Chaucer is celebrated for the variety of his poetic technique. Dryden declared of the Canterbury Tales that ‘All his Pilgrims are severally distinguished from each other ... The matter and manner of their tales, and of their telling, are so suited to their different educations, humours, and callings, that each of them would be improper in any other mouth’.1 This book considers whether Chaucer’s technique, both within and outside the Tales, is indeed so various, or whether there are distinctive properties of his poetics which are consistent across texts. It examines the literary style of his sources to throw his own techniques into relief, and to consider whether individual sourcetexts put pressure on his own style. Does Chaucer lash his sources into submission so that his resultant style is fully independent, or do the sources themselves maintain a whip over his technique?