Approaches to Teaching Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales

First Edition

  • Editor: Joseph Gibaldi
  • Pages: xvi & 175 pp.
  • Published: 1980
  • ISBN: 9780873524759 (Paperback)
Approaches to Teaching Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Cover
Paperback ($19.75)

“A work of diversity of talent, training, experience, and perspective which is bound together by an obvious common commitment to teach the plenty that exists in Chaucer. . . .  This book should, then, be praised as a significant contribution to the teaching of Chaucer.”

College Literature

The inaugural volume in the MLA’s popular Approaches to Teaching World Literature series comprises bibliographic and instructional essays devoted to the first great English poet. The consultant editor, Florence H. Ridley, notes in her introduction, “As teachers we are faced with the challenge of enabling our students to see how Chaucer’s poetry passes the ultimate test of the world’s greatest literature.” The pieces collected here address the special difficulties of introducing students to Chaucer’s language and his political, social, and intellectual milieu.

Like other books in the Approaches series, this volume is divided into two parts. Part 1, “Materials,” surveys editions, anthologies, recommended student readings, recordings, films, and other instructional aids. In part 2, “Approaches,” fifteen teachers discuss how to present Chaucer in settings ranging from survey courses for nonmajors to seminars devoted to the author. Readers will find within a variety of useful information, including discussions of Chaucer’s cultural context, the representation of women in medieval literature, and the theme of pilgrimage in fourteenth-century poetry.