The Book of the Duchess

Chaucer, Geoffrey (c.1343–1400), translated by Kline, A.S., (contact-email)

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The Book of the Duchess is a narrative poem by Geoffrey Chaucer, serving as an elegy for Blanche of Lancaster, the first wife of John of Gaunt. Written in the dream vision form, it chronicles the poet’s encounter with a grieving knight in a fantastical dreamscape. This interaction leads to the recounting of the knight’s deep love and the devastating loss of his lady. The work is noted for its emotional narrative, the depiction of courtly love, and its allegorical use of the dream as a storytelling device. Chaucer’s handling of the octosyllabic couplet in this early poem prefigures his more mature works in Middle English literature.

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Kline, A.S.,

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