Geoffrey Chaucer: Retraction

(2675 words)

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (CT) closes with a short prose text popularly known as Chaucer's Retraction (Ret). The Retraction is the second part of Fragment X (I), comprising twelve prose lines framed by the opening rubric, “Heere taketh the makere of this book his leve”, and the closing rubric, “Heere is ended the book of the tales of Caunterbury, compiled by Geffrey Chaucer, of whos soule Jhesu Crist have mercy. Amen.” The date is most likely later than 1387 but cannot be confirmed. Scholars have debated the authorship, authenticity, and meaning of the Retraction; earlier scholarship views it as Chaucer's deathbed confession, whereas more recent examinations vis-à-vis …

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Obermeier, Anita. "Retraction". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 August 2008
[, accessed 13 October 2015.]