Congenial Souls surveys the critical literature from the late Middle Ages to the contemporary period to show how editors and critics constructed various voices as a response -- even a supplement -- to Chaucer's work. Concentrating on turning points in the history of this discourse and in the creation of a special Chaucerian community, Trigg arrives at the fraught notion of a critical community in our day. What, she asks, do feminist studies or cultural studies portend for such an author-based literary communion? And if Chaucer is the original "dead white male" author, what will happen to Chaucer studies and medieval studies in the new millennium? The moment is propitious, Trigg suggests, for Chaucerians to investigate their own critical history and its inherent contradictions. Richly informed, her work establishes a strong basis for such an examination.