This concise companion provides a succinct introduction to Chaucer's 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 Chaucer's 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 Chaucer's major works.