reading Dreams (1999), Companion to Chaucer (2000), Companion to Medieval Literature and Culture (2007), Chaucer and the Making of Optical Space (2007) and Geoffrey Chaucer (2011). He has also taught at the University of Exeter, the University of Connecticut and the University of California, Los Angeles.