Encyclopedia | Library | Reference | Teaching | General | Links | About ORB | HOME

Jump to Table of Contents

Backgrounds to Chaucer

Peter G. Beidler
Lehigh University

I began writing out these little lectures so that I could spend less time lecturing in my Chaucer class and more time talking with my students about what is most exciting in Chaucer--Chaucer's poetry. I find lectures--at least mine--to be generally frustrating. Students rush to take notes on what I say, but seem at times to miss the most important points, perhaps because I rush through the materials so that I can be sure there is time for real teaching--the give and take of ideas through questions and discussion. My writing and distributing these lectures to students helped them to understand the various social, historical, and scientific background materials. I am grateful to a generation of Chaucer students--and particularly to Marion Frack Egge--for their helpful reactions to the various printed drafts of these lectures.

Table of Contents

  1. Chaucer's Life
  2. Thomas Becket (1118-1170)
  3. The Black Prince (1330-1376)
  4. Richard II (1367-1400)
  5. The English Rising (1381)
  6. Boethius (480-524)
  7. Rape and Prostitution
  8. Corrupt Clerics
  9. John Wyclif (1324-1384)
  10. The Art of Courtly Love (Twelfth Century)
  11. The Plague (1348-1349)


Email: Peter G. Beidler

Encyclopedia | Library | Reference | Teaching | General | Links | About ORB | HOME

The contents of this page are copyright 2001 Peter G. Beidler.