Thomas Hoccleve (1368-1426) was one of Chaucer's first disciples and is represented in this book by a selection of his works. They have been newly edited from his own copies and fully annotated. The book includes a full Introduction and marginal glosses and presents a complete modern edition of the Series, as well as some of Hoccleve's earlier poems. It provides students and other readers new to his work a very fair indication of his range and achievement as original writer and translator. It also offers scholars a fuller account than has hitherto been available of the manuscripts of Hoccleve's own texts and, when he was translating from Latin or French, of the manuscripts of his sources.
Some of the themes and topics explored, with Hoccleve's light and witty touch, include women (for them or against them); money (always short of it); isolation and suffering (causes various, but always painful); the pains of hell and the joys of heaven; the serendipitous nature of literary production; the writer as translator, reporter, or even as gossip.