Category Archives: Books

Calling People Names

In The Nun’s Priest’s Tale, the widow has a sheep named Molly. Made me wonder whether Molly of cloning fame was Christened in honour of her Chaucerian namesake. Like my Basildon-mouthed sister-in-law, who names her cats after characters in literature. It’s not an … Continue reading

Posted in Books | Leave a comment

Listless in Translation

Today, I read The Tale of Sir Topaz, told by Chaucer’s implied narrator, who in an ironic turn, is a hilariously shite storyteller. After the host interjects and compares his rhyming to a turd, Chaucer’s persona recounts The Tale of Melibee, which … Continue reading

Posted in Books | Leave a comment

Chaucering On

I’ve read and reread two more of Chaucer’s tales today: The Shipman’s Tale and The Prioress’s Tale. The first concerns a businessman, his unnamed wife, and St. John the Monk, who become embroiled in an amusing financial and sexual ménage-a-trois … Continue reading

Posted in Books | Leave a comment

Three in One, No, Make it Five

It’s been tough building a reading guide, but I’ve finally settled on 5 categories drawn from the 10 modules of the licentiate, such that I will now spend each morning reading three texts, one of which – the literary text — I’ll … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Licentiate | Leave a comment

Preliminary Stumbles

I’m using my journal to help organise myself into a student and writer. Read books and write journal in morning, work on novel in afternoon: That’s the plan. But what with my laptop still not fully set up and workman … Continue reading

Posted in Books | Leave a comment

Running at Slow Pelt

I finished part 3 of the Knight’s Tale this morning, with Palamon’s prayers to Venus, and Emily’s devotions to Diana, and Arcite’s pleas to Mars, ending with Saturn’s intervention. Are the descriptions of the three shrines intended to be over-elaborate? … Continue reading

Posted in Books | Leave a comment

General Prologue

Yesterday, I started reading Kirkpatrick’s translation of Dante’s Inferno. ‘I don’t want to read the whole of his Divine Comedy,’ I joked to the salesperson in Waterstones. ‘Just the gothic bits.’ Divina Commedia is a classic of world literature, esteemed … Continue reading

Posted in Books | Leave a comment