This website is a link on the Chaucer MetaPage
Here are some Internet resources for the study of Chaucer
Studies in the Age of Chaucer (SAC) Bibliography – This is one of the most useful tools available for the study of Chaucer, a searchable, annotated bibliography of every book and article written about Chaucer since 1975 (a few items go back to 1973). The annotations are excellent and will give you a good idea whether or not you need to look at the work.
When you click this link, you will come to a search page much like an online library catalogue. If you are a student, read the Basic Search Tips and consider using the Guided Keyword Search method. You can also make use of the Chaucer Subject Headings used by SAC if you click “Subject Headings” and then “Help.” At any time you can click the title bar “Chaucer Bibliography Online to return to the main search page. You may note that the Back key of your browser will not let you go from the main SAC page back to this page. To do that, click “Go” on the Netscape menu and “View/Go To” on the Internet Explorer menu.
The Essential Chaucer – “The Essential Chaucer is a selective, annotated bibliography of Chaucer studies from 1900-1984. It was first published in 1987 by G. K. Hall and Mansell Publishers Limited. The bibliography is divided into almost 90 topics, including themes, techniques, and individual works by Chaucer.”
Annotated Bibliography of The Chaucer Review – Annotated and Indexed Bibliography of the first 30 years of The Chaucer Review. From “Abraham” to “Zitter,” scholars have published nearly 800 articles in the first 30 volumes of the premier Chaucer journal, and they are all listed and summarized here. The bibliography is now searchable using keywords or the Subject Index.
Baragona’s New Improved Semi-systematic Serendipitous Chaucer Bibliography – Includes a list of important print bibliographies, most annotated, as well as important scholarly studies.
Stephen Reimer’s Chaucer Bibliography – From the University of Alberta, Canada, an extensive bibliography that covers Chaucer’s historical, social, and philosophical background as well as a wide range of literary studies organized by theme.
Bibliography of Selected Secondary Works Online – Part of the home page for the Harvard Chaucer course, this not only is a bibliography, but also has links to online texts of published scholarly articles that are either out of copyright or used with permission of the author.
Texts of The Canterbury Tales
The General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales: An Electronic Version – Created by Edwin Duncan of Towson University, this site provides the Middle English text with excellent glosses in Java Script, an introduction to Chaucer’s language, a parallel text/translation, images, and links to background information. If you use Internet Explorer, click here instead.. This site is part of the Chaucer Metapage.
The Canterbury Tales: an HTML Version – Edited by Sinan Kökbugur for the Librarius website, this is a version of the complete work in Web format with a table of contents and glossary in frames. There is a link to each tale as a separate file.
Selected Canterbury Tales in Modernized Spelling – A “user-friendly” edition by Michael Murphy of The General Prologue, The Wife of Bath’s Tale, The Franklin’s Tale, and others (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).
“The Criyng and the Soun”: Chaucer Audio Files – These are links to web pages with excerpts from Chaucer’s works read by professors. The main purpose of these recordings is to help students improve their pronunciation of Chaucer’s Middle English. The emphasis is on accuracy of pronunciation, according to the most current scholarly thinking, though you will notice some individual variation among the readers. Some of the recordings are classics. Most are brand new. There are several variant versions of the opening of “The General Prologue” for comparison, as well as readings from individual Canterbury Tales and lyric poems. All are accompanied by texts of the edition the reader is actually using. This site is part of the Chaucer Metapage.
The Canterbury Tales Project – Information about and samples from the project, begun at Cambridge University and now based at De Montfort University, Leicester, to put all manuscripts of The Canterbury Tales on CD-ROM and to establish the textual history of the work from Chaucer’s conception to its various manuscript versions.
A Digital Catalogue of the Pre-1500 Manuscripts and Incunables of The Canterbury Tales – “This revised, updated, and corrected edition of Daniel W. Mosser’s [catalogue] contains descriptions of the eighty-four fifteenth-century manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales and of the individual copies of the four incunable editions. Accompanying articles discuss lost manuscripts and individual scribes.”
Caxton’s The Canterbury Tales: The British Library Copies – Edited by Barbara Bordalejo, this site, a companion to a CD-ROM edition, provides images of the earliest printed editions of Chaucer’s Tales with transcriptions in parallel columns.
Other Sources Related to Chaucer
A Basic Chaucer Glossary – Compiled by Edwin Duncan of Towson University
A Glossarial Database of Middle English – Created by Larry Benson, editor of The Riverside Chaucer. See also his text Glossarial Concordance to the Riverside Chaucer listed in Baragona’s Chaucer Bibliography (above). Use these concordances to find every occurrence of any single word in Chaucer’s work, an excellent way to do a study, for example, of imagery and motifs.
The Middle English Dictionary – Now available for free without subscription, the MED covers the period from 1100 to 1500 A.D. It is part of the Middle English Compendium created at the University of Michigan.
Chaucer Name Dictionary – A Guide to Astrological, Biblical, Historical, Literary, and Mythological Names in the Works of Geoffrey Chaucer by Jacqueline de Weever (Garland Press, 1996)
The Chaucer Review Online – Beginning with Volume 34 in the year 2000, the full text of The Chaucer Review, the leading journal of Chaucer studies for over 30 years, is available in web format. (To read the articles, you or your institution must subscribe to Project Muse. However, anyone can gain access to the table of contents for authors and titles.)
The Medieval Review, both a browsable and searchable collection of electronic reviews of books on all medieval subjects, literary, historical, and cultural. A good way to find out about new books on Chaucer.
