Chaucer’s verse

Most of my appearances in assemblies have not involved Geoffrey Chaucer, but Monday assembly is a pleasant exception. Having already given some exposure to his gross miller  (“a stout carl for the nones”) and his grotesquely memorable nose “werte”in my weekly Block 3 lesson earlier in the afternoon, I am up there on stage as part of Head of English David Anson‘s thought-provoking assembly on Censorship. Reading the near conclusion to the Miller’s Tale, where the pathetic love plaints of the hopeless Absolon are comically rebutted by the spirited Alison, I am struck by how, more than 600 years on and in spite of my idiosyncratic Middle English accent, the innate drama and wit of Chaucer’s verse comes through: as Dryden said, “Here is God’s plenty”.

By Keith Budge, Headmaster, Bedales Schools


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

One thought on “Chaucer’s verse

  1. Dear Keith, this has nothing to Do with this subject, but. I am a bit flummoxed about how to contact you. Just to let you know that my mother is no longer able to do her bookbinding but has a press that I think she would be very happy to give to Bedales if there is an interest there. I’m sure I don!t need to tell you that there is a long tradition of bookbinding at Bedales, I know it has fallen into disrepute, but thought there might be some interest in reviving it.
    I think her press is quite a small one which would be suitable for students. Do let me know if you think the school would benefit from this, if not I think she will need to sell it in the very near future. Hope you are well, delighted to see Bedales is going from strength to strength thanks to you best wishes Polly

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