The social structures in Chaucer’s imaginative world are more complex than is often assumed and have been little examined.1 They are part of his literary achievement and to recognise them is part of literary criticism. Historians may also find them of interest, since Chaucer speaks directly as a witness of his own day; though the relationship between what he says and the actual situation as it was is a historical problem, which I leave to historians.
KeywordsSocial Mobility Triple System Lower Class Moral Ideal Fourteenth Century
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- 11.T. F. Tout, Chapters in the Administrative History of Medieval England, vol. m (Manchester, 1928) pp. 201–2.Google Scholar