Canterbury Tales

Front Cover
Read Books, 2008 - History - 692 pages
884 Reviews
Eminent poet, translator, and scholar Raffel presents a pitch-perfect new translation of the lively, absorbing, and outrageously funny Canterbury Tales, in a new, unabridged version that ensures none of Chaucer's wit or wisdom is lost.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

A fun, easy to read masterpiece. - Goodreads
Difficult to read but worth pushing through. - Goodreads
One of the best pieces of writing. - Goodreads
I treat this more as prose than poetry. - Goodreads
difficult to read but risque for its time. - Goodreads
The puns were wonderful. - Goodreads

Review: The Canterbury Tales

User Review  - Cynthia Garza - Goodreads

Read this in high school. I found the characterizations splendid. Read full review

Review: The Canterbury Tales

User Review  - Sandra - Goodreads

Bought this book 15th jan 15. It's a tomb I read in school44 years ago. I need to reread this to see what its about. I remember that I enjoyed what I studied of it. but that it was too laborious for me at 16. Read full review

All 4 reviews »

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2008)

Geoffrey Chaucer, one of England's greatest poets, was born in London about 1340, the son of a wine merchant and deputy to the king's butler and his wife Agnes. Not much is known of Chaucer's early life and education, other than he learned to read French, Latin, and Italian. His experiences as a civil servant and diplomat are said to have developed his fascination with people and his knowledge of English life. In 1359-1360 Chaucer traveled with King Edward III's army to France during the Hundred Years' War and was captured in Ardennes. He returned to England after the Treaty of Bretigny when the King paid his ransom. In 1366 he married Philippa Roet, one of Queen Philippa's ladies, who gave him two sons and two daughters. Chaucer remained in royal service traveling to Flanders, Italy, and Spain. These travels would all have a great influence on his work. His early writing was influenced by the French tradition of courtly love poetry, and his later work by the Italians, especially Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch. Chaucer wrote in Middle English, the form of English used from 1100 to about 1485. He is given the designation of the first English poet to use rhymed couplets in iambic pentameter and to compose successfully in the vernacular. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is a collection of humorous, bawdy, and poignant stories told by a group of fictional pilgrims traveling to the shrine of St. Thomas a Becket. It is considered to be among the masterpieces of literature. His works also include The Book of the Duchess, inspired by the death of John Gaunt's first wife; House of Fame, The Parliament of Fowls, and The Legend of Good Women. Troilus and Criseyde, adapted from a love story by Boccaccio, is one of his greatest poems apart from The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer died in London on October 25, 1400. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, in what is now called Poet's Corner.

Bibliographic information