The Riverside Chaucer Paperback – 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
The rejected Griselda - 'Lat me nat lyk a worm go by the weye;' the frisky Alisoun - ''Tehee!' quod she, and clapte the wyndow to;' the amorous Wife of Bath - 'Allas! Allas! that evere love was synne!', the scurvy Pardoner - 'Of avarice, and of swich cursednesse / Is al my prechyng, for to make hem free / To yeven hir pens, and namely unto me', and a host of others both high and low, noble and despicable, lovable and contemptible.
Of course, Chaucer isn't for everyone. Those with no feeling for his language and no sense of humor, and whose own humanity is not their strongest point, may lack what is needed to appreciate Chaucer at his true worth.
The present edition is a mammoth volume of 1327 pages which includes the complete and newly edited texts of everything Chaucer wrote - The Canterbury Tales, The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, Anelida and Arcite, The Parliament of Fowls, Boece, Troilus and Criseyde, The Legend of Good Women, The Short Poems, A Treatise on the Astrolabe, The Romaunt of the Rose. Brief language glosses are given at the foot of each page, while fuller Notes are found at the end of the book.
Unfortunately the lines of the texts are numbered in the conventional way - 10, 20, 30, etc. - instead of having numbers occur _only_ at the end of lines which have been glossed or given Notes - e.g., 9, 12, 16, 18, 32.Read more ›
Benson's edition is probably the best on the market but it is not without its flaws. The glosses are adequate at best and I found the notes to be a bit lacking though the ones that are there are certainly top-notch.
To anyone picking up this book I would only recommend that you read beyond the Canterbury Tales. Chaucer's lesser known works are no less impressive or rewarding than his magnum opus. Oh, and while you are on the Tales be sure to read more than a few and don't be afraid of the lengthy prose sections. The man's work has survived 600+ years for a reason.
Most recent customer reviews
THIS BOOK ARRIVED WAAAAAAAY AHEAD OF THE EXPECTED DATE! Thank you so much You contributed to me receiving an A grade in my course that required this book!Published 22 months ago by Michael Perry
The Riverside Chaucer has managed to do the impossible- preserve the pristine vigor of the original texts, while providing informative glosses for those readers unfamiliar with... Read morePublished on May 20 2003
This was one of the better editions I've worked with. The notes were comprehensive and very helpful. A large and useful glossary helped where the notes failed. Read morePublished on April 18 2001 by Michael Varga
Anyone with any claim to an interest in Chaucer MUST read this book - translations just can't convey the subtleties of his wit. Read morePublished on May 15 2000 by Andrea Jutson
If you are going to read Chaucer--and, truly to be educated, I guess one must--do not go to the trouble of buying this massive volume. Read morePublished on March 24 1999
This book is WONDERFUL! The glosses are generally very helpful, except for omitting sexual connotations when there are plural meanings. Read morePublished on Oct. 18 1998
This book is an essential addition to the library of any serious student of English literature. The critical commentary is both useful and illuminating. Read morePublished on Oct. 13 1998