Troilus and Criseydeby Geoffrey Chaucer
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Often called the first great English novel, Troilus and Cressida, a tragic love story set during the siege of Troy, is Chaucer’s masterpiece. Troilus, a valiant warrior, is scornful of love until he catches a glimpse of Cressida. With the help of his friend and her uncle Pandarus, Troilus wins Cressida over. But their happiness is destroyed when, summoned to a Greek camp, Cressida seeks the protection of one Diomede and ultimately betrays Troilus.
“James Dean and Harriet Spiegel have produced an elegant edition of Chaucer’s masterpiece that will stand next to the Broadview Canterbury Tales as the most widely adapted classroom edition. It wears its considerable learning lightly and lets Chaucer’s poetry speak for itself, while still providing helpful notes and glosses to guide the reader. Spiegel is widely known as a translator of medieval literature and Dean is one of the most respected scholars and editors of his generation. Together they make a great team, and it shows on every page and every line of this edition. It will be on my syllabus, and I recommend it to everyone who teaches the Troilus.” John Ganim, University of California at Riverside
“Everything a reader of Troilus would want: generous glossing; a lucid review of critical history; excerpts from Boccaccio and Benoît de Sainte-Maure; and a full text and translation, prepared specifically for this edition, of Henryson’s Testament. And much more.” Sarah Stanbury, College of the Holy Cross
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Meet the Author
Geoffrey Chaucer was born in London, the son of a vintner around 1342. He is known to have been a page to the Countess of Ulster in 1357 and Edward III valued him highly enough to pay a part of his ransom in 1360, after he had been captured fighting in France. It is probably in France that Chaucer became interested in poetry; he bagan to translate the Roman de la Rose and became interested in Boccaccio on trips to Italy. The order of his works is uncertain but they include The Book of the Duchess, The Canterbury Tales and The Parliament of Fowls. He died in 1400 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Nevill Coghill held many appointments at Oxford University, where he was Merton Professor of English Literature from 1957 to 1966. He wrote several books on English Literature and was particularly interested in Shakespearean drama. His translation of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is also published by Penguin Classics and is an enduring bestseller. He died in November 1980.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Why would anyone ever want to read three versions of the same story, each written in enormously different time eras? Many reasons, actually. Detailing the 'Matter of Troy', this Norton edition has three versions of the Troilus and Cresseida story. It doesn't have the first, original text by Benoit de St. Maure, however. What makes this text shine is that it has facing pages of text, one side with Boccaccio's 'Il Filostrato' and the other with the Chaucer version, so the reader can easily compare the two. Chaucer's Middle English is glossed, so that newer readers need not be overly intimidated. As an afterthought, the editors included Robert Henryson's "The Testament of Cressida". The Middle Scot is a bit more difficult to understand, but the footnotes and margins gloss helps. And as usual, Norton includes a variety of material on the Troilus and Cressida story, making this an important book to have if you're a fan of Chaucer, or a serious student of English and of classicism. Physically speaking, though, the binding seems a bit weak (haven't tested it fully yet)and be careful when you write your own comments on the margins - ink seeps through and marks up the following page. Overall, though, this is a good book to have.