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See Nevill Josiah Aylmer Coghill for the recipient of the Victoria Cross.

Nevill Coghill (1899–1980) was a British literary scholar, known especially for his modern English version of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

Coghill was educated at Haileybury, and was a fellow of Exeter College, Oxford; a small bust of him is currently in the college chapel. He served in the Great War after 1917. During 1948, he was made professor of rhetoric at Gresham College, London. He was Merton Professor of English Literature of the University of Oxford from 1957 to 1966. He died during November 1980.

His Chaucer and Langland translations were first made for BBC radio broadcasts. He was well known during his time as a theatrical producer and director in Oxford; he is noted particularly as the director of the OUDS 1949 production of The Tempest. He was an associate of the literary discussion group "The Inklings" with other famous Oxford Dons such as J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis.

During 1968, he collaborated with Martin Starkie to co-write the West-End & Broadway Musical 'Canterbury Tales'. The musical was a great success internationally, receiving 5 Tony Nominations. During 1973, the same team collaborated on a sequel 'The homeward Ride' comprising more of Chaucer's Tale. To date, this has only been premiered in Australia.


  • The Pardon of Piers Plowman (1945)
  • The Masque of Hope (1948)
  • The Poet Chaucer (1949; 2nd ed. 1967)
  • Geoffrey Chaucer (1956)
  • Shakespeare's Professional Skills (1964)
  • Langland: Piers Plowman (1964)
  • Chaucer's Idea of What Is Noble (1971), ISBN 0-19-721485-1
  • Collected Papers (1988), ISBN 0-7108-1233-7

Screenplay Adaptation and Director:

  • Doctor Faustus (1967)

Further reading

  • Glyer, Diana (2007). The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as Writers in Community. ISBN 978-0873388900.

See also



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