Tuesday, April 30, 2019


I Believe in Chaucer

The Acts of the High Commission Court Within the Diocese of Durham, ed. W. Hylton Dyer Longstaffe (Durham: George Andrews, 1858 = Publications of the Surtees Society, 34), p. 116 (case against Brian Walker "For utteringe blasphemous woordes," April 23, 1635; examinate = William Hutchinsonn; with editor's note; I closed the parenthesis):
Aboute twoe yeares and a halfe now by gone, examinate (in the house of Anthonie Welfott of Bishopp Awckland) did heare Walker conferr and speake of the booke called Chawcer,a which booke he verie much commended, and said he did beleive the same as well as he did the Bible, or wordes to the same effect.

a This profane phrenzy of the besotted infidel is a curious evidence of the widely spread popularity of the great poet...
I owe the reference to Jill Mann's edition of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (London: Penguin Books, 2005), p. xlv, n. 1 (where, however, the reference to the volume number of the Publications of the Surtees Society is incorrect — 30, should be 34).

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