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Chaucer for Beginners

"Chaucer for Beginners" is a captivating conversational podcast series that delves into the life and enduring legacy of the renowned 14th century writer Geoffrey Chaucer. Hosted by a Chaucer expert, the series provides students with a comprehensive understanding of Chaucer's life and times, exploring the reasons behind the enduring relevance of his masterpiece, the Canterbury Tales.
In an enlightening conversation, interviewer Karen Carey engages with Professor Marion Turner, an esteemed Chaucer scholar and the J.R.R. Tolkien Professor of English Literature and Language at the University of Oxford. Marion’s research interests lie in late medieval secular literature and history, and she has published very widely on Chaucer, including four books and many articles. The podcast unfolds with an introduction to Chaucer's life and historical context, gradually transitioning to a detailed discussion of the Canterbury Tales, focusing on two pivotal tales, namely The Miller’s Tale and the Wife of Bath.

The series concludes by examining Chaucer's innovative use of language and form, culminating in a final episode that reflects on his lasting literary legacy. This podcast serves as an invaluable resource for those students seeking a nuanced understanding of Chaucer and his timeless contributions to literature. Produced by Peter Robinson and Karen Carey.

Album Cover Image of The Wife Of Bath taken from Canterbury Tales - Caxton's 1483 edn. St John's College A.2.5 and MS 266

# Episode Title Description People Date
6 Creative Commons Chaucer 6 - Chaucer’s legacy Professor Marion Turner looks at Chaucer's legacy and the changes in societal perception of Chaucer. She also looks at online resources to help the beginner study Chaucer. Marion Turner, Karen Carey 08 Feb 2024
5 Creative Commons Chaucer 5 - The Language of Chaucer Professor Marion Turner delves into Geoffrey Chaucer's language and writing style. Chaucer championed a vernacular English form of writing, a departure from the prevalent use of Latin or French in poetry and the law. Marion Turner, Karen Carey 08 Feb 2024
4 Creative Commons Chaucer 4 - The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale Professor Marion Turner introduces one of the most famous and intricate tales from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales – "The Wife of Bath." Marion Turner, Karen Carey 08 Feb 2024
3 Creative Commons Chaucer 3 - The Miller’s Tale Professor Marion Turner introduces the ribald and humorous world of one of the Canterbury Tales' most famous stories – "The Miller's Tale." Marion Turner, Karen Carey 08 Feb 2024
2 Creative Commons Chaucer 2 - An Introduction to the Canterbury Tales Professor Marion Turner provides an in-depth exploration of Geoffrey Chaucer's classic work, the Canterbury Tales. Marion Turner, Karen Carey 08 Feb 2024
1 Creative Commons Chaucer 1 - An Introduction to the life and times of Geoffrey Chaucer In the introductory episode of "Chaucer for Beginners,” expert Professor Marion Turner introduces the life of writer Geoffrey Chaucer, shedding light on his background and life in 14th century England. Marion Turner, Karen Carey 08 Feb 2024