By Ian Scott-Kilvert

Volumes 1-8 and vitamins 1-4. whole

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EDUCATION IN COURTESY Let me see if Philip can Be a little gentleman. Heinrich Hoffman, Struwwelpeter AT some unknown date, but certainly when he was still a boy, Geoffrey was taken from school and put out to service in the household of Elisabeth, countess of Ulster. She was the wife of Lionel, third son of Edward III and later duke of Clarence. For Geoffrey this was an almost unimaginable stroke of good fortune; his parents, no doubt through their slender court connections, had somehow pulled it off.

If this was sad for him, it was lucky for us; he began to compose The Canterbury Tales. " There is no agreement among scholars about the dating, and little agreement about the order in which his poems were composed. We may be certain that The Book of the Duchess was written in 1369-1370 and The Legend of Good Women in 1385-1386; it is also sure that Troilus and Criseyde and such parts of his translation of the Roman de la rose as have survived were written before The Legend of Good Women, because it mentions them; it also mentions The Parliament of Fowls, "al the love of Palamon and Arcite" (later The Knight's Tale)f the translation of Boethius, and the Life of Saint Cecilia (later The Second Nun's Tale).

20 GEOFFREY CHAUCER Whan that they wolden any Flemyng kille, As thilke day was maad upon the fox. (The Nun's Priest's Tale) I saw his sweet face as it were dry and bloodless with pale dying. And later, more pale, dead, languoring; and then turned more dead unto blue: and then more brown-blue, as the flesh turned more deeply dead. For his Passion shewed to me most specially in his blessed face, and chiefly in his lips: there I saw these four colours, though it were afore fresh, ruddy, and liking, to my sight.

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