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The Canterbury Tales

by Geoffrey Chaucer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
18,368147181 (3.72)644
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. It 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.… (more)
  1. 90
    The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio (thecoroner)
  2. 102
    Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Othemts)
  3. 60
    Walking to Canterbury : A modern journey through Chaucer's medieval England by Jerry Ellis (amyblue)
  4. 50
    Piers Plowman by William Langland (myshelves)
    myshelves: Some similar themes are covered, especially with regard to religious issues.
  5. 40
    The Mercy Seller by Brenda Rickman Vantrease (myshelves)
    myshelves: The Mercy Seller, a novel about the religious ferment in the early 15th century, features a Pardoner who is not happy about the portrayal of the Pardoner in The Canterbury Tales.
  6. 20
    The Pentameron by Richard Burton (KayCliff)
  7. 10
    Tales of Count Lucanor by Manuel Juan (caflores)
  8. 10
    Finbar's Hotel by Dermot Bolger (JenniferRobb)
    JenniferRobb: Both contain stories of travelers who have stopped to "rest" in their journey.
  9. 00
    A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W. Tuchman (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Nonfiction study of Chaucer's period, with several references to his Tales.
  10. 11
    The Canterbury Tales by Seymour Chwast (kxlly)
  11. 11
    Life in the Medieval University by Robert S. Rait (KayCliff)
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» See also 644 mentions

English (140)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (149)
Showing 1-5 of 140 (next | show all)
A collection of stories framed by a pilgrimage from Thomas's sanctuary to Becket in Canterbury, Kent. The 30 pilgrims who undertake the journey gather at the Tabard Inn in Southwark, across the Thames, from London. They agree to participate in a storytelling contest while traveling, and Harry Bailly, host of the Tabard, serves as the emcee for the contest. Most pilgrims are presented by brief vivid sketches in the "General Prologue". Among the 24 stories interspersed, there are short and dramatic scenes, featuring animated exchanges, usually involving the host and one or more pilgrims. Chaucer did not complete the plan for his book: the return trip from Canterbury is not included and some of the pilgrims do not tell stories.

The use of a pilgrimage as a framing device allowed Chaucer to bring together people from all walks of life: knight, monk, merchant, forgiver and many others. The multiplicity of social types, as well as the device of the narrative contest itself, allowed the presentation of a highly varied collection of literary genres: religious legend, courteous romance, saintly life, allegorical tale, fable of the beast, medieval sermon and, at the sometimes mixtures of these genres. The stories offer complex depictions of pilgrims, while, at the same time, the tales present notable examples of short narratives on the back, in addition to two prose exhibitions. The pilgrimage, which in medieval practice combined a fundamentally religious purpose with the secular benefit of spring break, enabled a broader consideration of the relationship between the pleasures and vices of this world and the spiritual aspirations for the next. ( )
  Marcos_Augusto | Feb 19, 2021 |
NA
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
It had a nice rhyming rhythm to listen to.

The clerk's tale made me mad. Griselda's husband decides to test her. So he makes her believe he had their daughter killed. Than does the same when they have a son. He sends her back to her father with nothing. Than he announces the Pope has given permission to marry. He puts Griselda in charge of the work of getting everything ready for the wedding. Through it all she is completely faithfully and never complains or criticisms him So he realizes she is faithful so he takes her back and reveals the children are alive. And they live happily ever-after. It made me so mad that there was no bad consequences for him.

