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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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
This carefully researched and lively edition of a part of Chaucer's masterwork is richly and beautifully produced. While Cohen admits that "Chaucer's words are best," her prose adaptation of four of his tales captures the zest and vigor of Middle English and makes his stories accessible to the modern child. This is not a pedantic translation or a bowdlerized retelling; Cohen does not substitute weak cliches for Chaucer's rollicking and earthy metaphors, nor does she sacrifice the rhythms of his text. Readers hear the bickering of the pilgrims as they decide on which tale they want to hear next, and the rambling voice of the good Sir John as he laments Chaunticleer's fate. Hyman's meticulous drawings not only evoke the rich panoply of 14th century England, but they are faithful to the text in the smallest detail. Each pilgrim is made particular: we see the Pardoner's limp hanks of hair and the Wife of Bath's gap-toothed smile and dainty ankle. One could not ask for a more enticing introduction to Chaucer's world. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Good side-by-side presentation and introduction on Middle English. Actual translation a bit pedestrian.Published 10 months ago by Gerald Hare
Very clearly developed introduction: it includes an historical context that helps situate the background from which the tales emerge and a form-literary analysis of the various... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Michel Boucher
This brilliant translation makes, Chaucer, an author many young people complain is too difficult, easily accessible and remarkably modern in feel. Read morePublished on March 19 2009 by Alison Bonar
In Chaucer's work, 'The Canterbury Tales', perhaps the greatest of English literary works from the period of the language known as Middle English, there is one particular piece... Read morePublished on Feb. 23 2006 by FrKurt Messick
I enjoy the translation. I think it's ideal for the classroom. I can appreciate the tales that are streamlined for ease. It's very easy to follow.Published on June 20 2004 by Bethanie Frank
There have been few writers and poets with the same vigor, fortiude and knowledge like that of Geoffrey Chaucer. Read morePublished on April 26 2004 by B. Viberg
The Canterbury Tales were almost ruined for me by my freshman English Lit class. They insisted on making us read it from The Norton Anthology of Literature, which of course is... Read morePublished on April 7 2004 by JR Pinto
If you haven't read the Canterbury Tales in their native language than you are missing out. It isn't very hard, once you get in the flow of things it becomes just like reading... Read morePublished on March 6 2004 by Matt Fellows
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer inform us of what is was like to live in the Middle Ages and experience a real pilgrimage. Read morePublished on Dec 26 2003 by Katie Westfall