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By Ian Scott-Kilvert

Volumes 1-8 and supplementations 1-4. entire

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II. BIBLIOGRAPHY. J. E. Wells, A Manual of the Writings in Middle English 1050-1400 (New Haven, 1916)—ninth and last supp. , 1967-); see also eds. by Wilcockson, Salter and Pearsall, Bennett; studies by Donaldson (to 1949), Saito, Aers; and the relevant section of The Year's Work in English Studies (1901-). III. STUDIES. A. H. Bright, New Light on Piers Plowman (1928), an inquiry into the topography of the poem, with a preface by R. W. Chambers; T. P. Dunning, Piers Plowman, an Interpretation of the "A" Text (Dublin, 1937), an inquiry into the theology of the poem; G.

It was a foul campaign, bitterly cold, utterly inept, a military fiasco; but it had one important result: it struck a blow for civilization by putting the young genius into direct touch with France and its poetry. For Chaucer's luck held; he was taken prisoner almost at once. We get a glimpse of this over his shoulder, as it were, for he tells us about it in the Scrope-Grosvenor trial already mentioned; he was one among the many witnesses. Indeed, so many and so distinguished were those called on to give evidence, a Who's 28 GEOFFREY CHAUCER were his missions to Italy in 1372 and 1378, for it was from these that his poetry took much of its greatest strength.

Said that yes, for he had seen them being armed in France before the town of Retters (probably Rhetel, near Rheims) . . and . . during the whole campaign when the said Geoffrey was taken prisoner . ] (The Scrope and Grosvenor Roll, Vol. I, edited by Sir N. H. Nicolas, 1879). His captivity did not last long; he was no Flemish burgher only fit to have his throat cut, but a negotiable prize. On 1 March 1360, the king paid £16 toward his ransom. It is an old joke among the biographers of Chaucer that this was slightly less than he paid to ransom Sir Robert de Clinton's charger.

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