The Parson's tale was a sermon of penance. ( )
  nx74defiant | Feb 2, 2021 |
A collection of humorous tales told by fictional pilgrims on a trip to Canterbury. The variety of the characters and the tales paint an ironic portrait of English life in the fifteenth century. Tales addressed the role of the church in society, the differences between the classes and the secular and non-secular members of the party. Lots of sex and violence coupled with Middle English poetry made this at times light and fun and at times something that had to be concentrated on to get the meaning of the language (and a cheat sheet of Middle English terms was required). Great characters and wit made this an entertaining read and one that I would recommend with the proper translation tools.
( )
  SteveKey | Jan 8, 2021 |
Introduzione e commento di Mario Praz ( )
  maxxlu | Nov 27, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 140 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (184 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Geoffrey Chaucerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ackroyd, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Allen, MarkEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Altena, Ernst vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bantock, NickIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barisone, ErmannoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barnouw, A.J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bennett, J. A. W.Notesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bragg, MelvynForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burton, RaffelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cawley, A. C.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Caxton, WilliamPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coghill, NevillTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fisher, John H.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Forster, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
French, Robert D.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hanning, Robert W.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hieatt, A. KentEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hieatt, ConstanceEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, Frank ErnestTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kent, RockwellIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Latham, RobertGeneral editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lounsbury, Thomas Raynesfordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lumiansky, R.MTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manly, John MatthewsEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nicolson, J. U.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pearsall, DerekIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Skeat, Walter W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stearn, TedCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, AndrewEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tuttle, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Untermeyer, LouisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wain, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
... I have translated some parts of his works, only that I might perpetuate his memory, or at least refresh it, amongst my countrymen. If I have altered him anywhere for the better, I must at the same time acknowledge, that I could have done nothing without him...

JOHN DRYDEN on translating Chaucer
Preface to the Fables
1700

And such as Chaucer is, shall Dryden be.

ALEXANDER POPE
Essay on Criticism
1711
Dedication
For
Hester Lewellen
and for
Larry Luchtel
First words
When the sweet showers of April have pierced/
The drought of March, and pierced it to the root,/
And every vein is bathed in that moisture/
Whose quickening force will engender the flower;/
And when the west wind too with its sweet breath/
Has given life in every wood and field/
To tender shoots, and when the stripling sun/
Has run his half-course in Aries, the Ram,/
And when small birds are making melodies,/
That sleep all the night long with open eyes,/
(Nature so prompts them, and encourages);/
Then people long to go on pilgrimages,/
And palmers to take ship for foreign shores,/
And distant shrines, famous in different lands;/
And most especially, from all the shires/
Of England, to Canterbury they come,/
The holy blessed martyr there to seek,/
Who gave his help to them when they were sick.
When in April the sweet showers fall
And pierce the drought of March to the root, and all
The veins are bathed in liquor of such power
As brings about the engendering of the flower,
When also Zephyrus with his sweet breath
Exhales an air in every grove and heath
Upon the tender shoots, and the young sun
His half-course in the sign of the Ram has run,
And the small fowl are making melody
That sleep away the night with open eye
(So nature pricks them and their heart engages)
Then people long to go on pilgrimages
And palmers long to seek the stranger strands
Of far-off saints, hallowed in sundry lands,
And specially, from every shire's end
Of England, down to Canterbury they wend
To seek the holy blissful martyr, quick
To give his help to them when they were sick.

(translated by Nevill Coghill, 1951)
Once upon a time, as old stories tell us, there was a duke named Theseus;  Of Athens he was a lord and governor, And in his time such a conqueror, That greater was there none under the sun.
[Preface] The first part of this Norton Critical Edition of "The Canterbury Tales: Seventeen Tales and the General Prologue"--the glossed Chaucer text--is addressed specifically to students making their first acquaintance with Chaucer in his own language, and it takes nothing for granted.
[Chaucer's Language] There are many differences between Chaucer's Middle English and modern English, but they are minor enough that a student can learn to adjust to them in a fairly short time.
Quotations
Sloth makes men believe that goodness is so painfully hard and so complicated that it requires more daring than they possess, as Saint George says.
Last words
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Disambiguation notice
This record is for the unabridged Canterbury Tales. Please do not combine selected tales or incomplete portions of multi-volume sets onto this record. Thank you!
The ISBN 0192510347 and 0192815970 correspond to the World's classics editions (Oxford University Press). One occurrence, however, is entitled "The Canterbury Tales: A Selection".
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Wikipedia in English (4)

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. It 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.

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Book description
blurb: The Canterbury Tales stands conspicuous among the great literary achievements of the Middle Ages. Told by a jovial procession of pilgrims - knight, priest, yeoman, miller, or cook - as they ride towards the shrine of Thomas a’ Becket, they present a picture of a nation taking shape. The tone of this never resting comedy is, by turns, learned, fantastic, lewd, pious, and ludicrous. Geoffrey Chaucer began his great task on about 1386. This version in modern English, by Nevill Coghill, preserves the freshness and racy vitality of Chaucer’s narrative.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140424385, 014042234X

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