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)
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|Original publication date
1380–1399 [1380, 1399] [1380, 1399, 1380, 1399] [1380, 1399, 1380, 1399, 1380, 1399, 1380, 1399]
|Awards and honors
... 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
And such as Chaucer is, shall Dryden be.
Essay on Criticism
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.
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.
[Introduction-Penguin Classics] It is his mater stroke, as endearing as it is witty, and profound in its implications for our notion of the relation between the literary creator and his creation.](Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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".
References to this work on external resources.
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.
No library descriptions found.
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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