Medieval and Renaissance
Featured Items
Beowulf: A Verse Translation
Beowulf
A Verse Translation
Paperback      ISBN: 0393975800

The translation that "rides boldly through the reefs of scholarship" (The Observer) is combined with first-rate annotation. No reading knowledge of Old English is assumed. Heaney s clear and insightful introduction to Beowulf provides students with an understanding of both the poem s history in the canon and Heaney s own translation process."

The Canterbury Tales: A Prose Version in Modern English
The Canterbury Tales
A Prose Version in Modern English
Paperback      ISBN: 0307743535

A clear modern prose translation of Chaucer's masterpiece of Middle English storytelling by the acclaimed poet David Wright.

The Canterbury Tales has entertained readers for centuries, with its comic animal fables, moral allegories, miniature epics of courtly love, and rollicking erotic farces that bring fourteenth-century England to life on every page. The gloriously varied stories, narrated by a group of pilgrims on their way to Canterbury, are peopled with saints, sinners, and ordinary mortals in a vivid panorama of the medieval world. This prose translation renders these tales as accessible and irresistible to modern readers as they were to Chaucer's contemporaries.
Everyman and Medieval Miracle Plays
Everyman and Medieval Miracle Plays
Paperback      ISBN: 046087280x
God's creations of man in a lyrical dramatization; Noah's cantankerous and hilariously funny wife refusing to leave without her friends; the Massacre of the Innocents

Miracle Plays were a popular form of entertainment throughout the Middle Ages, and part of the poetic and dramatic tradition on which Shakespeare drew. Everyman discovers what you can't take with you when you go. He beseeches in turn friends, family (one pleads 'cramp in my toe'), possessions ('I follow no man in such voyages'), and finally falls back on moral and religious values.

This is the most comprehensive paperback edition available and includes an introduction and extensive notes.
Gilgamesh
Gilgamesh
Paperback      ISBN: 0394740890

The story of Gilgamesh, an ancient epic poem written on clay tablets in a cuneiform alphabet, is as fascinating and moving as it is crucial to our ability to fathom the time and the place in which it was written. Gardner's version restores the poetry of the text and the lyricism that is lost in the earlier, almost scientific renderings. The principal theme of the poem is a familiar one: man's persistent and hopeless quest for immortality. It tells of the heroic exploits of an ancient ruler of the walled city of Uruk named Gilgamesh. Included in its story is an account of the Flood that predates the Biblical version by centuries. Gilgamesh and his companion, a wild man of the woods named Enkidu, fight monsters and demonic powers in search of honor and lasting fame. When Enkidu is put to death by the vengeful goddess Ishtar, Gilgamesh travels to the underworld to find an answer to his grief and confront the question of mortality.

Inferno: A New Verse Translation
Inferno
A New Verse Translation
Paperback      ISBN: 0393323870

Unlike every known translator before him, Michael Palma re-creates Dante's masterpiece in all its dimensions, without emphasizing some aspects over others, rendering Inferno into contemporary American English while maintaining Dante's original triple rhyme scheme. The result is a translation that can be appreciated for its literal faithfulness and beautiful poetic form, accompanied by facing-page Italian and explanatory notes. A superb translation; highly recommended.--Library Journal I find Michael Palma's Inferno to be one that I'm having a hard time improving.--Lawrence Ferlinghetti I think highly of Michael Palma's Inferno....Readers will find it admirably clear and readable.--Richard Wilbur

Dante for Beginners
Dante for Beginners
Paperback      ISBN: 1934389676
Dante For Beginners takes the reader on a trip starting in hell and ending in heaven. The reader gets a quick introduction to Dante and his times. Next, the reader meets a sweet lass named Beatrice and samples a bit of his other literary offerings, such as the great feast, the Convivio. But then it's on to the big one, the Commedia, and a canto by canto description of the entire work. Characters, ideas and situations are described as they happen--no searching through end notes, footnotes or field notes to distinguish Forese Donati, Dante's pal, from his evil brother, Corso. The entire plan of the hereafter is simply mapped out. Dante For Beginners is a great vacation with history's greatest tourist, Dante Alighieri.
The Canterbury Tales
The Canterbury Tales
Paperback      ISBN: 0140440224

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.

The Song of Roland
The Song of Roland
Paperback      ISBN: 0375757112

A contemporary prose rendering of the great medieval French epic, The Song of Roland is as canonical and significant as the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf. It extols the chivalric ideals in the France of Charlemagne through the exploits of Charlemagne's nephew, the warrior Roland, who fights bravely to his death in a legendary battle. Against the bloody backdrop of the struggle between Christianity and Islam, The Song of Roland remains a vivid portrayal of medieval life, knightly adventure, and feudal politics. The first great literary works of a culture are its epic chronicles, those that create simple hero-figures about whom the imagination of a nation can crystallize, observed V. S. Pritchett.

The Song of Roland is animated by the crusading spirit and fortified by national and religious propaganda. This edition features W. S. Merwin's glowing, lyrical translation.
Beowulf: A Dual-Language Edition
Beowulf
A Dual-Language Edition
Paperback      ISBN: 1400096227

The first major poem in English literature, Beowulf tells the story of the life and death of the legendary hero Beowulf in his three great battles with supernatural monsters. The ideal Anglo-Saxon warrior-aristocrat, Beowulf is an example of the heroic spirit at its finest.

Leading Beowulf scholar Howell D. Chickering, Jr.'s, fresh and lively translation, featuring the Old English on facing pages, allows the reader to encounter Beowulf as poetry. This edition incorporates recent scholarship and provides historical and literary context for the modern reader. It includes the following:

an introduction
a guide to reading aloud
a chart of royal genealogies
notes on the background of the poem
critical commentary
glosses on the eight most famous passages, for the student who wishes to translate from the original
an extensive bibliography
Canterbury Tales
Canterbury Tales
Paperback      ISBN: 1853264369

The Wordsworth Poetry Library comprises the works of the greatest English-speaking poets, as well as many lesser-known poets. Each collection has a specially commissioned introduction.