Chaucer lived through a period of extraordinary upheaval: a
protracted war with France, devastating plague, the peasants'
revolt, religious controversy, and the overthrow of the king.
Compact and comprehensive, this book offers a wide-ranging account
of the medieval society from which works such as The Canterbury
Tales and Troilus and Criseyde sprang, and shows how these and
other works manifest that society in fictional form. Significant
aspects of the literary scene, such as patronage, audience, and
performance, help to place Chaucer's practices in their historical
framework, and his treatment of love, paganism, and reality are
framed within their intellectual and philosophical contexts. The
modern reception of Chaucer in film and television adaptations is
also examined. Seen through the lens of his cultural experience,
this is the perfect critical companion to Chaucer's life and
poetry. The book includes a chronology of Chaucer's life and time.