'Whoever best acquits himself, and tells The most amusing and instructive tale, Shall have a dinner, paid for by us all...' In Chaucer's most ...Show synopsis'Whoever best acquits himself, and tells The most amusing and instructive tale, Shall have a dinner, paid for by us all...' In Chaucer's most ambitious poem, The Canterbury Tales (c. 1387), a group of pilgrims assembles in an inn just outside London and agree to entertain each other on the way to Canterbury by telling stories. The pilgrims come from all ranks of society, from the crusading Knight and burly Miller to the worldly Monk and lusty Wife of Bath. Their tales are as various as the tellers, including romance, bawdy comedy, beast fable, learned debate, parable, and Eastern adventure. The resulting collection gives us a set of characters so vivid that they have often been taken as portraits from real life, and a series of stories as hilarious in their comedy as they are affecting in their tragedy. Even after 600 years, their account of the human condition seems both fresh and true. This new edition of David Wright's acclaimed translation includes a new critical introduction and invaluable notes by a leading Chaucer scholar. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.Hide synopsis
The Canterbury Tales (Penguin Books) – Trade paperback (2003)
Geoffrey Chaucer, Nevill Coghill (Translator)
Trade paperback, Penguin Books 2003
ISBN: 0140424385 ISBN-13: 9780140424386
Inspired by Boccaccio's "Decameron", and framed as a storytelling competition between a group of pilgrims, Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales" is one of the greatest works of English literature, translated from the Middle English with an introduction by Nevill Coghill in "Penguin Classics". In "The Canterbury Tales" Chaucer created one of the great touchstones of English literature, a masterly collection of chivalric romances, moral allegories and low farce. A story-telling competition between a group of pilgrims from ...Show moreInspired by Boccaccio's "Decameron", and framed as a storytelling competition between a group of pilgrims, Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales" is one of the greatest works of English literature, translated from the Middle English with an introduction by Nevill Coghill in "Penguin Classics". In "The Canterbury Tales" Chaucer created one of the great touchstones of English literature, a masterly collection of chivalric romances, moral allegories and low farce. A story-telling competition between a group of pilgrims from all walks of life is the occasion for a series of tales that range from the Knight's account of courtly love and the ebullient Wife of Bath's Arthurian legend, to the ribald anecdotes of the Miller and the Cook. Rich and diverse, "The Canterbury Tales" offers us an unrivalled glimpse into the life and mind of Medieval England. Nevill Coghill's masterly and vivid English verse translation is rendered with consummate skill to retain all the vigour and poetry of Chaucer's fourteenth-century Middle English. Geoffrey Chaucer (c.1343-1400) was an English author, poet, philosopher, courtier and diplomat, best known as the author of "The Canterbury Tales". Chaucer is credited as being the first author to demonstrate the artistic legitimacy of the vernacular English language. The first poet to have been buried in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey, his other works include "The House of Fame", "Troilus and Criseyde" and "The Book of the Duchess". If you enjoyed "The Canterbury Tales", you might like Boccaccio's "Decameron", also available in "Penguin Classics". "Nevill Coghill's easy, seductive translation ensures that this, the most popular work in English Literature - now 600 years old - will run through yet more centuries, delighting yet more readers, shaping more writers". (Melvyn Bragg).Hide
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I thought I was buying the Canterbury Tales. That's what the title says, but it is some little paraphrase of the Canterbury tales, a few pages long and in modern English. They should call it what it is. I didn't want to give it any stars but it wouldn't publish without a rating. The real rating is Zero Stars.
I had to read this for medieval literature and it was my least favorite book. The stories are either boring, bawdy, or cliche. The plot lines, despite being written long ago, are uninteresting and easy to predict. It is not worth the time it takes to read. Don't be deceived by the fact that it is a so-called classic. And I don't say this as a classic-hater, being a classicist myself, but as a critic.
This book was assigned to us in British Literature class. We only read a few selected story, but each one made me laugh, especially "The Wife of Bath". If the you, the reader reads nothing else in the book, you MUST read "The Wife of Bath". It is exceedingly comical. It is a good idea to have Cliff notes next to you as you, that way you can catch the slang terms and inuendos. Wonderful read and superb portrayal of characters, making them "real".
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