Chaucer’s Bohemia Cover Image

Chaucerovy Čechy
Chaucer’s Bohemia

Author(s): Alfred Thomas
Subject(s): Cultural history, Gender history, Middle Ages, Theory of Literature, British Literature
Published by: Nakladatelství Masarykovy univerzity
Keywords: Geoffrey Chaucer; Anne of Bohemia; Richard II; medieval patronage; Anglo-Bohemian relations; The Legend of Good Women; Canterbury Tales;

Summary/Abstract: Geoffrey Chaucer has traditionally been seen as indebted to the great male writers of medieval Europe: Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch and Guillaume de Machaut. However, less has been written about the European woman who was Queen of England and his possible patron: Anne of Bohemia, daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and wife of Richard II. Although Chaucer explicitly compliments the Queen in his work, most scholars have not engaged seriously with the question of her role in Chaucer’s oeuvre. Alfred Thomas’s article shows that Anne came from a long line of highly educated and multilingual royal women and he rereads some of the famous stories from the Canterbury Tales alongside contemporaneous works in Czech, German, and Latin – languages with which the Queen was familiar. Thomas argues that even if she did not literally commission any of his works, Chaucer seems to have been writing for Anne as an imagined reader and this awareness shaped the way he wrote and what he chose to write.

  • Issue Year: 19/2016
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 7-28
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Czech