GEOFFREY CHAUCER: Graham Fawcett Poetry Talks 2 with readings by actor Sue Aldred.
Wednesday, 13 March 6.30pm followed by a Medieval supper. Tickets: £10 for talk only/ £18 for talk and supper.
Phone: 01308 459511 to book now!
Don’t miss Graham Fawcett’s next lecture which promises to be a hilarious and moving depiction of Chaucer and the Middle Ages. Celebrating a Renaissance man, long before the Renaissance, a virtuoso verse story-teller of the most disarming clarity, whose sheer creative curiosity deployed his thoughts into a world vision.
“You gave Chaucer to us not only with a huge breadth of knowledge but managed to present the entire subject as a great romp through the Middle Ages” Caroline Vero
“You made my mind dance” Carla Sheills Steenkamp
As a diplomat for the English crown, Chaucer went to Italy in 1372-3 and may well have met Petrarch and Boccaccio. He obviously feasted on the humour and invention of Boccaccio’s Decameron, whose characters took it in turns to tell stories before Chaucer’s ever did.
‘It’s common sense, or so it seems to me”, wrote Chaucer, ‘to make a virtue of necessity, take what we can’t avoid with a good grace, especially what’s due to all of us”. Here and elsewhere, Chaucer’s embrace encompasses everyone who reads him. In his creation of the Canterbury pilgrims each with a tale to tell, he used verse documentary to make the road to Canterbury the road of Everyman to Anywhere in the England of the 1380s and 1390s. “As Newton numbered the stars, and as Linnaeus numbered the plants”, wrote William Blake, “so Chaucer numbered the classes of men”. The Canterbury Tales may always be the main course, but should not be allowed to upstage his smörgåsbord of starters, which include four captivating early dream-poems and a Troilus and Criseyde which has been dubbed ‘the first English novel’.
After the Oxford Chaucer night: ‘How much I enjoyed the Chaucer evening ! My knowledge of Chaucer was minimal; however, your talk, aided by Sue’s excellent reading in Middle English of the texts, has made me really interested, and I feel equipped now to begin reading Chaucer myself. You effectively shone a light across a dark land and I now have the paths mapped out, so I can, and want to, explore what was a hidden continent before. I really want more people to hear you and learn more of the wonderful rich literary heritage we all share!’ (Hanne Busck-Nielsen)
Phone 01308 459511 to book your tickets now!