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The Canterbury Tales [Bantam Classics abridged]

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

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1,251411,044 (4.03)1
Lively, absorbing, often outrageously funny, Chaucer's THE CANTERBURY TALES is a work of genius, an undisputed classic that has held a special appeal for each generation of readers. THE TALES gathers twenty-nine of literature's most enduring (and endearing) characters in a vivid group portrait that captures the full spectrum of medieval society, from the exalted Knight to the humble Plowman. This new edition includes a comprehensive introduction that summarizes some of the most important historical events and movements that defined the world of Chaucer and his pilgrims; two additional tales (Reeve's and Shipman's); introductions for each tale designed to prepare the reader for a better understanding and enjoyment of the tale; newly written and conveniently placed explanatory notes; and a new, more easily understood system for learning to pronounce Chaucerian Middle English.… (more)

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Showing 4 of 4
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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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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Lively, absorbing, often outrageously funny, Chaucer's THE CANTERBURY TALES is a work of genius, an undisputed classic that has held a special appeal for each generation of readers. THE TALES gathers twenty-nine of literature's most enduring (and endearing) characters in a vivid group portrait that captures the full spectrum of medieval society, from the exalted Knight to the humble Plowman. This new edition includes a comprehensive introduction that summarizes some of the most important historical events and movements that defined the world of Chaucer and his pilgrims; two additional tales (Reeve's and Shipman's); introductions for each tale designed to prepare the reader for a better understanding and enjoyment of the tale; newly written and conveniently placed explanatory notes; and a new, more easily understood system for learning to pronounce Chaucerian Middle English.

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