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Coffeetown Press Releases Peter G. Beidler’s Chaucer's Canterbury Comedies: Origins and Originality
Coffeetown Press announces the release of Chaucer's Canterbury Comedies: Origins and Originality, by Peter G. Beidler, a collection of essays representing nearly 40 years of scholarly research., 1/28/2011 - Seattle, WA.—Coffeetown Press is proud to announce the release of Chaucer's Canterbury Comedies: Origins and Originality (328 pp, $18.95, ISBN: 978-1-60381-075-3), by Peter G. Beidler, a collection of essays that represents nearly forty years of scholarly research.

Chaucer’s Canterbury Comedies has received generous advance praise from many renowned Chaucerian scholars. Here is a sampling:

“Reading through these pages is a profound reminder of the importance of Beidler’s intelligent, learned voice to contemporary Chaucer and Gower studies, as well as a full immersion in the joy of the scholarly life,” says R. F. Yeager, University of West Florida

Miriamne Ara Krummel, University of Dayton, writes: “Ever the comedian, Beidler loves Chaucer for being funny, and the essays in this volume immortalize his deep affection for a medieval poet who sought to add a little humor to the world.”

The written and spoken voice of Peter G. Beidler is well-known to scholars interested in Geoffrey Chaucer’s comic tales. In this gathering of essays old and new, Beidler articulates his views on the literary relationships of Chaucer’s most widely-read and often-taught tales—those of the Miller, the Wife of Bath, the Shipman, the Merchant, and the Pardoner. He discusses in clear language not only the most likely sources for these tales—their origins—but also the many changes Chaucer made in transforming them in accordance with his own purposes—their originality. He explicates key passages to show what a deliberate literary artist Chaucer was. The Foreword by Holly A. Crocker will help readers connect the strands that unify Beidler’s approach to the bawdy/body tales he discusses in Chaucer’s Canterbury Comedies.

“The first of these essays was published in the early 70s,” Beidler says. “There are twenty articles, including one that has not been published elsewhere. It has been fascinating for me to look back and reflect, in newly-written head notes, upon why I wrote each of these articles. My next project will be a shorter book—all new material—that focuses exclusively Chaucer’s ‘Miller’s Tale’—its sources, its flowering in the hands of Chaucer, and its various post-Chaucerian reincarnations.”

Peter G. Beidler is the Lucy G. Moses Distinguished Professor of English, emeritus, at Lehigh University. In his long career, he has published more often in the Chaucer Review than any other scholar. He is the author of The Wife of Bath in the Bedford Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism series, Masculinities in Chaucer, and some twenty other books on various literary and pedagogical subjects. He was a Fulbright professor at Sichuan University in mainland China and as the Robert Foster Cherry Professor at Baylor University in Texas. The winner of several teaching awards, he was named national Professor of the Year in 1983 by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation. He now lives in Seattle, Washington.

Chaucer’s Canterbury Comedies is available in paperback and hardcover editions on,,, and Amazon Japan. Bookstores and libraries can order through, Ingram, and Baker & Taylor.

ABOUT Coffeetown Press—Based in Seattle, Washington, Coffeetown Press has been publishing the finest fiction and nonfiction since 2005.

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