97. Another very important document of the Second Vatican Council in the corpus of the Church's social doctrine is the Declaration Dignitatis Humanae, in which the right to religious freedom is clearly proclaimed. The document presents the theme in two chapters. The first, of a general character, affirms that religious freedom is based on the dignity of the human person and that it must be sanctioned as a civil right in the legal order of society. The second chapter deals with the theme in the light of Revelation and clarifies its pastoral implications, pointing out that it is a right that concerns not only people as individuals but also the different communities of people.
REVIEWS129 it is difficult to regard economic criticism as exclusively humanistic, particularly since economic and social critique had played a long-standing role in medieval moral plays. Still, Brown is right to suggest that humanist interest in reason, order, hierarchy, and common welfare provided an encouraging contexc for social analysis in drama. The chapter offers a particularly astute analysis of Robert Wilson's plays. Chapter Seven returns to the matter of education, emphasizing the study of history, the exercise of reason, and the application ofclassical wisdom as themes ofthe late moralities. Here Brown trains her critical eye skillfully on, among other works, The Trial ofTreasure. 'The belated moralities,' Brown writes in her conclusion, 'paralleled the writings of the humanists in style, thematic message, and sometimes in the very same language' (140). Her point is refreshing and well-taken. The book, however, does suffer in certain regards: it relies excessively on secondary sources; it returns too often to certain plays (Fulwell's and Wilson's) and too often invokes Erasmus and More; it sometimes claims ideas as humanistic that had broader currency; its treatment of plays focuses insufficiently on structure and dramaturgy. Nonetheless, Brown's book constitutes an important break with habitual ways of thinking about the late moralities. Her sense of humanist influence strikes me as right, and her study should offer a useful new avenue for reconsidering these important but often neglected plays. KENT CARTWRIGHT Univetsiry of Maryland steve Ellis, Chaucerat Large: The Poet in theModern Imagination. (Medieval Cultures, Vol. 24) Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000. Pp. 204. isbn: 0-81663376 -2. $29.95. Given the limited 200-page format, Steve Ellis's Chaucer at Large: The Poet in the Modern Imagination succeeds as 'an attempt to trace Chaucer's various manifestations in modern culture outside the academic arena' (xiii). The book fills a gap in Chaucerian scholarship, as it is the first general overview ofChaucer's reception from the 1870s to the present day. Ellis states that the book is 'offered to Chaucerians, students of twentieth-century literature, and non-specialists alike' (xiv). It is particularly useful for teachers ofChaucer who are not specialists. Ellis's style is clear, the book is free of jargon, and there is no axe to grind. 'Kelmscott Chaucer,' the first chapter, shows some ofthe tensions in William Morris's attitude to Chaucer. Just as Burne-Jones's illustrations impose unity on an incomplete or deliberately unfinished book, so too does the patterning of stories in Morris's Earthly Paradise create a narrative world far away from the conflicts created by the links and stories in the Canterbury Tales. 'Popular Chaucer' discusses various writers who took up F. J. Furnivall's assessment in 1873 that Chaucer had simply not been given his due by the reading public. The year 1933 stands, as Brewer had already indicated, as a kind of divide in Chaucer 130ARTHURIANA studies, with G.K. Chesterton's provocative Chaucer of 1932 and John Livingston Lowes's Geoffrey Chaucer and the Development ofHis Genius (1934) on opposite sides of the line. In 'Spoken Chaucer' Yeats is highlighted as a writer who claimed Chaucerian influence as he set about to revise his early poetry. Yet, as Ellis shows with examples from different versions of The Shadowy Waters, it is hard to agree with Yeats's selfassessment . In his essays, 'Art and Ideas' and 'Literature and the Living Voice,' Yeats 'create[d] a series of false coherences in Chaucer's work (42). 'Children's Chaucer,' an overview ofadaptations, concentrates on the links between characters and censorship, and most of the adaptations do not fare well under Ellis's scrutiny. Among the more recent adapters included are A.J.B. Dick (1965), Ian Scrraillier (1979), Lee Lorenz (1980), Geraldine McCaughrean (1980), and Selina Hastings (1988). In 'English Chaucer' Ellis gives some amusing examples of attempts to claim Chaucer as essentially English despite his indebtedness to French and Italian literature. Even Virginia Woolf in The Common Reader unfortunately evidences 'many of the commonplace and even patronizing attitudes' toward Chaucer found in popularizing commentaries (68). John Masefield in his poem about a rural foxhunt, Reynard the Fox (1919), narrows Chaucer to a nationalist perspective. In... 2b1af7f3a8