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.
One spring day, 30 pilgrims set off from an inn in Southwark for a shrine in Canterbury. The inn keeper offers a free dinner, on their return, to the person who can tell the best story. So begins an assortment of tales from such varied characters as the Knight, the Wife of Bath and the Miller.
A Penguin Classic In The Canterbury Tales Chaucer created one of the great touchstones of English literature, a masterly collection of chivalric romances, moral allegories and low farce. A story-telling competition between a group of pilgrims from all walks of life is the occasion for a series of tales that range from the Knight's account of courtly love and the ebullient Wife of Bath's Arthurian legend, to the ribald anecdotes of the Miller and the Cook. Rich and diverse, The Canterbury Tales offer us an unrivalled glimpse into the life and mind of medieval England. For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
The precise, unerring, delicately emphatic characterizations for which The Canterbury Tales is so famous are no more extraordinary than Chaucer's utter mastery of English rhythms and his effortless versification. Ranging from animal fables to miniature epics of courtly love and savagely hilarious comedies of sexual comeuppance, these stories told by pilgrims on the way to the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury reveal a teeming, vital fourteenth-century English society on the verge of its Renaissance.These tales bring together a band of pilgrims who represented most of the occupations and social groups of the time. The diversity of the narrators in turn made possible a varied collection of tales including chivalric romance, spiritual allegory, courtly lay, beast fable and literary satire.
During his life, Geoffrey Chaucer (born c.1340) was courtier, diplomat, revenue collector, administrator, negotiator, overseer of building projects, landowner and knight of the shire. He was servant, retainer, husband, friend and father, but is now mainly known as a poet and 'the father of English literature', a postion to which he was raised by other writers in the generation after his death. It was Boccaccio's Decameron which inspired Chaucer, in the 1390s, to begin work on The Canterbury Tales, which was still unfinished at his death in October 1400. It tells the story of a group of 30 pilgrims who meet at the Tabard Inn in Southwark, on the south bank of the Thames opposite the city of London, and travel together to visit the then famous shrine of St Thomas Becket in Canterbury cathedral. The tavern host, who accompanies them, suggests that they amuse one another along the way by telling stories, with the best storyteller awarded a meal in the tavern (paid for by all the others) on their return. The stories told by the pilgrims range from bawdy comedies through saints' lives and moral tracts to courtly romances, always delivered with a generous helping of Chaucer's own sly wit and ironic humour. Although basing his characters on the stereotypes of 'estates satire', Chaucer succeeds in his aim of producing an overview of his times and their culture, for posterity, in the manner of Italian, proto-Renaissance, writers.This transcription and edition is taken from British Library MS Harley 7334, produced within ten years of Chaucer's death. The on-page notes and glosses aim to enable readers with little or no previous experience of medieva
Why be frightened of the most wonderful collection of tales ever written? No Fear: The Canterbury Tales makes it simple for students to love Chaucer's masterpiece in all its humor, bawdiness, and poignancy. It features the original text on the left-hand page, side-by-side with an easy-to-understand translation on the right; in addition, there is a complete list of characters with descriptions and plenty of helpful commentary.
More than 900 entries, carefully selected, organized, and annotated, and accompanied by informative background material, make this volume a unique and indispensable guide to Chaucer and related studies.
The entries are divided into three categories. The first includes materials necessary for the study of Chaucer's works: complete editions, facsimiles, studies of manuscripts, canon, and dating, works on the poet's life, language, and learning, and his sources and influences. The second section covers Chaucer's works. The third contains a selection of secondary works which provide information on the age and the culture in which Chaucer lived; music, the visual arts, economics and politics, rhetoric and poetics, and sciences among the subjects included.
Most entries listed are in English, but a few essential studies in French and German are included. Items have been selected not only on the basis of quality but also for importance in the history of scholarship, variety of approach, and specific usefulness to students and beginners.