Six hundred years of Chaucer criticism has
established his reputation as one of England’s
greatest poets. However, we must not forget that
Chaucer was also a prose writer, as is demonstrated
in Melibee and the Parson’s Tale in the Canterbury
Tales, in Boece, a work of a philosophical nature
and in A Treatise on the Astrolabe, a scientific
text ascribing the use of an astronomical
instrument. The latter was written at a time when
the conception of the Universe was based on the
Ptolemaic model. This Greco-Roman view of the
Universe was shattered when Copernicus’s De
Revolutionibus was published in 1543. In Learned
Chaucer, I explore how historical, cultural,
religious, linguistic and scientific changes have
affected the perception of Chaucer and of his
Treatise. I hope to provide an insight into 600
years of Chaucer criticism.
Myriam Rascouailles, University of Le Mirail, Toulouse, France.
University of Trondheim, Norway. University of Oslo, Norway.
Currently works as an English and French teacher at Nannestad
Secondary School, Norway.