By Piero Boitani
Translated by Joan Krakover Hall
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:1982
Online Publication Date:April 2011
Subjects: Anglo Saxon and medieval literature
This is a wide-ranging and detailed study of English narrative verse in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Piero Boitani describes and analyses the undisputed masterpieces of narrative (such as the works of the Gawain poet, Langland, Gower and Chaucer), as well as the anonymous romances and specimens of religious and comic narrative which form the background to the better-known poems. The book is divided by literary genres or structural systems: chapters on the religious, comic and romance traditions are followed by a discussion of dream and visionary narratives and a chapter on story collections including those of Gower. The rest of the book is devoted to Chaucer, who mastered all these types.