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The Canterbury Tales: New Edition Paperback – Jul 28 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 547 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; New edition (July 28 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199599025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199599028
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 16.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #227,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Annabelle on June 13 2004
Format: Paperback
While this is one of the better translations of The Tales I've seen, it's still unfortunately a translation. Even with a perfect translation, much of the rhyming and character of the original is lost. On the other hand, you can also lose much of the essence of the story by reading the Middle English text simply because the vocabulary can be so different (even though most of the time you can guess the meaning). Your best bet is to buy a copy of The Tales that keeps the original text but adds a line-by-line translation. The book may be twice as thick, but this way you can both read it the way Chaucer intended it to be, and read the translation right under the original words in case you're completely baffled by the vocabulary. I recently found a copy like that at a garage sale for 50 cents. It was the best 50 cents I've spent in a long time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Dec 10 1999
Format: Paperback
This version of the Canterbury Tales in modern English is brilliant. Nonetheless I was deeply disappointed in finding that the Parson's Tale was omitted completely, the reason being that "it does not interest the general public". I disagree with such a sweeping statement.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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By A Customer on Oct. 2 2003
Format: Paperback
Over the years, this book has been banned upways, sideways, and down. Thanks to the Comstock Law (1873), Geoffrey Chaucer's 'The Canterbury Tales' was prohibited for sale in the United States due to sexual situations and swearing. (In other words, the fun parts.) It continues to be abridged for content and language across the United States.
I read Canterbury Tales a while ago. It was an abridged edition. Severely abridged. Entire sections and tales were cut out, for PC and conservative reasons both. I reread it in an unabridged edition, and while even a truncated Chaucer is beautiful, I see how much I missed.
Yes, the Tales may be anti-semitic and sexist and Chaucer probably killed puppies just to see their expressions. It's still a beautiful example of writing. Rather than limit himself to portraying the upper classes and more refined manners, Chaucer elected to portray "low" manners and tastes as well, giving a more complete picture of life as he saw it. The completeness of the Tales for that time period blows me away.
It's long, but it's worth it. If you can, find an edition that keeps as much of the original language and slang as possible. It's slower reading, but his skill shines through.
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Format: Audio Cassette
While the 'Tales' in this volume are no less amusing and relevant, I would have preferred for it to have been read in Middle English, maintaining the original flow and meter (which is not that hard to understand after hearing it for a while).
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By A Customer on July 19 2003
Format: Paperback
When everyone says that Chaucer's Canterbury Tales are among the best of his time, I must agree. Chaucer was set with the task of creating tales told by "nine and twenty" people, and although these tales were never completed, the edition we do have is quite enjoyable. These twenty-nine characters, from the knight to the pardoner, describe everyday occupations during the medieval period. Chaucer uses sharp wit and occasional dirty humor to emphasize the moral lessons each tale teaches. Not only do the tales themselves teach us, but the characters that tell them. Chaucer has been brilliant to create the exalted knight, gentle prioress, rowdy miller, lively squire, and more! If you want to experience such an absorbing classic you must read it yourself!
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By Megan E. Mueller on June 10 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful, hilarious book! Granted, it is not an easy read, but if you are a good reader or don't mind working through the old language, you will find this to be a very funny book. It also takes some understanding of the period it was written in. Without that understanding and the aforementioned traits, you may find this book to be "a waste of time". Rent the movie A Knight's Tale to see appearances by Chaucer, the Summoner, and the Prior. This movie, despite being somewhat fluffy and anachronistic, does have some elements of The Canterbury Tales which, after reading the book, you may notice.
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By PurpleKat on June 2 2003
Format: Paperback
Having tried to wade through a "non-modern english" version of The Canterbury Tales, I appreciate this book. It brings out Chaucer's playful language in a way that's more entertaining, because it's easier to understand. Re-reading some of the stories in this book, I was surprised by beautiful statements, amusing turns of phrase, and the sheer bawdiness of his writing.
However, I gave this book three stars first becuase I don't put Chaucer on a level with Spenser or Malory, and second because this is a standard Penguin book, which means it's more stripped down than I like. I prefer footnotes to explain references that I might not be able to take in context. In something as heavily alligorical as Chaucer's work, I believe this is very important.
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