Chaucerian Investigations: The Canterbury Tales (Day 3)

Today, we will be examining lines 11-15 of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales; our investigation will be focusing only on the original Middle English and how the passage has been translated. Previous exercises, such as phonetic inscriptions and scansion, have been omitted for this post and likely many future posts simply to gain a better focus on…Read more »

Medieval Britain: A Very Short Introduction (A Review)

Another day, another Very Short Introduction (hereafter VSI). This time I have turned my eye toward the Medieval Britain VSI, as written by John Gillingham and Ralph A. Griffiths.                 Much like the numerous other VSIs I have read and reviewed, Medieval Britain performs its primary function—the dissemination of basic facts and knowledge about Britain in the Middle Ages—admirably: the…Read more »

Social Organization in Anglo-Saxon England

If we are to give a broad outline of the modes of social organization seen in Anglo-Saxon England, then we may make the following claims.                 Around the fifth century, territories were often defined in terms of tribal settlements. An honor system of avenging death, in this pre-imperialist age, had taken the place of economic relationships…Read more »

Medieval Literature: A Very Short Introduction (A Review)

What do we think of when we think of medieval literature? Probably texts which are dry and filled with moral and religious platitudes; maybe though we will think of Arthurian literature, however, and be filled with a bit more enthusiasm for adventure and courtly love. No matter what we view of medieval literature, however, there…Read more »

The ‘Monstrous’ in Medieval Literature

By now, it should be understood that reading literature in the medieval period was nothing like how we read today; it involved a great deal more than merely passive acceptance and, indeed, was about community building and socializing. But because of this, it should be unsurprising that literature was part of a complex: since the…Read more »