Glossarial Concordance to the Complete Works

Scibe and scroll

(detail from British Library, Royal 17 E III, f. 145)

Where earlier concordances have gathered Geoffrey Chaucer’s vocabulary together by spelling, the online Glossarial Concordance groups Chaucer’s terminology together by dictionary headword (in this case, the Middle English Dictionary). Thus, all the many forms of the verb ‘to be’ [ben, for Chaucer], ‘am’, ‘art’, ‘is’, ‘beth’, ‘was’, ‘weren’ (to name just a few), are gathered under a single entry. The concordance is also designed to return any of these many forms to its dictionary headword or headwords (if the form leads back to more than one possibility). This means that a reader should be able to type in any baffling word in Chaucer and get the range of its definitions instantly. The list of occurrences of that word is also an exceptional resource for scholarly research into keywords and, from there, to key ideas.