Shakespeare’s relationship to medieval literature has received comparatively little critical investigation. There have been two full-length books—Ann Thompson’s useful Shakespeare’s Chaucer (1978) and E. Talbot Donaldson’s disappointing The Swan at the Well (1985)—together with scattered essays in periodicals, but a great deal remains to be done. Now a volume of eleven essays has appeared, edited by Curtis Perry and John Watkins, which attempts to plug some of the gaps.[1] Unfortunately, the contributors tend to examine how far Shakespeare can be made to fit in with contemporary ideas about medieval writing, rather than trying to start from where he himself started—from a position unencumbered by academic labels, categories, and theories.

When, in the 1590s, Shakespeare read a book claiming to be The Works of Geoffrey...


A Message from the Editors

As a reader of our efforts, you have stood with us on the front lines in the battle for culture. Learn how your support contributes to our continued defense of truth.

Popular Right Now