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It is impossible to overstate the importance of English poet GEOFFREY CHAUCER (c. 1343 c. 1400) to the development of literature in the English language. His writings which were popular during his own lifetime with the nobility as well as with the increasingly literate merchant class marked the first celebration of the English vernacular as a tongue worthy of literary endeavor, most notably in his unfinished narrative poem The Canterbury Tales, the format and structure of which continues to be imitated by writers today. But the impact of Chaucer s work was felt even into the 16th and 17th centuries, when the first major collections of his writings set a high standard for how authors should be presented to the reading public. This widely esteemed seven volume set first published in the 1890s by British academic WALTER WILLIAM SKEAT (1835 1912), Erlington and Bosworth Professor of Anglo Saxon at Cambridge University is based solely on Chaucer s original manuscripts and the earliest available published works (with any significant variations or deviations between versions highlighted in the extensive notes), and comes complete with Skeat s informative commentary on many passages. Volume II features: Boethius de Consolatione Philosophie, a translation of a Latin work dating from AD524 and considered a vitally significant influence on Medieval and early Renaissance Christianity Troilus and Criseyde, Chaucer s own retelling of the classic love story, regarded by scholars as the poet s best work
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