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Selected Canterbury Tales
     

Selected Canterbury Tales

4.6 10
by Geoffrey Chaucer
 

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At the Tabard Inn in Southwark, in the London of the late 1300s, a band of men and women from all walks of life have gathered to begin a pilgrimage to the shrine of Thomas à Becket at Canterbury. To relieve the tedium of the journey, the host of the inn proposes that each of the pilgrims tell a favorite story, promising that the best storyteller will be

Overview

At the Tabard Inn in Southwark, in the London of the late 1300s, a band of men and women from all walks of life have gathered to begin a pilgrimage to the shrine of Thomas à Becket at Canterbury. To relieve the tedium of the journey, the host of the inn proposes that each of the pilgrims tell a favorite story, promising that the best storyteller will be treated to a fi ne dinner on the group's return to Southwark.
So begins one of the earliest masterpieces of English literature, a collection of stories as much prized for the portraits of its story tellers as for the stories they tell — portraits that reveal much of the rich social fabric of 14th-century England. Now three of the most popular tales — along with the charming General Prologue have been selected for this edition: The Knight's Tale, The Miller's Prologue and Tale, and The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale.
Animated by Chaucer's sly humor, flair for characterization and wise humanity, the stories have been recast into modern verse that captures the lively spirit of the originals. Highly entertaining, they represent an excellent entree to the rest of The Canterbury Tales and to the pleasures of medieval poetry in general. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Like Charles Lamb's edition of Shakespeare, Hastings's loose prose translation of seven of Chaucer's tales is more faithful to the work's plot than to the poet's language. This is not a prudish retelling (even the bawdy Miller's tale is included here) but the vigor of Chaucer's text is considerably tamed. In the original, the pilgrims possess unique voices, but here the tone is uniformly bookish. The colloquial speech of the storyteller is replaced by formal prose; for example, while Cohen (see review above) directly translates Chaucer's ``domb as a stoon'' as ``silent as stones,'' Hastings writes ``in solemn silence.'' Cartwright's startling paintings skillfully suggest the stylized flatness of a medieval canvas, but often without the accompanying richness of detail. Like Punch and Judy puppets, the faces and voices of these pilgrims are generally representative but lack the life and charm of the original text. Ages 10-up. (Oct.)
Library Journal
The old standby here gets its first facelift in more than 50 years. Librarian/author Ecker and scholar Crook translated Chaucer's Middle English into a more modern, more accesssible form. Large English literature collections should consider.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9 These 13 rollicking interpretations take their inspiration from Chaucer but are freely adapted for young readers. Students will have to get the feel of original text elsewhere: the excellent A Taste of Chaucer (HBJ, 1964; o.p.) by Malcolmson, Farjeon's Tales from Chaucer (Branford, 1948; o.p.) and even the Hieatts' adapted selections from Canterbury Tales (Golden, 1961; o.p.), are long out of print. The emphasis here is on the pilgrims and their stories, and these, despite some shifts to avoid bawdiness, come off as rousingly good. In colorful style and language, McCaughrean creatively reconstructs and adds conversation, event and detail, in keeping with the medieval times, to stitch the tales together. ``Death's Murderers,'' McCaughrean's version of ``How the Three Found Death,'' is exceptionally stark and good. The collection is rounded off by having the pilgrims reach Canterbury, with a look to the return trip. A brief historical note is given on the endpapers. Ambrus' handsome portrait of Chaucer gives a nod to that of the Ellesmere manuscript, but his colorful paintings showing the other pilgrims and their tales are his exuberant own. This attractive volume is a good introduction to medieval stories for reluctant but able junior high readers. Ruth M. McConnell, San Antonio Pub . Lib .

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780486110790
Publisher:
Dover Publications
Publication date:
02/29/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
810,190
File size:
724 KB
Age Range:
14 Years

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Canterbury Tales: Selections 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Admired her litter
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
&#145
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Raced inl
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kits firekit
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Never mind
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent Modern English translation by J.U. Nicolson(1934) of Chaucer's timeless Medieval classic. An excellent introductory to his immortal tales. Unfortunately, this is a "Selected Tales"(incomplete) edition by Dover Publications- which includes only THREE of the "most popular" tales: "The Knight's Tale"; "The Miller's Prologue & Tale" and "The Wife Of Bath's Prologue & Tale". Nicolson's complete translation is sorely in need of republication for today's readers. Also includes a short(but interesting) biographical note on Chaucer plus a short sample of the original "Middle English" General Prologue. 5 stars as an excellent readable translation.
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