Translation of fifteen lyrics marked "Ch" found in University of Pennsylvania MS French 15, along with a detailed inventory of the contents and a study of English and Chaucerian connections.
When Chaucer began his service in the English courts in the late 1350s, the French lyric in the formes fixes
of ballade, rondeau, virelay, and chant royal was the poetry of the court. Chaucer no doubt composed such poetry. Among extant anthologies of lyrics in the fixed forms from that time, University of Pennsylvania MS French 15, comprising 310 poems of which about half are anonymous, seems the most likely to contain works written by Chaucer. To add to the likelihood, fifteen of the best anonymous poems - ten ballades, four chants royaux, and a rondeau - have the intriguing initials "Ch" entered just beneath the rubrics.
Besides editions and translations of the fifteen lyrics, Chaucer and the Poems of "Ch"
provides a record of the numerous filiations of the Pennsylvania MS collection with Chaucer and England. This record includes text of a fascinating exchange of poems between Chaucer's early contemporaries, Philippe de Vitry and Jean de la Mote, the text of Granson's Cinq Balades Ensievans
in the closest version extant to Chaucer's Complaint of Venus
, and an analysis of the contents of the MS as they relate to Chaucer. Chaucer and the Poems of "Ch"
concludes with a detailed inventory of this little-studied MS with particular note of Chaucerian aspects of it.