An absorbing survey - he is an expert on the French song of the period, consequently his wider view of Chaucer's musical background is well worth reading, and he has much to say about Italy and England. The music is first-rate, and early music performers will find these songs a welcome addition to their repertory. Although Chaucer himself was never described as a musician, a number of his poems are based on French models which belong to a well-established musical tradition, and there are also many references to musical activities in his larger works. This is the starting point for Dr Wilkins' book, which explores both the wider question of the relationship between music and literature in the fourteenth century and the specific area of Chaucer 'songs'. He surveys the musical and literary scene in France, Italy and Britain during Chaucer's lifetime, with special emphasis on composers such as Machaut and Landini, and on the differences in national styles. The performance of music and the instruments used are also fully explored. The discussion of Chaucer's musical background is illustrated in the accompanying settings presented with words by Chaucer - ten ballades, three complaintes (or chants royaux), and one rondeau. It is fully illustrated with black and white photographs and musical examples.