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The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale CD: From The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer Read by Elizabeth Salter Audio CD – Audiobook, Feb 13 1999

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Product Description

Book Description

A well-established and respected series with titles in the original Middle English.

About the Author

Richard Swan has taught A-level English for more than 30 years, and is author of The Canterbury Tales Teacher Resource pack, also published by Philip Allan Updates. He is the former Head of English and current Vice Principal at the Harvey Grammar School in Folkestone. He writes critical articles, reviews and poetry. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Are You Man Enough to Be Husband Six? Feb. 16 2008
By Giordano Bruno - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There is no poet in any language of more extravagant wit and wisdom than old Geoffrey Chaucer, and no more universal, but for the challenge of the language. Like Homer in Greek, Dante in Italian, Chaucer set the bar too high for anyone ever to exceed him. And how fundamentally English he was, as if all the "personality" of our literature flowed from the same cultural spring!

My generation may have been almost the last to memorize the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales and to learn the few easy rules of pronunciation and syntax we needed to enjoy Chaucer. Helas! The times, they are a-changing. Still, a few years ago I had an irrational lust to revive my ability to read Middle English, just for fun. I discovered that there were audio-books of many of the Canterbury Tales, including the Wife of Bath's salacious masterpiece. Of all Chaucer's dramatis personae, the Wife of Bath is surely the most humanly convincing, the randy old dame! "Why, I'm probably just the right age to be husband number six," thought I. So I ordered this CD. By the time the CD reached me, I'd forgotten my urge to make use of it. In fact, I forgot I had it until yesterday, when it somehow popped out of the shelf at me.

Elizabeth Salter and her unnamed male foil speak the poetry of Chaucer with enough 'naturalness' to persuade me, particularly since recording technology was still rather crude in the 1300s. With the ability to pause the disk by remote, I find that I can follow the most familiar parts of the Wife's narrative comfortably. For most of the tale, however, I have to keep my eyes on the text. I wouldn't mind if Salter had delivered her words just a trifle slower, but then perhaps the rollicking cadences wouldn't have frolicked so mirthfully. There are lots of editions of the Canterbury Tales available with old and new English on facing pages, making the effort much easier.

This is probably not everyone's idea of fun, what with movies of Beowulf starring naked babes as Grendel's Mother and such. But Chaucer is too good to be lost. If YOU the parents of America no longer have the willpower to compel your teenagers to labor through the Canterbury Tales, then it's YOUR obligation to do so yourselves!
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Very Insightful Piece of Literature!!! April 4 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Chaucer has given me a greater insight into life in the 14th century. We see the hypocrisy of the "genteel" people of the time. He has also transcended the boundaries of time for we can still see evidence of this hypocrisy in todays society. The Wife is a strong female character and the reader can not be certain if she is feminist or anti-feminist nor can they be certain if Chaucer is laughing at her or with her. This was a very crafty device by Chaucer's and he must be commended for it. This device is shown in how long Chaucer allows the Wife to speak about herself, it is the longest prologue in the book except of course for the General Prologue. The Wife's views and issues can also be seen in her choice of tale but her voice seems somewhat more subdued here and we can distinctly see Chaucer's own views and ideas coming out in the tale.The very poetic style in which it is written also intices the reader to read on. Altogether quite an insightful piece of literature.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not My Favorite Dec 7 2012
By Cody - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've seen other versions of this book with much better sidenotes about the text. I wasn't a huge fan of the layout of this book.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
THE WIFE OF BATH June 18 2013
By GH - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Book was for a school assignment Chaucer was a good writer This was a good read especially if you like reading about Daniels and knights
2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
great book Oct. 10 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book that gives the reader a feel for all social levels during the medieval times. I especially enjoyed The Wife of Bath's Tale. I recommend this book to anyone. It is interesting while being entertaining at the same time.