Dolores Cullen, an iconoclastic scholar with something new to add to centuries of medieval studies, examined the religious side of Chaucer in her first book, Chaucer's Host: Up-so-doun, in which she identified the Host of the Tabard with Christ, the Eucharistic Host. Now Cullen turns her probing mind to Chaucer's bawdy side, identifying the poet's own history of scandal and sexual misconduct with the tale of "Sir Thopas," which he offers at the behest of the Host. "Rather than turn a blind eye," Cullen writes, "I see the poet as a man, not an icon."
dolores gives an overview of the book:
Frankly, if I were twenty I would be too embarrassed to divulge what I understand in his confession. The content is downright obscene, astonishingly creative, lasciviously candid, but never prurient. Because drast (filth) is the essence of Chaucer's first story, delicacy and refinement will not always be possible. For evidence and support we will draw upon early rude tales and songs that illustrate the historical earthy tradition enjoyed by many poets.
I became fascinated with Chaucer as a late-in-life college student. I've written 3 books about the Canterbury Tales and 2 more --one that promotes reading Middle English, and one about my Chaucer research adventure. My aim is to show there is a deeper, truly...
The concept is admirable to render Middle English less threatening by transcribing familiar titles and expressions into Middle English spelling. Cullen accurately translates from Modern to Middle English a...