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The Cynosure

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This text was taken from Godwin's Life of Chaucer by William Godwin, London: T. Davison, White-Friars; 1804.


  Title Page i
  Preface iii
Chapter I BIRTH of Chaucer.--Description of London in the fourteenth century 1
Chapter II Education of Chaucer.--State of learning in England under the Norman and Plantagenets princes 21
Chapter III School-boy amusements of Chaucer : Romance --Growth and intimate connection of the feudal system, of chivalry and romance 39
Chapter IV Establishments and practices of the church of England in the fourteenth century 64
Chapter V Diversions of Our ancestors in the fourteenth century.-The Minstrels.--Variety of their accomplishments 88
Chapter VI Origin of the English stage-Profane dramas.-- Miracle Plays,--Pageants.--Mysteries.--Masks 115
Chapter VII Diversions of the fourteenth century continued.--burlesque festivals.--Sumptuous entertainments. -Shows.- Hunting and hawking.--Archery.--Athletic exercises. -Robbery.--Tournaments 152
Chapter VIII Architecture of the fourteenth century.-- Gothic Orders of building.-Ancient Castles-Palaces and manor-houses 215
Chapter IX Sculpture and Painting of the fourteenth century-Metallic arts.-Embroidery.- Music 257
Chapter X Chaucer at Cambridge. -State of the universities.-Monastic and mendicant orders.-The schoolmen.--Natural philosophy in the fourteenth century 298
Chapter XI Compositions ofChaucer while a student at Cambridge.--to be considered as the father of English poetry.-State of poetry in Europe previous to the writings of Chaucer.-Characters of William de Lorris, Dante and Petrarca 328
Chapter XII Court of Love; Chaucer's first considerable poem. -Ancient and modern English poetry compared.--Battle of Cressy 369
Chapter XIII Plague of London in the year 1349 402
Chapter XIV Chaucer at Oxford.-Original of the poem of'Troilus and Creseide.--Sketch of the life of Boccaccio.--Era of Lollius 414
Chapter XV Troilus and Creseide, a poem in five books 440
Chapter XVI Sequel to Troilus and Creseide by Robert Henryson.--Tragedy of Shakespear on the subject 486


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