This week, senior students of English literature have a bonanza waiting for them in the form of a website. The URL for the site is http://www.courses.fas.harvard.edu/~chaucer. Once you get over the inconvenience of having to type out this huge URL, you will realise what a treasure trove this site is, both in terms of the content as well as the links it provides. This site was created for Harvard University students but provides a wealth of information for anyone interested in the works of Chaucer or the Middle Ages ' a time when English was regaining its importance as a language for literature in England.
The simple, user-friendly layout is an added advantage and uses dark backgrounds and coloured text that go well together. Navigatiing the site is very easy and entire website is well-connected. Each page has a link back to the home page, and a handy site index is also available on the homepage.
Understanding Chaucer may not be so difficult with the help of this website. When it concentrates on the Canterbury Tales, it gives you a literal translation of the text, notes on Chaucer's language, and other relevant linguistic information. You'll also find information on life in the Middle Ages as well as articles and selections from works of other authors.
But your key to understanding Chaucer's language is in the section titled, 'Teach Yourself to Read Chaucer's Middle English' ' it provides 10 lessons on Chaucer's grammar and vocabulary for those seeking to have a better understanding and enjoyment of Chaucer's works. Also included is an extensive bibliography for Chaucer and Middle English Literature.