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Chaucer's Miller's, Reeve's, and Cook's Tales

Chaucer's Miller's, Reeve's, and Cook's Tales: An Annotated Bibliography 1900-1992

T.L. Burton
Rosemary Greentree
David Biggs
Rosemary Greentree
Hugh McGivern
David Matthews
Greg Murrie
Dallas Simpson
Volume: 5
Copyright Date: 1997
Pages: 290
  • Book Info
    Chaucer's Miller's, Reeve's, and Cook's Tales
    Book Description:

    An annotated bibliography describing editing and critical works on three of Chaucer's tales. The authors make extensive use of the standard bibliographies of English literature, medieval studies, and Chaucerian studies.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7289-5
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. General Editor’s Preface
    (pp. vii-xii)
    Thomas Hahn
  4. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. xv-xx)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. xxi-2)

    ‘Criticism’ of the Miller’s, Reeve’s and Cook’s tales during the first decade of this century is something of a misnomer, since the motives that have sustained interest in these narratives had not yet developed. Only one article treated in this section, Hart’s on the Reeve’s Tale (656) can be called truly ‘literary critical.’ Rather the dominant paradigm of literary scholarship in this decade was a continuation of the late nineteenth-century tradition of establishing reliable texts for all of Chaucer’s work; and the second major interest was the study of sources and analogues. Both fields of research proved particularly fruitful in...

  7. Editions, Translations, and Modernizations
    (pp. 3-16)

    Only the most scholarly editions of Chaucer’s works at first gaveMilT, RvTandCkTin full; many others resorted to exclusion or to bowdlerization which curtailed, altered or rendered them mystifying.The Modern Reader’s Chaucer10, for example, printed first in 1912 and last in 1966 omits many of the details ofMilTwhich make it a coherent story.

    F.N. Robinson’s edition of the complete works 14, using ‘primarily the eight printed manuscripts and Thynne’s edition,’ first published in 1933, established itself as the standard to which most other criticism refers. The second edition 15 was published in 1957, and...

  8. Sources and Analogues
    (pp. 17-30)

    These works place the tales within the tradition of fabliau, relating them to their analogues and commenting on Chaucer’s treatment of the originals. The most comprehensive studies are those collected by Bryan and Dempster, annotated at 56 and 57, Benson and Anderson 66, and Hertog 88; and there are many works dealing with individual fabliaux. The connections are most obvious in comparisons with the French analogues ofRvT:De Gombert et des II clersandLe Meunier et les II clers; Dempster, in particular shows Chaucer’s alteration and elaboration of fabliau elements 54, 55. The analogue inThe Decameronis...

  9. Items of Linguistic and Lexicographical Interest
    (pp. 31-60)

    This criticism covers general and particular aspects of the tales. General studies of Chaucer’s use of language include 131, 135 and 181. The poet’s fluent manipulation of styles has been discerned in the relation of the tales to colloquial (102, 109, 118, 134, 140, 148), religious (139, 144) and courtly language (103, 178), in studies often examining the relation to parody. Chaucer’s bawdy language is examined in 124, 129, 130, 136, 176, and 178. The play of words in various figures, names of characters and the manipulation of rhetorical tropes add specific detail to general principle. Comments include those at...

  10. The Narrators of the Tales Considered as Characters
    (pp. 61-82)

    Studies which use the characters of the narrators to illuminate their tales may deal only with the pilgrim characters and their interactions or relate them to a wider social and political context. Some insights come from seeing the narrators as examples of stock characters, for instance stereotypes of millers and reeves as cheats, as in the allusions to the Miller’s dishonesty (211) and the Reeve’s dealings with his lord (238, 248, 255). Stock features inform the characterization of these individuals. The coarseness associated with millers is demonstrated when the pilgrim Miller is disruptive and contentious, leading to his interruption of...

  11. The Tales Considered Together
    (pp. 83-164)

    Works gathered in this section deal with more than one of the tales. Some of these studies are comparative; others treat the tales discretely.

    Studies which examine the first fragment orCTin general explore the connections between the tales giving particularly helpful insights into the frame tale, links between the tales, and comments made by individual tales on the others, aspects which have received increasing attention throughout the century. Many general studies deal with the tales at various levels, often concentrating on particular aspects of the work. Coulton 266 first refers to the ‘downward slope of accelerating impropriety’ inMilT,...

  12. The Miller’s Tale
    (pp. 165-222)

    Annotations in this section cover studies (whether separate essays or discrete chapters of longer works) that concentrate solely onMilT. They also cover general studies of Chaucer’s works in whichMilTis mentioned rather thanRvTorCkT.

    Early references to the tale are very often disapproving: Ames 457 gives an example, and incidentally excuses Chaucer from bearing any responsibility for his creation. The tale is paradoxically noted as the intrusion of its churlish teller, who nevertheless gives an elegantly constructed parody ofKnT, a matter elaborated in 583 and 637. The relation ofMilTandKnT(discussed in many...

  13. The Reeve’s Tale
    (pp. 223-242)

    Numerous references toRvTwill be found in the section on Sources and Analogues, since many studies have traced analogues of the story and noted Chaucer’s adherence to or divergence from the earlier versions. Some stories which appear to be indebted toRvT, are also noted there. Other references will be found in the Linguistic section, where the Northernisms used by the clerks are discussed.

    The sure, clear realization of setting and characterization inRvTis often noted. The mill (701) and surrounding countryside (706) are acutely described, and the clerks’Strothir(657) andSoler Hall(171, 322, 660, 661,...

  14. The Cook’s Tale
    (pp. 243-250)

    The brevity of the abruptly curtailed tale has ensured that relatively little has been written about it. Indeed some critics have expressed relief, since it was clearly not to have a high moral tone, and does not appear to illustrate a warning against sin (726, 727). Manuscript studies have offered some explanation for the ending of the tale (740, 742, 747,752, 753), and some ideas for continuation have been advanced, as in Pasolini’s film (745, 754, 754).

    It has been suggested that the tale comments on apprentices, their conditions and education (732, 733, 734, 748, 749). Other details which have...

  15. Index
    (pp. 251-287)