Critical Insights: The Canterbury Tales Review

“Lynch (English, Rutgers University) collects contemporary and a few classic essays offering critical perspectives on Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. The essays have been selected for their accessibility to students and other readers who are not professional medievalists. Essays on critical contexts address topics such as the popular and critical reception of The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer’s reworking of material from Dante and Boccaccio, and feminist perspectives on The Canterbury Tales. The next section presents critical close readings from a number of schools of thought, in areas such as Chaucer’s poetic persona, the narrative voice of The Canterbury Tales, interpretations of individual tales, and religious meanings and contexts of The Canterbury Tales. The book includes a biography of Chaucer, a chronology of his life, and a complete list of works.”
-Reference & Research Book News

“…impressive array of criticism--some commissioned, some reprinted… [The book] is divided into four sections: "The Book and Author," "Critical Contexts," "Critical Readings," and "Resources." The contributions to the Chaucer volume range from E. Talbot Donaldson's 1954 classic "Chaucer the Pilgrim," which established new understanding of the role of Chaucer in this text, to Katharina Wilson's revisionist "Figmenta vs. Veritas," which views Chaucerian women in light of literature written by women and emphasizes empowerment rather than submission, to David Wallace's discussion of the absence of the primacy of the City of London in "Chaucer and the Absent City." Clearly, Lynch recognized the hot-button topics of Chaucerian scholarship…User-friendly and provocative, these volumes and others in the "Critical Insights" series are sure to please. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers.”