Abstract

The popular reception of Chaucer in the nineteenth century includes a short passage from Chaucer's Romaunt of the Rose on well-fitting shoes and boots. The same six verses appeared frequently in British and American newspapers and other periodicals from the 1840s to the 1880s. These texts presented Chaucer as a cultural historian who focused on fashion and well-made footwear, and his verses were invoked for several purposes: to provide humor, to sell boots, to offer a valuable example (both positive and negative) of the history of footwear, and, overall, to forge a connection between Victorian and medieval England by using Chaucer as a supporter of Victorian interests and pursuits.

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