By Ian Scott-Kilvert
Volumes 1-8 and supplementations 1-4. entire
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Additional info for BRITISH WRITERS, Volume 1
And R. , The Book Concerning Piers the Plowman (1957), in Everyman's Library, complete, in alliterative verse; J. F. , Piers the Plowman (rev. ; Harmondsworth, 1968), in the Penguin Classic series, complete, in prose. 18 GEOFFREY CHAUCER (ca. 1340-1400) TVeri/I Coghill A shilling life will give you all the facts. W. H. Auden poet; Langland was before him. But he was the first English poet in the high culture of Europe, then breaking out all over England in a glorious profusion of creative power.
1340), and the great octagonally fashioned vault over the transept of Ely Cathedral, the work of Alan of Walsingham and William Hurley not long before—miracles, both, of strength and ingenuity; and the nave of Westminster Abbey, grove of slender stone, built by the greatest English architect before Wren, Henry Yevele. Chaucer, late in his life, knew and worked with him. It was Yevele who, with Hugh Herland, master carpenter, built Westminster Hall (1394). In portraiture, an art then dawning and of which Chaucer became a master, one may recall the tragic alabaster face of Edward II that haunts the visitor to Gloucester Cathedral, or the know- IN what his father and mother would have regarded as his career—for it was they who had the wit, and the luck, to launch him upon it— Geoffrey Chaucer did remarkably well.
Troilus and Criseyde, The 1 3 My life's physician. So tractable. , Fourteenth Century Verse and Prose (London, 1937). , by G. V. Smithers, 1957). Upon all reason. 20 GEOFFREY CHAUCER Whan that they wolden any Flemyng kille, As thilke day was maad upon the fox. (The Nun's Priest's Tale) I saw his sweet face as it were dry and bloodless with pale dying. And later, more pale, dead, languoring; and then turned more dead unto blue: and then more brown-blue, as the flesh turned more deeply dead. For his Passion shewed to me most specially in his blessed face, and chiefly in his lips: there I saw these four colours, though it were afore fresh, ruddy, and liking, to my sight.