Reference > Cambridge History > The End of the Middle Ages > The English Chaucerians > The Assembly of Ladies
  The Cuckoo and the Nightingale The Flower and Leaf  

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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume II. The End of the Middle Ages.

VIII. The English Chaucerians.

§ 13. The Assembly of Ladies.


Of the three pieces which remain, one, The Assembly of Ladies, was rejected by Tyrwhitt and is of considerably less literary merit and interest than the other two, though, by some of those who are most certain of these not being Chaucer’s it is considered to be by the same author as The Flower and the Leaf. All three, it may be observed, are in rime royal. The Assembly, for which we have two MSS. as well as Thynne’s edition of 1532, purports, as does The Flower and the Leaf, to be written by a woman. It is of the allegorical type, and contains elaborate descriptions of the house and gardens of Loyalty, with a porter Countenance, a guide Diligence and so forth. There are references to the (Chaucerian) stories of Phyllis and Demophoon, of Anelida and Arcite, etc. The descriptions of dress are very full; but the poem comes to no particular end. It has all the character of having been written by an ardent and fairly careful student of Chaucer who possessed no poetical gift. The rimes, the grammar and the use of the final -e digress considerably from the standard adopted as Chaucerian. But the fact is that, as Tyrwhitt saw, there is no reason for attributing this poem to him. It is quite evidently—to any one fairly skilled in literary criticism proper—a school copy, and not by any means a very good one.   42

CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  The Cuckoo and the Nightingale The Flower and Leaf  
 
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