Chaucer and Clothing

Chaucer and Clothing

Clerical and Academic Costume in the General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales

Laura F. Hodges





A detailed discussion of the meaning and significance of the terms used to describe the clothing of Chaucer's religious and academic pilgrims.
Religious and academic dress in the middle ages functioned as a metaphorical signifier of spiritual and intellectual standards, implied a given social status, signalled the rejection or possession of garment wealth, and, in the details, suggested the wearer's spiritual state. This book presents the first sustained analysis of the characterizing dress worn by Chaucer's pilgrims who are in holy orders and/or affiliated with universities; the author uses approaches from a variety of disciplines (received criticism of late medieval literature, developments in political, economic and social history, the visual arts, and material culture) in order to present the complex ideas and rhetoric the pilgrims' dress expresses. She also makes the religious, intellectual, and material culture of Chaucer's day accessible to modern audiences through the reconstruction of the significance of fabrics, dyes, accessories, garments, and assembled costumes, and an explanation of technical details and specialist vocabularies for cloth-making, clothing, accessories, and their images in the visual arts.


February 2005
8 colour, 2 black and white, 14 line illustrations
340 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Chaucer Studies
ISBN: 9781843840336
Format: Hardback
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A most valuable research tool, as the notes are copious. THE YEAR'S WORK IN ENGLISH STUDIES
A careful and detailed study, the result of much painstaking research. MLR
Not only useful but beautifully produced....The volume stands as an important contribution to Chaucerian scholarship, and as a model for bringing material studies to bear on literary texts. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW
This historically-informed analysis of Chaucer's meaning will be consulted for decades to come by social historians and literary critics alike. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW
A scholarly piece of work, with a wealth of fascinating details. MEDIEVAL DRESS & TEXTILE SOCIETY NEWSLETTER

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Retired; independent scholar

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