The texts are extensively glossed and are accompanied by individual introductions and explanatory annotations. A lightly regularized system of spellings has been adopted. No prior knowledge of Chaucer is assumed. "Contexts" connects the poems to their classical and medieval foundations and includes works by Virgil, Ovid, Cicero, Boethius, Dante, and Boccaccio, among others. From the wealth of scholarly work available, the editor has chosen for "Criticism" six essays that address the poems' central themes. Contributors include Charles Muscatine, A. C. Spearing, R. T. Lenaghan, Richard Firth Green, Elaine Tuttle Hansen, and Steven Kruger. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.