Transporting Chaucer

By Helen Barr

Transporting Chaucer


  • Hardcover
  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0316-1
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: November 2015
  • BIC Category: Literary studies: ancient & classical, LITERARY CRITICISM / Medieval, LITERARY CRITICISM / Semiotics & Theory, Medieval Literature, Literature, Literary studies: general, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800, Literature & literary studies / Literary theory
  • Series: Manchester Medieval Literature and Culture


This book draws on the work of the British sculptor Antony Gormley alongside more traditional literary scholarship to argue for new relationships between Chaucer's poetry and works by others. Chaucer's playfulness with textual history and chronology anticipates how his own work is figured in later (and earlier) texts. Conventional models of source and analogue study are re-energised to reveal unexpected, and sometimes unsettling, literary cohabitations and re-placements.

The author presents innovative readings of relationships between medieval texts and early modern drama, and between literary texts and material culture. Associations between medieval architecture, pilgrim practice, manuscript illustration and the soundscapes of dramatic performance reposition how we read Chaucer's oeuvre and what gets made of it.

An invaluable resource for scholars and students of all levels with an interest in medieval English literary studies and early modern drama, Transporting Chaucer offers a new approach to how we encounter texts through time.


This dazzlingly original study gives us a new Chaucer, or I should say "new Chaucers": a multiplicity of Chaucers within and around and subsequent to his text. Helen Barr populates her book with Chaucer stand-ins, doubles, images, lurkers and avatars--all testifying to the inexhaustible suggestiveness of the original text and its unending cultural resonance. This is a bold book, a true departure, teeming with new leads and prompts and suggestions. It is essential reading, the best on its subject to appear in a long, long time., Paul Strohm, Garbedian Professor of the Humanities Emeritus, Columbia University; Honorary University Fellow, Queen Mary, University of London, Review, 2014|Transporting Chaucer is a quirky book, even admittedly so. It opens with a consideration of a suspended modern sculpture in Canterbury Cathedral that poses questions of place, memory, and embodiment that the author wishes to raise more generally-as well as a sense of surprise and accidental discovery, governed by the intrusion of the past into the present (and vice versa) that animates the project(s).

, Elizabeth Scala, The Review of English Studies, 18 June 2015


Introduction: Transporting Chaucer
1. The figure in the Canterbury stained glass: Chaucerian Beckets
2. Crossing borders: Northumberland bodies unbound
3. Chaucer's hands
4. 'Wrinkled deep in time': Emily and Arcite in A Midsummer Night's Dream
5. Bones and bays: on with The Knight's Tale
6. Reverberate Troy: Sounding The House of Fame in Troilus and Cressida
7. Da capo
Select bibliography


Helen Barr is Fellow and Tutor in English Language and Literature at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford

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