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The Canterbury Tales (Oxford World's…
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The Canterbury Tales (Oxford World's Classics) (edition 1998)

by Geoffrey Chaucer, David Wright (Translator)

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13,099None167 (3.74)433
Member:richardderus
Title:The Canterbury Tales (Oxford World's Classics)
Authors:Geoffrey Chaucer
Other authors:David Wright (Translator)
Info:Oxford University Press, USA (1998), Edition: First Paper, Paperback, 412 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

14th century (286) British (187) British literature (222) Chaucer (261) classic (657) Classic Literature (97) classics (635) England (226) English (190) English literature (351) fiction (1,311) Folio Society (78) history (100) humor (58) literature (724) medieval (553) medieval literature (255) Middle Ages (199) Middle English (330) own (72) paperback (54) Penguin Classics (54) pilgrimage (92) poetry (1,295) read (125) short stories (177) stories (49) to-read (128) translation (79) unread (128)
  1. 102
    Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Othemts)
  2. 60
    Walking to Canterbury : A modern journey through Chaucer's medieval England by Jerry Ellis (amyblue)
  3. 40
    Piers Plowman by William Langland (myshelves)
    myshelves: Some similar themes are covered, especially with regard to religious issues.
  4. 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.
  5. 20
    The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio (thecoroner)
  6. 10
    Tales of Count Lucanor by Don Juan Manuel (caflores)
  7. 10
    The Canterbury Tales by Seymour Chwast (kxlly)
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» See also 433 mentions

English (100)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (106)
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Subtitle: With an Introduction, Notes and a Glossary. John Matthews Manly was the late professor at the University of Chicago. This volume provides all the extant Fragments, I-X of the work planned by Chaucer, which he may never have completed. Still, by its conception, nothing is missed.

In addition, Professor Manly provides a biography and description of Chaucer, his associations, and England of the 14th century. He outlines the Tales themselves, and introduces the Language and Versification. Concludes with a chapter on "Astronomy and Astrology", and Reference List. An INDEX is attached. Finally, seven black and white plates of illuminations in various manuscripts and cassones are included.

This volume is eating itself, the pages falling to the acid's sad onslaught. What genius thought to add a chemical to insure self-destruction?
  keylawk | Jan 16, 2014 |
The pleasure of this book lies in the double bonus of the ever green stories of Chaucer together with the wonderful selection of illustrations drawn from contemporary, medieval illuminated manuscripts. I know that Cresset is a publisher for the mass market but this edition is particularly attractive and I think very collectable. There is an excellent introduction by John Wain and an apposite foreword by Melvyn Bragg while the text is Chaucer but with old English given an understandable and very readable translation by the great Chaucer authority, Nevill Coghill. This particular volume is not a text for university study but is a volume for pleasurable and bedtime reading. It returns me to the humour and the wisdom of Chaucer and reminds me that there are so many English expression from Chaucer which we still use today - for example, keeping mum, or many a true word said in jest, or rotten apples spoiling all in the barrel. We are reminded of the richness of the English language, the debt we owe to Chaucer and the freshness of these 14th century tales. This particular edition is worth acquiring ( readily available) and adding to one's book treasures. It is a very beautiful book. The illustrations are well matched to the text and repay close study. If you have never read Chaucer or if you read Chaucer as a chore, take another look and give yourself the treat of a classic of literature in a lovely format. ( )
1 vote Africansky1 | Oct 7, 2013 |
Oh, the treasure of finding and holding a shopworn copy of Chaucer's tales in my hands is just too much for words. His tales are not just downright funny, but they can be applied even today to the people we work with, live with, and play with on a daily basis. In fact, I kept laughing every time I read another tale that was a ringer for someone I knew. The classics hold up well, don't they?


Book Season = Sping ("when the sweet showers of April fall and shoot") ( )
1 vote Gold_Gato | Sep 16, 2013 |
Fun reads but a bit eclectic in a chaotic sense. ( )
  lhlogan1 | Aug 7, 2013 |
Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales consists of a collection of stories framed as being told during a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral. Each in this company of about 30 pilgrims is to tell a tale on the journey there--the one judged to have told the best to get a free meal. In structure, and sometimes even in the content of the stories, this resembles the Italian Decameron by Boccaccio, written over a century before which Chaucer probably read. One of the differences is that while the Decameron is prose, most of The Canterbury Tales is in verse. But I think what really distinguishes it in my mind is the cross-section of English Medieval society Chaucer presents. Boccacio's storytellers were young members of Florence nobility, Chaucer on the other hand has people from all levels of society: a knight and his squire, a prioress, friar, parson, canon, priests, nuns and a monk, various professions, tradesmen and artisans, a merchant, cook, physician etc. Each tale has a content and style that matches the teller. The most memorable passages to me are the little portraits of the various pilgrims, especially the Wife of Bath. Which is not to say the individual stories don't have their pleasures; some are dull and long-winded, but quite a few are vivid, funny, and/or bawdy. I especially remember "The Shipman's Tale" with its pun on "double entry" bookkeeping, and "The Knight's Tale" was adapted by Shakespeare into Two Noble Kinsman. Purists and scholars will want to suffer through Chaucer's original Middle English. It can, with difficulty and frustration, be made out by the modern reader. Here's the opening:

Whan that aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of march hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
Tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the ram his halve cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open ye
(so priketh hem nature in hir corages);
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages


More power to you if you choose to do so. But if you're looking to enjoy yourself and read with understanding without constantly referring to footnotes, sacrilege though it may be, you might want to try one of the translations into Modern English such as those by Nevill Coghill, Colin Wilcockson or David Wright. ( )
1 vote LisaMaria_C | May 29, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (185 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Geoffrey Chaucerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ackroyd, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barisone, ErmannoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barnouw, A.J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bennett, J. A. W.Notesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cawley, A. C.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Caxton, WilliamPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coghill, NevillTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Forster, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hieatt, A. KentEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hieatt, ConstanceEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, Frank ErnestTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Latham, RobertGeneral editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stearn, TedCover designersecondary 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
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.
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
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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!
Publisher's editors
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140424385, 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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:07 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

"With their astonishing diversity of tone and subject matter, The Canterbury Tales have become one of the touchstones of medieval literature. Translated here into modern English, these tales of a motley crowd of pilgrims drawn from all walks of life-from knight to nun, miller to monk-reveal a picture of English life in the fourteenth century that is as robust as it is representative." --Publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 33 descriptions

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Editions: 0140424385, 014042234X

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