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Kathryn L. Lynch
Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA 02481-8203)
Food and Drink in Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales"

A book about food as a structural principle in the Canterbury Tales. Drawing on historical studies of the role that eating and drinking played in medieval religion and culture as well as on modern anthropological and sociological work on the function of food in culture and society, I will suggest that Chaucer intended food imagery and acts of eating and drinking in the Tales to be not only thematically signficant but also to serve as an organizing principle of the collection. If "pilgrimage" serves as one moral pole of the Canterbury Tales, feast permits the meaningful integration of human appetite into the structural dynamics of the poem.

Project fields:
British Literature

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2005 – 6/30/2006