The Canterbury Tales

The Canterbury Tales

by Geoffrey Chaucer
4.1 239

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The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

Lively, absorbing, often outrageously funny, Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales is a work of genius, an undisputed classic that has held a special appeal for each generation of readers. The Tales gathers twenty-nine of literature’s most enduring (and endearing) characters in a vivid group portrait that captures the full spectrum of medieval society, from the exalted Knight to the humble Plowman.

This new edition includes a comprehensive introduction that summarizes some of the most important historical events and movements that defined the world of Chaucer and his pilgrims; two additional tales (Reeve’s and Shipman’s); introductions for each tale designed to prepare the reader for a better understanding and enjoyment of the tale; newly written and conveniently placed explanatory notes; and a new, more easily understood system for learning to pronounce Chaucerian Middle English.

From the Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553902525
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/30/2006
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 688
File size: 667 KB

About the Author

Geoffrey Chaucer was born in London about 1340, the son of a well-to-do and well-connected wine merchant. In 1360, after his capture while fighting in the French wars, Edward III paid his ransom, and later Chaucer married Philippa de Roet, a maid of honor to the queen and sister-in-law to John of Gaunt, Chaucer's patron.

Chaucer's oeuvre is commonly divided into three periods: the French (to 1372), consisting of such works as a translation of the Roman de la Rose and The Book of the Duchess; the Italian (1372-1385), including The House of Fame, The Parliament of Fowls and Troilus and Criseyde; and the English (1385-1400), culminating in The Canterbury Tales. In 1400, he died, leaving 24 of the apparently 120 tales he had planned for his final masterpiece. Chaucer became the first of England's great men to be buried in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey.
Peter G. Beidler is the Lucy G. Moses Distinguished Professor of English at Lehigh University. He is the author of a dozen books and more than 150 articles. In the summer of 2005 he directed a seminar for high school teachers on Chaucer's Canterbury Comedies (the seminar was supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities). He and his wife Anne have four children.

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The Canterbury Tales 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 239 reviews.
MattW More than 1 year ago
I got an advance copy of this and have read the first few tales -- what an amazing translation. It's accessible and will be perfect for classroom studies or just catching up on a classic.
theokester More than 1 year ago
Writing a "review" of The Canterbury Tales is difficult, not because the book/collection isn't worthy of a review, but because it is so widely variant and has so many nuances to be discussed. So what do you say in a brief review of The Canterbury Tales? To start with, I would suggest you try reading it in the original Middle English. The language/spelling/pronunciation can be a problem, so be sure you get an edition that's glossed (unless you're proficient in Middle English). During the semester, I found a "children's" edition of the tales at my local library. It included Modern English "translations" of a couple of the tales along with some illustrations. It was kind of fun to read, but it lost some of the rhythm and drive of the tales by having them in a modern format. The writing is fun and clever (once you get through the 'translation' issues with the Middle English). For a common reference, it's like reading Shakespeare, only more archaic by a couple hundred years. The language of the narrative varies depending on the narrator of the particular prologue/tale, but with Chaucer at the helm behind the scenes, the writing is generally very good, descriptive, layered, humorous, inspiring, etc. (except for when he's trying to illustrate 'bad writing', and then it's good in that it's so bad). The messages presented are widely varied as well. The Knight's Tale was an intriguing tale of romance and chivalry with lots of courtly intrigue...but at times it felt a little dry. The Miller and the Reeve were hilarious tales and introduced me to a new (to me) genre in the fabliau. The Wife of Bath had an interesting prologue and a fun tale, again with a semi-romantic style and an interesting moral. The Nun's Priest gave us a fun little animal fable. The Prioress presented a strange little tale about miracles or anti-semitism or devout love or something else? Overall, I would definitely recommend having a copy of The Canterbury Tales on your shelf. Some tales are easier to read than others. Some tales are more fun while others are more thought provoking (as stated in one of the prologues, a tale has one of two purposes, to educate or to entertain...and there are examples of each). Once you get your teeth into the language (probably the biggest hurdle) I suspect you'll enjoy these.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Translation = Forget your English class scars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This version will appeal most to those who have read and studied The Canterbury Tales and enjoyed them. The Canterbury Tales are best heard aloud. With commentary by Professor Murphy and talented actors, the various tales come appealingly alive. Chaucer¿s Middle English has its archaic words explained, and leaves the beauty of the meter and rhymes intact. The tales explore primarily relations between men and women, people and God, and consistently challenge hypocrisy. The tales also exemplify all the major story forms in use during the Middle Ages. The book¿s structure is unbelievable subtle and complex, providing the opportunity to peel the onion down to its core, one layer at a time. Modern anthologies look awfully weak by comparison. Although the material is old, the ideas are not. You will also be impressed by how much closer God was to the lives of these people than He is today. The renunciation at the end comes as a mighty jolt, as a result. My favorites are by the miller, wife of Bath, pardoner, and nun¿s priest. Where do you see the opportunity to give and share spiritual and worldly love? How can you give and receive more love? Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I still prefer Coghill's translstion, bit Raffel's is a very close second. Many of the reviews here seem to be of a translation other than Raffel's. For example, some reviewers allude to a Middle English version. This indicates thst they are not reviewing Raffel's version. Perhaps B&N can sort this out. It id not only confusing but results in inaccurate reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in my senior year of high school, quite honestly this book would go right over most people's heads(including me at first). The book was written in the 14th century so its understandable that the book's concepts are hard to grasp.But all an all I actually like the Canterbury tales once I re-read them and understood it better. This book takes time to really understand, however some people might right away but you should give it a chance, if you really want to read up on some great 14 century literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
there are so many publications of this book in so many formats and translations that the b&n strategy of compositing data from all publications of the same name makes the site totally useless with regard to this kind of book. is it a side by side translation, annotated, something else? who knows. is it the translation by Hastings, Raffel, Wright, Ecker & Crook, Reeve & Shipman, or some one else? who knows!? they're all referenced! is it the complete tales or a selection of a few? it could be either according to the information presented by this site! b&n need to fix this bad.
Anonymous 11 months ago
She entered quietly. She wore a long black dress with long sleeves and black highheels. She had light sking and a slim body. She was 5'6"
Anonymous 11 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please quit spamming book reviews. I realize that this is your favorite long-distance communication mode and that there are hundreds like you but you are throwing the average rating way off and some of us would like to know stuff about the book and not your personal chat. Thank you
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in lonely
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in with a tight tank and tight black tights on that show off all her curves and detail of her vag.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She walks in wearing a white crop top and teal short shorts with black wedges
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She walks over smiling "Hello, I'm Taylor"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in a bikini thats makes her brea.sts pop out of her top and her is showing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He entered, his eyes roaming as a smirk pressed his lips.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Comes in wearing a crop top that says f-it!, blue short shorts and pumps and walks to a corner and waits
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Lexi here isnt me, btw. I havent visited here. Ill put an 'H' on my name here.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To everyone: the james thats here is not the james that sits in his corner everyday at W&P ok? (Carry on everyone)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He walks over to the bar, shooting a glance at DJ
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brianna sauntered in, wearing a short and tight, red mini dress that glittered and she wore four inch heels, her blonde hair down in ringlets.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walked in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He shrugs. "Boredom"