© 1998

Chaucer and his English Contemporaries

Prologue and Tale in The Canterbury Tales

  • Authors
  • Argues that Chaucer's independence and experimental originality can only be understood in relation to the work of his contemporaries
    Discusses the use and modification of existing literary forms by Chaucer

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. W. A. Davenport
    Pages 1-8
  3. W. A. Davenport
    Pages 9-49
  4. W. A. Davenport
    Pages 50-91
  5. W. A. Davenport
    Pages 92-132
  6. W. A. Davenport
    Pages 133-166
  7. W. A. Davenport
    Pages 167-207
  8. W. A. Davenport
    Pages 208-217
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 218-245

About this book


Modern ways of presenting Chaucer have often made his work seem 'normal' so that The Canterbury Tales and its much-studied General Prologue are seen as archetypes of narrative and prologue. Tony Davenport argues that study of Chaucer's major work alongside contemporary English poems reveals the odd and extreme aspects of Chaucer's writing as well as the daring and experimental qualities in his work. The focus of the book is on strategies of narrative and discourse, but also includes discussion of other much-studied Middle English poems.


argue Chaucer discourse English genre Geoffrey Chaucer Medieval Literature Middle Ages poem prologue satire writing

About the authors

TONY DAVENPORT, Professor of English at Royal Holloway, University of London, has taught Middle English for many years and is the author of several standard books on medieval English literature.

Bibliographic information