The Harvard Chaucer Website – A well organized and thorough site constructed by Prof. Larry Benson (editor of The Riverside Chaucer) and his colleagues at Harvard. Materials include historical and cultural background, introductions to all Chaucer’s works, and summaries or English translations of many of the sources and analogues of stories in The Canterbury Tales.
Open Access Companion to The Canterbury Tales – The Open Access Companion to the Canterbury Tales (OACCT) is a volume of introductory chapters for first-time, university-level readers of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. The chapters have been created and edited by professional scholars of Chaucer, and all material is released open access and free of charge for classroom, scholarly, and personal use. Created by thirty-seven scholars from Virginia to Alaska.
The Chaucer Scriptorium – An interactive home page for a Chaucer course at Washington State University with bibliographies and other useful links.
Chaucer (by Jane Zatta) – This is an archived page. Links to useful information on the literary and historical background of The Canterbury Tales. Includes a chronology of the 14th century illustrated with medieval illuminations from Froissart and translations and analysis of sources like Dante and Boccaccio. Not all links still work.
Anthology of Middle English Literature – Works by and about Chaucer and the Gawain-poet, as well as other 14th- and 15th-century English writers, such as William Langland. Includes links to bibliographies and numerous online essays, especially about Chaucer.
Principal Works of St. Jerome – Calvin College’s site for the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, including Jerome’s Against Jovinianus, Book I and Book II, a major source for The Wife of Bath’s Tale.
The Text of Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy
James O’Donnell’s Website on Boethius and His Consolation of Philosophy. – An excellent website for one of the most influential medieval philosophers and a major source for Chaucer.
A bibliography of Boethius from the International Boethius Society.
International Machaut Society: Machaut on the Web – Guillaume de Machaut is one of the most important French poets of the 14th century, as well as perhaps the greatest composer of the time (see the link to 14th-century music below). He was a major influence on Chaucer, especially the early work. This site provides links to material for the study of Machaut’s poetic and musical works, including texts and translations, scholarly essays, biographies, bibliographies, and discographies (not to mention “Machaut Oddities”).
The Decameron Web – More than just a site on Boccaccio’s Decameron, a resource for cultural studies of 14th-century Europe. Includes bibliography of articles about stories from The Decameron that Chaucer adapted. A good place to start for a comparison of two great 14th-century poets.
The Lollard Society Home Page – Lollardy, or Wycliffism, was England’s most important medieval heresy. The movement originated in the 1370s or early 1380s in Oxford with the followers of John Wyclif. The Host in The Canterbury Tales accuses the Parson of being a “Lollere,” and some scholars argue that Chaucer may have had Lollard sympathies. For information on this important 14th-century movement, including bibliography, go to this website.
Music of the Fourteenth Century – If you have a multimedia computer, you can listen to .midi files of music by such fourteenth-century composers as Guillaume de Machaut.
A 15th-Century Manuscript of The Canterbury Tales – Images of Oxford, Corpus Christi College, MS. 198 (heavily graphic; can be slow to load). For other medieval manuscripts at Oxford, click here.
The Age of King Charles V (1338-1380) – In 1996, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France mounted a virtual exhibit of 1,000 illuminations from its Department of Manuscripts. Many of the manuscripts were from the 15th century, but all chronicled the period in France and England of Chaucer’s life. The link above to the archived site will take you to the manuscript titles, but not deep enough to see the pictures themselves. However, some individual illuminations are still available in the archive. Here are a few from a manuscript of Jean Froissart’s Chronicles that have a direct bearing on the kings during Chaucer’s life time.
- The coronation of Edward III, Chaucer’s first king.
- Robert the Bruce before King Edward III.
- Siege of Reims (where Chaucer was held as a prisoner of war) by King Edward III.
- The marriage of Richard II , Chaucer’s second king
- The death of Wat Tyler during the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381
- The abdication of Richard II to Henry IV, Chaucer’s third king
- The funeral of Richard II
A Gallery of Illuminated Manuscripts – Images from illuminated manuscripts, provided by Steve Mulder.
General Resources for Medieval Studies
The Douay-Rheims Bible – A Catholic translation of the Vulgate Bible into English, often closer to the Latin text that medieval authors would have known than any more modern translations, Catholic or Protestant. If a student can’t read the medieval Latin Vulgate itself, this is the translation to use. Also available at Intratext Library, which contains a built-in concordance for many of the words.
The Catholic Encyclopedia – An excellent first stop for research into Catholic doctrine and the history of the medieval Catholic Church.
Medieval Sourcebook – Fordham University’s website with links to translations of many medieval texts, including Richard de Bury’s Philobiblon, a source of the antifeminist tradition and The Wife of Bath’s Tale.
The Labyrinth – A prime site for all medieval resources on the World Wide Web.
Pilgrims and Pilgrimage – A companion web site to the Pilgrims and Pilgrimage CD-ROM produced by the Center for Christianity of Culture, sponsored by the University of York.
The Online Reference Book (ORB) for Medieval Studies – This is an archived version of the site originally edited by the late Kathryn Talarico and no longer maintained at the original URL, the-orb.net. Though it was available until July 2015, this link is to Archive.org’s December 23, 2012, snapshot, because more of the links are still active as Archive.org sub-pages. Especially useful for students are the entries in the ORB Encyclopedia, the Textbook Library, Of General Interest, and E-Texts. Scholars will be pleased that Jim Marchand’s “What Every Medievalist Should Know” is intact.”
Updated: Aug. 2, 2020
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