The Canterbury Tales

Front Cover
Modern Library, 2009 - Poetry - 626 pages
Beyond its importance as a literary work of unvarnished genius, Geoffrey Chaucer's unfinished epic poem is also one of the most beloved works in the English language–and for good reason: It is lively, absorbing, perceptive, and outrageously funny. But despite the brilliance of Chaucer's work, the continual evolution of our language has rendered his words unfamiliar to many of us. Esteemed poet, translator, and scholar Burton Raffel's magnificent new unabridged translation brings Chaucer's poetry back to life, ensuring that none of the original's wit, wisdom, or humanity is lost to the modern reader. This Modern Library edition also features an Introduction by the widely influential medievalist and author John Miles Foley that discusses Chaucer's work as well as his life and times.
 

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THE CANTERBURY TALES

User Review  - Kirkus

Burton Raffel has made two key decisions in his rendition of Chaucer's greatest work. While most editions stick to the half-dozen or so best-known stories—the raunchy "Miller's Tale" and the proto ... Read full review

Review: The Canterbury Tales

User Review  - Keith - Goodreads

Why did I read a translation of Chaucer? Gah. Read full review

Contents

General Prologue
3
The Knights Tale
26
The Millers Prologue
85
The Stewards Prologue The Reeve Prologue
118
Prologue to the Man of Laws Tale
125
Epilogue to the Man of Laws Tale of disputed authenticity
158
The Wife of Baths Tale
182
The Friars Prologue
193
Introduction to the Pardon Peddlers Tale
345
The Pardon Peddlers Prologue The Pardoner Prologue
365
The Hosts Merry Words to the Shipman and the Prioress
377
Prologue to Sir Thopas
387
The Host Stops Chaucers Narration
395
The Prologue of the Monks Tale
431
The Prologue of the Nuns Priests Tale
457
Epilogue to the Nuns Priests Tale
475

The Summoners Prologue
205
The Clerics Prologue
223
The Merchants Prologue
260
Epilogue to the Merchants Tale
292
The Landowners Prologue The Franklins Prologue
337
Prologue of the ClericMagicians Servant
495
The Provisioners Prologue The Manciple Prologue
530
Here the Maker of This Book Takes His Leave
597
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Geoffrey Chaucer was born in London about 1340, the son of a well-to-do and well-connected wine merchant. In 1360, after his capture while fighting in the French wars, Edward III paid his ransom, and later Chaucer married Philippa de Roet, a maid of honor to the queen and sister-in-law to John of Gaunt, Chaucer's patron.

Chaucer's oeuvre is commonly divided into three periods: the French (to 1372), consisting of such works as a translation of the Roman de la Rose and The Book of the Duchess; the Italian (1372-1385), including The House of Fame, The Parliament of Fowls and Troilus and Criseyde; and the English (1385-1400), culminating in The Canterbury Tales. In 1400, he died, leaving 24 of the apparently 120 tales he had planned for his final masterpiece. Chaucer became the first of England's great men to be buried in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey.

Peter G. Beidler is the Lucy G. Moses Distinguished Professor of English at Lehigh University. He is the author of a dozen books and more than 150 articles. In the summer of 2005 he directed a seminar for high school teachers on Chaucer's Canterbury Comedies (the seminar was supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities). He and his wife Anne have four children.


From the Paperback edition.

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