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Chaucer and Italian Culture

Chaucerian scholarship has long been intrigued by the nature and consequences of Chaucer’s exposure to Italian culture during his professional visits to Italy in the 1370s. In the eight chapters of Chaucer and Italian Culture, leading scholars take a fresh and holistic view of Chaucer’s engagement with Italian cultural practice, moving beyond the traditional ‘sources and analogues’ approach to reveal the varied strands of Italian literature, art, politics, and intellectual life which permeate Chaucer’s work. Each chapter unfolds, from a different lens, links between Chaucerian texts and Italian intellectual models, including poetics, choreography, visual art, classicism, diplomacy, and prophecy. Echoes of Petrarch, Dante, and Boccaccio reverberate throughout the book, across a rich and diverse landscape of Italian cultural legacies. Taken together, these eight chapters cover a wide range of theories and references while sharing a united understanding of the rich impact of Italian culture on Chaucer’s narrative art.

288 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

New Century Chaucer

Medieval Studies

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“The eight essays in this volume reinvigorate the study of Chaucer’s reception and representation of Italian culture by reconceptualizing the ways in which we might approach his work. Chaucer’s relation to Petrarch gains depth and nuance . . . and his acquaintance with developments in Italian painting casts new light on both his political engagements and his interaction with Boccaccio’s works. Chaucer and Italian Culture is a book anyone interested in cross-cultural translation will want to read.”

Warren Ginsberg, University of Oregon

“Addressing important topics such as diplomacy, topography, vision, painting, and language, Chaucer and Italian Culture also offers unusual and illuminating approaches to subjects such as the poetics of haunting, prophecy, and civic ritual. With essays by established scholars alongside contributions from a new generation of medievalists, the collection is a timely addition to research on Chaucer’s European identity.”

Nick Havely, University of York

Table of Contents

Introduction: Chaucer Imagines Italy - Helen Fulton
1 Chaucerian Diplomacy - William Rossiter
2 The Haunting of Geoffrey Chaucer: Dante, Boccaccio, and the Ghostly Poetics of the Trecento - James Robinson
3 Chorography and Topography: Italian Models and Chaucerian Strategies - Helen Fulton
4 Vision and Touch in Dante and Chaucer - Robert S. Sturges
5 The Aesthetics of ‘Wawes Grene’: Planets, Painting, and Politics in Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale - Andrew James Johnston
6 The Prophetic Eagle in Italy, England, and Wales: Dante, Chaucer, and Insular Political Poetry - Victoria Flood
7 ‘Trophee’ and Triumph in the Monk’s Tale - Leah Schwebel
8 From Imitation to Invention: Chaucer’s Journey from House of Fame to the Nun’s Priest’s Tale - Teresa A. Kennedy

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