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The Canterbury Tales [Bantam Classics] by…
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The Canterbury Tales [Bantam Classics]

by Geoffrey Chaucer, A. Kent Hieatt (Editor), Constance Hieatt (Editor)

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This is a 14th Century collection of bawdy and cynical poetry written in Middle English, all woven together in the story of a pilgrimage to Thomas Becket's shrine in Canterbury. The diverse collection of people involved in the journey are each to tell a tale while the Host offers a reward for the best story. As each character tells his yarn, the others interrupt to ridicule and poke fun, each trying to outdo each other. Stories are named after the character who tells it and not what the story is actually about. I can see where the context is historical, the language poetic and the stories an important account of literature of the middle ages, however the stories are so over-the-top and are filled with so much rhetoric that they did not hold my interest. I made it through the book pretty quickly since I was not tempted to break down and analyze each story for hidden meaning or context beyond what was given in its introduction. If you enjoy Shakespeare's raucus comedies, then you will probably enjoy these tales if you can follow the Middle English. The version of the book that I read included a modern English translation, which was nice. ( )
  rizeandshine | Jun 2, 2011 |
Beware of translation CD!: This is a translation abridgement (not the original text). It's not going to help you at all, with any english class. If you want to listen to the original unabridged text in middle english look here:[[ASIN:1402548931 The Canterbury Tales]]
  iayork | Aug 9, 2009 |
18. The Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer

Read: February 7-14, 2009

Synopsis: A group of pilgrims is heading to Canterbury and decide to play a game. Members will tell two stories each and the winner will receive a free meal. And so forth, are some tales. The edition I read, had the Middle English on the left and the translation on the right page.

Pros: I enjoyed The Knight's Tale and The Pardoner's Tale. In the Knight's Tale, two ex-prisoners are caught fighting over a woman, Emily. They are to settle this by each raising 100 men and battle until one of ex-prisoners are caught. In the Pardoner's Tale, 3 friends find a treasure, and each plot to kill each other for the loot.

Cons: I wish the translation read as smoothly as the Middle English. Even as I stumbled over unknown pronunciations and meanings, the Middle English flowed nicely. ( )
2 vote jayde1599 | Feb 16, 2009 |
Great book! Some parts I just had to read out loud ... although I was reading a translated version, it was still so beautiful to just hear.
I did read it slowly though ... I tend to be a skimmer, and this was not a book to be skimmed. So sometimes I got to the end of the page, realized I skimmed and needed to reread.
Also, there was a glossary in the back - it was interesting to look names, places, things up that would have been so common back then but yet, meant nothing to me today (although I have to say some things I did know without looking it up!)
Anyway, again, another great classic that I'm glad I read! ( )
  Brandie | Jan 17, 2007 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Geoffrey Chaucerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hieatt, A. KentEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Hieatt, ConstanceEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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This entry is for the Bantam Classic edition (ISBN 0553210823). It is not complete, with only select tales. Do not combine with the complete Tales. Do not combine with other selections unless you are sure the contents of both editions is the same (in which case, please update the ISBN/s in this note.)

Another ISBN is 0553210130.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553210823, Paperback)

On a spring day in April--sometime in the waning years of the 14th century--29 travelers set out for Canterbury on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint Thomas Beckett. Among them is a knight, a monk, a prioress, a plowman, a miller, a merchant, a clerk, and an oft-widowed wife from Bath. Travel is arduous and wearing; to maintain their spirits, this band of pilgrims entertains each other with a series of tall tales that span the spectrum of literary genres. Five hundred years later, people are still reading Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. If you haven't yet made the acquaintance of the Franklin, the Pardoner, or the Squire because you never learned Middle English, take heart: this edition of the Tales has been translated into modern idiom.

From the heroic romance of "The Knight's Tale" to the low farce embodied in the stories of the Miller, the Reeve, and the Merchant, Chaucer treated such universal subjects as love, sex, and death in poetry that is simultaneously witty, insightful, and poignant. The Canterbury Tales is a grand tour of 14th-century English mores and morals--one that modern-day readers will enjoy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:43 -0400)

A modern English translation, background information and glossary accompany the original Middle English text of Chaucer's poem about travelers on a pilgrimage.

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