This concise companion provides a succinct introduction to Chaucers major works, the contexts in which he wrote, and to medieval thought more generally. Opens with a general introductory section discussing London life and politics, books and authority, manuscripts and readers. Subsequent sections focus on Chaucers major works the dream visions, Troilus and Criseyde and The Canterbury Tales. Essays highlight the key religious, political and intellectual contexts for each major work. Also covers important general topics, including: medieval literary genres; dream theory; the Church; gender and sexuality; and reading Chaucer aloud. Designed so that each contextual essay can be read alongside one of Chaucers major works.