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REVIEWS Given the daunting scholia to the Troi!us, it is not to be expected that Wetherbee will break new ground with every cut ofhis spade. Even so, the ratio of truly new ideas to elegant rehash is very high, especially when compared with some other recent studies of the poem. Still, one might wish that more of Wetherbee's opinions were true as well as tried. For instance, he tells us (in a footnote on p. 94) that "the most likely source'' of Criseyde's odd allusion to the Elysian fields as the "feld of pite" is Met. 11.62. That is what Robinson repeated from Root, who probably repeated it from Kittredge, but the most likely source is actually the Ovide moralise (Witlieb, N&Q 16.250), a text nowhere mentioned by Wetherbee despite its demonstrable presence in Chaucer and its prominent presence in Guillaume de Machaut. This minor point illustrates a more major reserva­ tion: it seems to me that Wetherbee systematically neglects a large body of pre-Chaucerian adaptations of Ovid and of Latin Ovidiana (especially the Pamphzlus) that might lend a very different moral implication to the adjective "Ovidian" from the one that seems to be present in his analysis. The author's attitude toward other scholars and critics is courteous, though he typically prefers benign neglect to any sort of intellectual engagement with other points ofview, often giving the impression that if they exist, he knows little of them. Among the names missing from his index are Clogan, Comparetti, Fansler, Hanning, Hoffman, Hollander, Munari, Ruggiers, Shannon, Vance, Wenzel, Wilkinson, Wise, and Wood. The richness ofthe book inevitably brings with it many opportunities to pick quarrels, but I could do so only at the expense ofmisrepresenting both the book and my own final attitude toward it, an attitude that must be one of respect and gratitude. Any student of Chaucer must applaud this strenuous effort by a distinguished medievalist to expand our awareness of the nature and implications ofthe poet's literary education and to deepen and inform our appreciation of his marvellous uses of the past. JOHN V. FLEMING Princeton University JAMES J. WILHELM and LAILA ZAMUELIS GROSS, eds. The Romance of Arthur. New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1984. Pp. vii, 314. $19.95. The field of Arthurian literature is well endowed with publications of primarysources-let alone secondary literature. And yet this anthology of 267 STUDIES IN THE AGE OF CHAUCER exemplary Arthurian texts in modern English translation fills an important need. The selections cover the major stages in the development of the matter of Britain, while the introductions to the several chapters highlight some of the scholarly controversies and problems involved. This is an excellent textbook for a one-semester course on Arthurian literature and for student background reading. But it is also a useful compilation of basic texts for the steadily growing body of Arthurian scholars all over the world. The reader is led from the early origins of the legend in Welsh tradition to the Latin chronicles, through twelfth-century French poetry to late-medieval English works. Two long alliterative poems from the end of the fourteenth century or the early fifteenth century are presented as exemplary: Gawain andthe Green Knight which is printed in toto (as is Chretien's Lancelot) and the Allit­ erative Morte Arthure. The collection closes with the late-fifteenth-century prose Marte Darthur of Sir Thomas Malory. All translations have been freshly commissioned, a wise decision in view of some atrocious translations of Arthurian stories still widely popular today. J.J. Wilhelm took upon himself the tricky task of newly translating Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. He follows the original (Oxford text) rather closely, reducing the alliteration and suppressing one of the rhymes in the wheel. It is easy to see why Wilhelm has abandoned several metrical features of the original version. Some will deplore that the rhythm and therewith the flair have thus been lost in places. This is particularly true of the short bob line, which is one ofthe most attractive characteristics of the poem. Wilhelm's reasons, however, are clear. His translation is eminently readable; it renders atmosphere, tone, and sen of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1949-0755
Print ISSN
0190-2407
Pages
pp. 267-270
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-03
Open Access
No
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