Canterbury Tales

Canterbury Tales

by Geoffrey Chaucer, Peter Beidler (Editor)
Publisher: Bantam Books
Trade Paperback, 421 pages
List Price: $5.99 Sale Price: $5.09

Bawdy, pious, erudite, absurd, tragic, comic: here in Dryden's words is 'God's Plenty.' It wouldn't be too much to say that most Western literature after Chaucer is based on or influenced by The Canterbury Tales. Besides havingsome of the best opening lines ever ("Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote/The droghte of March hath perced to the roote/And bathed every veyne in swich licour/Of which vertu engendered is the flour"), ol' Geoff was no slackhand when it came to amazing plots, either. Take "The Pardoner's Tale,"for instance:Three men set out to find and kill Death—they eventuallyfind him, though not how they expected. Or the perennially bawdy "Miller's Tale" about the wrong man getting in the wrong bed, even though the bed he gets in is his own. With their astonishing diversity of tone and subject-matter, The Canterbury Tales have become one of the touchstones of medieval literature. The tales are told by a motley crowd of pilgrims as they journey for five days from Southwark to Canterbury. Drawn from all levels of society and all walks of life (from knight to nun, miller to monk), the pilgrims reveal a picture of English life in the fourteenth century that is robust as it is representative. If you're worried these stories have nothing to offer the modern reader, you're wrong.

Fragment 1 General Prologue, Knight, Miller, Reeve, Cook
Fragment 2 Man of Law
Fragment 3 Wife of Bath, Friar, Summoner
Fragment 4 Clerk, Merchant
Fragment 5 Squire, Franklin
Fragment 6 Physician, Pardoner
Fragment 7 Shipman, Prioress, Sir Thopas, Melibee, Monk, Nun's priest
Fragment 8 Second Nun, Canon's Yeoman
Fragment 9 Manciple
Fragment 10 Parson

This 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.

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