Lewis begins with a description of the courtly love tradition. This has four characteristics, “Humility, Courtesy, Adultery, and the Religion of Love.” Lewis then proceeds to examine the various fathers of the courtly love tradition before moving on to The Romance of The Rose. Lewis clears up some of the difficulties concerning the Romance. For example, he identifies the two crystals as the lady’s eyes, and some of the various personages as being aspects of the lady.
He says nothing about The Canterbury Tales, and concentrates instead on Chaucer’s other works, primarily his Troilus. He does go into considerable detail about the work of Gower, Usk, Lydgate, and others.
His reading of The Faerie Queen, which I last read back in 1993, is interesting, and makes me want to read FQ again.
I can’t really begin to do the book justice. It’s an ancillary book to the main project, and could be discussed in more detail, but I’m anxious to move on to the next book.
Next up is Machiavelli. I’m doing The Prince, and The Discourses on Livy. At some point I’m supposed to do The Florentine Histories. I may do Leonardo Bruni’s history as well.