Questions regarding Chaucer, his poetry, or medieval studies in general?

Prof. Hanly will be happy to answer your queries, and asks only that you observe the following conventions:

1) Please use a polite address, since we likely don't know each other yet. This goes for anyone you write to via e-mail--if you're not yet acquainted, "Dear Prof. So-and-So" or "Dear Sirs, Dear Ladies" sounds a whole heck of a lot better than "hey" or just starting the request without a salutation. This may sound old-fashioned, but take my word for it: politeness is not only proper, but effective.

2) Do NOT wait until the last minute. "I have a paper due tomorrow PLEASE HELP!!!!!!" is not going to get you anywhere, no matter how many exclamation points you expend.

3) Please don't ask me to do your work for you. By this I mean that messages beginning with "I have a Chaucer paper to do and don't know where to begin" will be frowned upon. There are a number of places to look for basic information on Chaucer and other medieval authors. You could consult, for example, my medieval links site --

Links Related to Chaucer and Medieval Studies

-- where you will find lots of good stuff.

If you have a particular topic to study, probably the quickest and easiest thing to do is to go to Google Advanced Search and type something into the "Exact Phrase" box. Have a look at what comes up. It may get you off to a good start.

This is not to say that I am not willing to help. What I'm trying to suggest is that YOU should do the groundwork first, and then ask me a specific question--that way, I'll really be able to help you, and we'll both lose less time.

4) Please consider using the MetaMentors on the Chaucer MetaPage site, for which a link appears near the top of my Scriptorium site. In any case, you should never go looking for help from strangers on the Internet before having exhausted all the possibilities open to you at your own home institutions. This means ASK YOUR OWN INSTRUCTOR for direction before going nationwide in your search. My Chaucerian colleagues at other universities usually bust a gut when they hear their own students are asking me questions they're perfectly capable of answering.


Therefore: I am happy to help, as are my colleagues at the Chaucer MetaPage. But please be polite, and please come prepared. Happy Hunting--

Michael Hanly