Selected Canterbury Tales

Front Cover
Courier Dover Publications, 1994 - Poetry - 135 pages
12 Reviews
At the Tabard Inn in Southwark, in the London of the late 1300s, a band of men and women from all walks of life have gathered to begin a pilgrimage to the shrine of Thomas a Becket at Canterbury. To relieve the tedium of the journey, the host of the inn proposes that each of the pilgrims tell a favorite story, promising that the best storyteller will be treated to a fine dinner on the group's return to Southwark. So begins one of the earliest masterpieces of English literature, a collection of stories as much prized for the portraits of its story-tellers as for the stories they tell - portraits that reveal much of the rich social fabric of 14th-century England. Now three of the most popular tales - along with the charming General Prologue - have been selected for this edition: The Knight's Tale, The Miller's Prologue and Tale and The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale. Animated by Chaucer's sly humor, flair for characterization and wise humanity, the stories have been recast into modern verse that captures the lively spirit of the originals. Highly entertaining, they represent an excellent entree to the rest of The Canterbury Tales and to the pleasures of medieval poetry in general. -Back cover.
  

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Review: Selected Canterbury Tales

User Review  - Mary Helmbrecht - Goodreads

This book was a wonderful introduction to the Canterbury Tales. The text was easy to read and the notes helped me to understand some of the references that would have been well-known at that time. The ... Read full review

Review: Selected Canterbury Tales

User Review  - Daniel - Goodreads

Classic. I read it in Middle English and loved every bit of it. It helps to have good footnotes and some background on Chaucer, the times, and different interpretations. Read full review

Contents

from General Prologue Middle English IJ vl
1
The Knights Tale
27
The Millers Prologue
83
The Wife of Baths Prologue
103
The Tale of the Wife of Bath
125
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

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.

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