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By Ardis Butterfield

Literature of the town and the town in literature are themes of significant modern curiosity. This quantity complements our figuring out of Chaucer's iconic function as a London poet, defining the trendy experience of London as a urban in heritage, steeped in its medieval prior. construction on fresh paintings by means of historians on medieval London, in addition to smooth city thought, the essays tackle the centrality of the town in Chaucer's paintings, and of Chaucer to a literature and a language of the town. individuals discover the spatial quantity of town, imaginatively and geographically; the varied and occasionally violent relationships among groups, and using language to spot and converse for groups; the worlds of trade, the aristocracy, legislation, and public order. a last part considers the longer historical past and reminiscence of the medieval urban past the devastations of the good fireplace and into the Victorian interval. Dr ARDIS BUTTERFIELD is Reader in English at college collage London. members: ARDIS BUTTERFIELD, MARION TURNER, RUTH EVANS, BARBARA NOLAN, CHRISTOPHER CANNON, DEREK PEARSALL, HELEN COOPER, C. DAVID BENSON, ELLIOT KENDALL, JOHN SCATTERGOOD, PAUL DAVIS, HELEN PHILLIPS

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191–2). 14 Barron, ‘Quarrel’, pp. 181, 182. 15 David Wallace, Chaucerian Polity: Absolutist Lineages and Associational Forms in England and Italy (Stanford, 1997), pp. 156, 157. 28 Marion Turner Here, Wallace observes that the London Chaucer depicts does not conform to a model of the ideal city-state and does not celebrate associational form. He suggests that it follows that the Chaucerian city is therefore ‘evasive’ and ‘difficult to imagine’. Yet this is not necessarily true, if we shift our paradigms to imagine a city that is fundamentally fragmented and diverse.

117. 24 Christopher Baswell, ‘Aeneas in 1381’, NML, 5 (2002), 7–58 (p. 17). 25 On mythical connections made between Troy and London see, for example, Lee Patterson, Negotiat- ing the Past: The Historical Understanding of Medieval Literature (Madison, 1987), pp. 203, 135–51; Sylvia Federico, New Troy: Fantasies of Empire in the Late Middle Ages (Minneapolis, 2003); and Greater London 31 the prominence of royal characters and the importance of the parliament scene in the poem suggest not contemporary London but contemporary Westminster, site of the king’s residence and the centre of government.

Ancient and Modern, 2nd edn (London, 1884) and A. Franklin, Les rues et les cris de Paris au XIIIe siècle (Paris, 1874). Introduction 19 sents through this merchant’s tale non-commercial aspects of mercantile culture clashing against the surprisingly blatant commercial instincts of an aristocratic community determined to keep its footing in a rapidly changing economy. Scattergood supports this picture by looking at the flow of money in and out of the city, and the ways it affected minor civil servants like Chaucer, dependent for his personal financial solvency partly on the circulation of trade (centred in the Customs House) but ultimately on the whims of royal favour through irregularly paid annuities and grants.

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