Benson, C. David 1942–

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Benson, C. David 1942–

(Carl David Benson)

PERSONAL: Born December 29, 1942, in Weymouth, MA; son of Carl Kendrick (a tool and die maker) and Eleanor Ruth (a homemaker) Benson; married Pamela Ann Joseph (a professor), January 4, 1975; children: Carl Michael, John Farnum, Thomas Robert Joseph. Education: Harvard University, A.B., 1965; University of California at Berkeley, M.A., 1967, Ph.D., 1970. Religion: Roman Catholic.

ADDRESSES: Home—494 Wormwood Hill Rd., Mansfield Center, CT 06250. Office—Department of English, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06268; fax: 860-486-1530. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: Columbia University, New York, NY, assistant professor of English, 1969–75; University of Colorado, Boulder, associate professor of English, 1975–81; University of Connecticut, Storrs, associate professor, 1981–1985, professor of English, 1985–, director of the medieval studies program, 1987–97. Visiting professor at the University of Virginia, 1987 and 1996; director of National Endowment for the Humanities summer institutes for college teachers, 1987 and 1995; International Chaucer Congress, chair of program committee, 1992; visiting fellow at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, 1995.

MEMBER: Medieval Academy of America, New Chaucer Society (trustee, 1998–2002), Philological Association of the Pacific Coast.

AWARDS, HONORS: Faculty fellowship, University of Colorado, 1979–80; research fellowship, National Humanities Center, 1983–84; Guggenheim Research Fellowship, 1988–89; Helen Cam Senior Fellowship in the Arts, Girton College, 1992–93; Annual Alumni Association Award: Excellence in Research in the Humanities, University of Connecticut, 1994; Chancellor's Research Fellowship, University of Connecticut, 1998; named Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, University of Connecticut, 2001; research fellowship, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2003.


The History of Troy in Middle English Literature, D.S. Brewer (Cambridge, England), 1980.

(Author of section on John Lydgate) A Manual of the Writings in Middle English, Volume 6, Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences (New Haven, CT), 1980.

Chaucer's Drama of Style, University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill, NC), 1986.

(Contributing editor) Riverside Chaucer, 3rd edition, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1987.

(Editor, with Elizabeth Robertson) Chaucer's Religious Tales, D.S. Brewer (Cambridge, England), 1990.

Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, Unwin Hyman (London, England), 1990.

(Editor) Critical Essays on Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde and His Major Early Poems, University of Toronto Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1991.

(With Lynne S. Blanchfield) The Manuscripts of Piers Plowman: The B-Version, D.S. Brewer (Cambridge, England), 1997.

Public Piers Plowman: Modern Scholarship and Late Medieval English Culture, Pennsylvania State University Press (University Park, PA), 2004.

Editor of Lydgate Newsletter, 1975; contributor of articles to scholarly periodicals, including Chaucer Review, Christianity and Literature, and Modern Language Quarterly.


R.F. Yeager, Fifteenth-Century Studies: Recent Essays, Archon Books (Hamden, CT), 1984.

The Cambridge Chaucer Companion, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, England), 1986.

The European Tragedy of Troilus, edited by Piero Boitani, Clarendon Press (Oxford, England), 1989.

Religion in the Poetry and Drama of the Late Middle Ages, edited by Piero Boitani and Anna Torti, D.S. Brewer (Cambridge, England), 1990.

Text and Matter, edited by R.J. Blanch, M.Y. Miller, and J.N. Wasserman, Whittson (Troy, NY), 1991.

Rebels and Rivals: The Contestive Spirit in The Canterbury Tales, edited by Susanna G. Fein, David Ray-bin, and Peter C. Braeger, Medieval Institute Publications (Kalamazoo, MI), 1991.

Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde: Essays in Criticism, edited by R.A. Shoaf, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies (Binghamton, NY), 1992.

De Gustibus: Essays for Alain Renoir, edited by John Miles Foley, Garland (New York, NY), 1992.

Art and Context in Late Medieval English Narrative: Essays in Honor of Robert Worth Frank, Jr., edited by Robert R. Edwards, D.S. Brewer (Cambridge, England), 1994.

A Companion to Malory, edited by Elizabeth Archibald and A.S.G. Edwards, D.S. Brewer (Cambridge, England), 1996.

Medieval England: An Encyclopedia, Garland (New York, NY), 1998.

Medieval Literature and Historical Inquiry: Essays in Honor of Derek Pearsall, edited by David Aers, D.S. Brewer (Cambridge, England), 2000.

New Directions in Manuscript Studies, edited by Derek Pearsall, University of York Press (York, England), 2000.

Drama, Narrative and Poetry in the Canterbury Tales, edited by Wendy Harding, Presses Universitaires du Miral (Toulouse, France), 2003.

The Cambridge Chaucer Companion, edited by Jill Mann and Piero Boitani, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, England), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS: C. David Benson is an expert on Geoffrey Chaucer, a fourteenth-century British writer best known for authoring The Canterbury Tales, and on other late medieval English literature. Among Benson's works on the latter subject are The Manuscripts of Piers Plowman: The B-Version, a book that Benson wrote with Lynne S. Blanchfield. In this volume, Benson and Blanchfield meticulously document the structure, annotations, and marginalia of seventeen manuscripts of William Langland's fourteenth-century allegorical poem Piers Plowman. "This is the first comprehensive guide to the content of each B-copy and will be of great value to Langland scholars," A.V.C. Schmidt noted in Medium Aevum.

Benson told CA: "I have always been grateful that I was forced to study the works of Geoffrey Chaucer as an undergraduate. Because of that requirement, since abolished, I came to love the most civilized author in English literature—a delight that is denied to all too many students today."



Medium Aevum, fall, 1999, A.V.C. Schmidt, review of The Manuscripts of Piers Plowman: The B-Version, p. 322.

Modern Language Review, October, 1999, A.S.G. Edwards, review of The Manuscripts of Piers Plowman, p. 1071.

Review of English Studies, November, 1993, Christina von Nolcken, review of Chaucer's Religious Tales, p. 563.

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Benson, C. David 1942–

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