The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Finnel, Andrew J. "The Poet as Sunday Man: 'The Complaint of Chaucer to His Purse.'" 8 (1973): 147-58.
Chaucer probably took lodging in Westminister Abbey in order to gain sanctuary from his creditors. Thus, when Chaucer asks to be let out of this "toune," he may be asking for money to pay his debts in order to leave the Abbey without being arrested. This reading allows for more accurate dating of the "Complaint"--after December 24, 1399.
Salda, Michael Norman. "Pages from History: The Medieval Palace of Westminister as a Source for the Dreamer's Chamber in the Book of the Duchess." 27 (1992): 111-25.
The dream chamber in the Book of the Duchess is probably connected to Chaucer's decision to have the dreamer fall asleep while reading, and to have his position be such that when he awakens, he sees a book. Thus his dream chamber is literally the book. Chaucer may also have been referring to the interior of Westminister Abbey or of the chapel of St. Stephen, since both were decorated with scenes depicting stories and accompanied underneath by glosses running the length of the wall.