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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: June 2019

Chapter 14 - The French Context

from Part II - Books, Discourse and Traditions

Summary

French – dialects, peoples and places – shaped late medieval European literary culture. We cannot with certainty ascribe any surviving French poetry to Geoffrey Chaucer, but the poet’s existing corpus demonstrates how Chaucer read, emulated and adapted French works and how Chaucer’s French also aided his approach to Latin sources. Chaucer’s contemporaries associated his poetry with the Roman de la Rose, and this essay surveys Chaucer’s engagement with French poetry produced by Eustache Deschamps, Guillaume de Machaut, Jean Froissart, Christine de Pizan, Oton de Grandson, John Gower and Guillaume de Deguileville in relation to the widely influential Rose.