Date 1868-10-01
Publication Athenaeum
Topic Explain possible WMR Chaucer error
AP display
RA display
Subject literature
Keywords correct
  ↳ explain Latin derivative and use
Standards accuracy
  ↳ Latin
  ↳ connotation

Annotation details

68 October 10 Athenaeum


Explain a possible error in William Rossetti's Chaucer translation.


Rossetti, William M. "Chaucer." Athenaeum (October 10, 1868): 465. Web. 21 September 2011.


This succinct, deferential letter explains a likely misinterpretation on Rossetti's part that may have produced an inaccurate translation or interpretation of "Troylus and Crysede." Rossetti presents the original Latin tract, then new information and references that may point out an inaccuracy in his-and Chaucer's-original translation. Rossetti cites William Cayley as an authority for reinterpretation. Rossetti defended Cayley as an authoritative translator in an earlier letter to the Athenaeum regarding Cayley's translation of Dante. Also, Rossetti reports a conversation with Latham that suggested the possibility that both Rossetti and Chaucer had misinterpreted a passage in Tiraboschi, resulting in Rossetti being inaccurate, but with Chaucer having also done so as well. Hence Rossetti finds himself "in good company."




Misconception, surmise, misunderstood, contrary meaning, the test of inquiry

Standards of Judgment:

Higher literary authority (Cayley), re-read with new information


William Cayley, Petrarch, Latham

Writing technique/tone:

Logical, matter-of-fact; educational; deferential


"Experience will caution me that a possible meaning, in a statement made by an author of high repute, is not to be rejected as unlikely merely because it is so obvious as almost to become irrelevant." ". . . if I have missed my text, I am not alone or in bad company" (because Chaucer too misinterpreted the term).