The individual volumes contain: Vols. 1-3: The Canterbury Tales; the text here printed by permission of Messrs Macmilland & Co. Limited is that prepared under the editorship of Dr. A.W. Pollard for the Globe edition of The Works of Chaucer, since revised by him. The figures have been freely rendered from miniatures in the Ellesmere manuscript of the Tales of Canterbury.
Vol. 4: The Parson's Tale (also part of Canterbury Tales) and Minor Poems; the figure of the Parson on page 3 has been freely rendered from a miniature in the Ellesmere manuscript of the Tales of Canterbury; those of Mars and Venus pages 165-165 from a miniature in MS. Fairfax 16 at the Bodleian Library, Oxford; the drawing of the Parliament of Foules from a woodcut in Chaucer's Boke of Fame, printed by Richard Pynson about the year 1526.
Vol. 5: Boecii de Consolacione Philosophie; the text is that prepared by Professor Mark. H. Liddell for the Globe edition edited by Dr. A.W. Pollard. The headpices have been drawn by Lynton H. Lamb from woodcuts in a copy of the wirtings of Boethius printed at Lyons by Symon Vincent c. 1508-1525
Vol. 6: Troilus and Criseyde; the text is prepared by Professo W.S. McCormick for the Globe edition, edited by Dr. A.W. Pollard. The frontispiece and headpieces to the decond, third, fourth and fifth books have been drawn by Lynton H. Lamb from the woodcuts in the edition printed by Richard Pynson c. 1625. The portrait of Chaucer on page 301 has been drawn by Mr. Lamb from a miniature in the MS. of Occleve's Regement of Princes, now kept at the British Museum.
Vol. 7: The House of Fame and Minor Poems; the text are from the text prepared by H. Frank heath for the Globe edition of Chaucer, and the Legend of Good Women from that edited by A.W. Pollard for the same edition. The Prologue included here is the second version, the one believed to be the earlier. The text of the Treatise on the Astrolabe is that prepared by Mark H. Liddell for the Globe Chaucer, being based on the MS. Bodley 619 at Oxford. The diagrams are taken form MS. Dd.3.53 Part 2 in the Cambridge University Library. The frontispiece to The House of Fame and that to The Legend of Good Women on page 72 have been drawn by Lynton H. Lamb from the woodcuts in Pynson's edition c. 1526. The portrait of Chaucer on page 194 has been drawn by the same artist from Lansdowne MS. 851 at the British Museum.
Vol. 8: The Romant of the Rose. The text is that prepared by Mark H. Liddell for the Globe edition of Chaucer. The miniatures have been redrawn by Lynton H. Lamb from a selection of those in MS. Egerton 881 at the British Museum, a fourteenth century French manuscript of Le Roman de la Rose.
Shakespeare Head Press
The Elizabethan scholar A. H. Bullen established the Shakespeare Head Press in Stratford-up-Avon in 1904. His original aim was to produce a good edition of Shakespeare's works, and his ten volume Stratford Town Shakespeare was completed by 1907. After Bullen died in 1927, the press was acquired by a partnership including Basil Blackwell, the Oxford bookseller. Bernard Newdigate was appointed as typographer and under his direction the press worked within the Morris tradition: Ovid's Metamorphoses was the first book he produced as a limited edition.
Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400) was an English poet and public servant, and is considered to be one of the most important writers of Middle English, and deserving of a place amongst the finest of poets in the history of literature.
One wonders if perhaps the Clerk is the character most exemplary of Chaucer himself. The description of the character of the clerk, along with the basic description of the other principal characters of the Canterbury Tales, first appears in the Prologue. The image depicts the clerk as a male, robed, scholar, on horseback. He carries an open book in his outstretched hand, and another text tucked beneath his armpit. This description of the clerk touches upon many themes familiar to the scholar's life over the ages: poverty, food, clothing, lack of sleep, the proper course of learning, or, curriculum, virtue as a moral foundation of education and as a guide for everyday life, essential to the vocation of a life as student and teacher.