The Information for Candidates for Part 1 (2015) prescribes the following editions for commentary: Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, ed. B. A. Windeatt (Penguin) or in The Riverside Chaucer, gen. ed. Larry D. Benson (Oxford, 1987).
Below is a description of these and other key editions from a student’s point of view. We would particularly recommend you spend some time consulting the two Windeatt editions building up your understanding of the text. The Barney edition is also very useful for comparing a translation of Il Filostrato with Chaucer’s text.
Chaucer, Geoffrey, Troilus and Criseyde, ed. Barry Windeatt (London: Penguin, 2003)
This edition of the poem is accompanied by substantial glosses at the foot of each page. It also includes a comprehensive glossary and explanatory notes at the end of the book. It
explains more Middle English vocabulary than most other editions, though the textual notes are shorter than those in the earlier Windeatt edition.
Chaucer, Geoffrey, Troilus and Criseyde: A New Edition of the “Book of Troilus”, ed. Barry Windeatt (London: Longman, 1984)
This edition features facing-page glosses, critical notes and textual variants of the extant manuscripts of Troilus. It also includes a parallel text of Boccaccio’s Il Filostrato in the original Italian. The notes are extremely useful in glossing unknown words, explaining allusions and idiomatic expressions, identifying Chaucer’s source material and engaging with criticism of the poem more broadly.
Chaucer, Geoffrey, Troilus and Criseyde, with Facing-page Il Filostrato: Authoritative Texts; the Testatment of Cresseid; Criticism, ed. and trans. Stephen A. Barney (New York: Norton, 2006)
This edition features a facing page translation of Boccaccio’s Il Filostrato. Unfamiliar vocabulary is glossed at the end of each line, with longer glosses and textual notes placed at the bottom of each page. The notes are far sparser than those in the Windeatt editions. This book is most useful for exploring the relation between Chaucer and Boccaccio’s texts.
The Riverside Chaucer, ed. Larry D. Benson (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987)
This edition of the complete works of Chaucer has glosses at the bottom of the page, a very brief introduction to each text and short textual notes at the end of the book. However, the extensive glossary not only explains unfamiliar vocabulary but gives the line references to instances of usage throughout the whole of Chaucer’s works.