What Do I Read Next?
- One of the most famous writers living during Chaucer’s lifetime was Giovanni Boccaccio. Boccaccio’s most famous work, The Decameron (1350), was a collection of one hundred short tales that may have influenced the structure that Chaucer used. In addition, some of the stories Chaucer used in his work were taken from The Decameron.
- The “Chaucer Metapage” is a project initiated in 1998 by the Thirty Third International Congress of Medieval Studies, aimed at coordinating all Chaucer sources on the internet. It can be located at http://www.unc.edu/depts/chaucer/index.html (August 6, 2001).
- The Canterbury Tales has been translated into Modern English by Nevill Coghill, whose translation was, in turn, adapted to a Broadway musical in 1968. This translation, from Penguin Classics, is considered to be the best of modern translations. Penguin USA published a recent edition in 2000.
- Nevill Coghill also translated Troilus and Criseyde (1483), Chaucer’s other famous work. It is also available from Penguin Classics.
- Some of Chaucer’s minor works have been compiled in a book from Penguin Classics called Love Visions. Included in the book are “The Book of the Duchess,” “The House of Fame,” “The Parliament of Birds,” and “The Legend of Good Women.” It was translated by Brian Stone and published by Viking Press in 1985.
- Sir Edmund Spenser’s epic poem The Faerie Queen was published two centuries after Chaucer in 1590, but it was an historic piece, looking back at a time of knights and medieval folklore, which is why it is often linked with The Canterbury Tales. Spenser’s poem is available as a Penguin Classic from Viking Press, and a reissued edition was published in 1988.
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a tale of chivalry that goes back before Chaucer’s time, to the thirteenth century. It is available in a modern translation from 1925 by J. R. R. Tolkien author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It was reissued by Ballantine Books in 1988.
- One of the most influential poetic works ever written, The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, concerns the author’s journey through hell and purgatory and finally to heaven. It was published in 1321, and Chaucer would certainly have read it, as have millions of poetry lovers in the centuries since then.