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The three Oxford Guides to Chaucer are written by scholars of international repute, with the purpose of summarizing what is known about his works and offering interpretations based on recent advances in both historical knowledge and theoretical understanding. They will provide readers at every level with new interpretations and ideas, with essential and up-to-date information on such matters as dating and sources and with analyses of thematic issues, structure, style rhetoric and generic relations brought right up-to-date for this second paperback edition. Helen Cooper's volume on The Canterbury Tales tackles these matters both for the whole
work and for each individual Tale. It also includes a survey of literary responses to the Tales over the two centuries following Chaucer's death. The book is perhaps the most comprehensive single-volume guide to the Tales yet produced, bringing together a wide range of disparate material and providing a readable commentry on all aspects of the work. It combines the comprehensive coverage of a reference book with the coherence of a critical account and since its first publication in 1989, has established itself as a standard work on the Tales.
Readership: General readers, students and scholars of Chaucer and
Helen Cooper, Professor of English Language and Literature, and Tutorial Fellow, University College, Oxford
"`Cooper's guide is a more powerful book than any previous aid or introduction to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. It presents the lively and generous mind of a serious scholar and a sensitive reader.'
Notes and Queries"
"`a substantial work by a single author, with something of the proportions and production quality of a reference volume ... This is a major book with many virtues ... a book with much to offer its reader'
J D Burnley, Review of English Studies"
"IThe first volume of a project three ... is marked by wit, learning, intelligence, and that rarest of critical virtues, good judgement. She has produced a genuine guide whose abundant information and good sense make it a sure foundation for serious work on ^RThe Canterbury Tales^I. Although especially useful for those, on any level, studying Chaucer for the first time, experienced Chaucerians will find it a helpful companion to ^RThe Riverside Chaucer^I. For teaching or research this is now the first book on^R The Canterbury Tales^I to consult after reading the text itself.^R'^L^BC. David Benson, Studies in the Age of Chaucer^R (US journal)"
^L"^I`The sharpness, conciseness, and
up-to-date information very good for students who need fairly quick insights and stimulus.'^R^L^BSarah Carpenter, Lecturer, Department of English, University of Edinburgh^R"
^L"'^ITeachers preparing for lectures or tutorials and students preparing for exams will turn to Helen Cooper's guide because it critically assimilates so much information in an economical and readable style. Cooper clearly aims to offer sound criticism, and she does. Cooper's guide is a more powerful book than any previous aid or introduction to Chaucer's^R Canterbury Tales. ^IIt presents the lively and generous mind of a serious scholar and a sensitive reader.^R'^L^BCharlotte Morse, Virginia Commonwealth
University, Notes and Queries, June 1991^R"
^L"^I'a sure-footed guide through very difficult scholarly terrain ... Dr Cooper's volume sets a dauntingly high standard for the execution of the aims of the series. Indeed, it is so good that I often feel that it should be kept out of the hands of my students since it makes otiose much of what I might say to them and says a great deal that it had never occurred to me to say. It is a well written and reliable guide through a mass of material that largely transcends the limitations of its form to offer critical analysis of lasting value.'^R^L^BA.S.G. Edwards, University of Victoria, Archiv für das Stadium der neueren Sprachen und
Literaturen, 229. Band 144. Hargang 1. Halbjahresband 1992^R"^L