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Chaucer and the Tradition of the Roman Antique


Part of Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature

  • Date Published: February 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521051002

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About the Authors
  • This is a detailed investigation of Chaucer's poetics in Troilus and Criseyde and the Knight's Tale in relation to an important continental narrative tradition. It is the first such wide-ranging study since Charles Muscatine's seminal Chaucer and the French Tradition and the first book to argue in detail that Chaucer's poems, Boccaccio's Filostrato and Teseida and the twelfth-century French romans antiques participate in a distinct formal tradition within the protean field of medieval romance. By close examination of the formal and ethical designs of each poem, Barbara Nolan explores both the compositional practices shared by all of the poets she discusses, and their calculated differences from each other. Her analysis culminates in a full examination of Chaucer's richly original response to the continental verse narratives from which he borrowed. No other study offers so full and careful a delineation of the compositional features that distinguish the roman antique from other forms of romance in the Middle Ages.

    • Most comprehensive study of Chaucer's sources for Troilus and Criseyde and the Knight's Tale since Muscatine's Chaucer and the French Tradition (1957) or even Young's book on Troilus (1908)!
    • Important for scholars of the medieval romance generally (French, English and Italian), as it sets out fully for the first time features that distinguish the roman antique from other kinds of romance
    • Barbara Nolan is a well-known senior scholar, Chair of English Department at the University of Virginia, author of numerous articles and of previous book The Gothic Visionary Perspective (Princeton University Press, 1977)
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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521051002
    • length: 408 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of abbreviations
    1. Benoît de Sainte-Maure's Roman de Troie and the compositional practices of the roman antique
    2. Plaits, debates, and judgments in the Roman de Thèbes, the Roman de Troie and the Roman d'Eneas
    3. The poetics of fine amor in the French romans antiques
    4. From history into fiction: Boccaccio's Filostrato and the question of foolish love
    5. Boccaccio's Teseida and the triumph of Aristotelian virtue
    6. Saving the poetry: authors, translators, texts, and readers in Chaucer's Book of Troilus and Criseyde
    7. The consolation of Stoic virtue: Chaucer's Knight's Tale and the tradition of the roman antique

  • Author

    Barbara Nolan, University of Virginia

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