A Critical History of English Literature.

Author / Editor
Daiches, David.

A Critical History of English Literature.

New York: Ronald; London: Secker & Warburg 1960.

Describes Chaucer as the "brilliant culmination of Middle English literature," commending his "metrical craftsmanship" in English, his "European consciousness," and his "relaxed, quizzical attitude that let him contemplate the varieties of human nature with a combination of sympathy, irony, and amusement, together with the good fortune to have opportunities to know men in all ranks of society." Chapter 4 ("Chaucer, Gower, Piers Plowman"), summarizes and discusses Chaucer's major works at much greater length than those of Gower and Langland; his innovations, influence, and relative excellence are mentioned elsewhere in this comprehensive literary history.

Chaucer Subjects
Background and General Criticism
Style and Versification
Language and Word Studies