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The Canterbury Tales, and Other Poems

Geoffrey Chaucer

Book Overview: 

The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer (two of them in prose, the rest in verse). The tales, some of which are originals and others not, are contained inside a frame tale and told by a group of pilgrims on their way from Southwark to Canterbury to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral.

The themes of the tales vary, and include topics such as courtly love, treachery, and avarice. The genres also vary, and include romance, Breton lai, sermon, beast fable, and fabliau. The characters, introduced in the General Prologue of the book, tell tales of great cultural relevance.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .And told them certain, but* he might have grace *unless
To have Constance, within a little space,
He was but dead; and charged them in hie* *haste
To shape* for his life some remedy. *contrive

Diverse men diverse thinges said;
And arguments they casten up and down;
Many a subtle reason forth they laid;
They speak of magic, and abusion*; *deception
But finally, as in conclusion,
They cannot see in that none avantage,
Nor in no other way, save marriage.

Then saw they therein such difficulty
By way of reason, for to speak all plain,
Because that there was such diversity
Between their bothe lawes, that they sayn,
They trowe* that no Christian prince would fain** *believe **willingly
Wedden his child under our lawe sweet,
That us was given. . . Read More

Community Reviews

When confronted with the painful choice of whether or not to read Chaucer in the original Middle English, I agonised for precisely four seconds and decided to read Nevill Coghill’s modern translation in lovely Penguin paperback. In the same way I wouldn’t learn German to read Goethe, or unlearn E...more

„Бащата на английската литература“ Джефри Чосър бил достоен предвестник на бъдещите всестранно развити Ренесансови творци. Освен че пишел, отбирал от астрономия и философия, бил дипломат и чиновник. Никак не е чудно, че неговата пъстра сбирка на съсловията, каквито са „Кентърбърийски разкази“, зв...more

A classic that has worn well... the psychology, in particular with regard to women, seems remarkably modern! It's funny, and not just in one style either. Sometimes he's subverting the popular cliches of the day, sometimes he's slyly campaigning for women's rights, and sometimes he's just having...more

I'm gonna start texting in Chaucer's English.

*declares war on abbreviation*

This masterpiece was written over 600 years ago but I am positive that if you decide to pick it up you will find the stories most interesting!
My favourite tale was The Pardoner's Tale. I always enjoy a story in which greedy, vicious people get what they deserve.

I had tried reading Chaucer at un...more

Look out, Bocaccio -- there's a new author of clever, bawdy rhyming tales, and his name is Geoffrey Chaucer! Whether you're a reeve, abbot, or just a simple canon's yeoman, you're sure to find something delightful in this witty, incisive collection. My personal favorites were the one about Chaunt...more

Book Review
It was 1996 and my freshmen year at college. I had already declared English as my major and needed to choose between Chaucer and Shakespeare as the primary "classic" author to take a course on. I chose Shakespeare. My advisor told me that's the usual pick and most missed out. I lau...more

"It's that you each, to shorten the long journey,
Shall tell two tales en route to Canterbury,
And, coming homeward, another two,
Stories of things that happened long ago.
Whoever best acquits himself, and tells
The most amusing and instructive tale,
Shall have a dinner, paid by us all,
Here in this roo...more

The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales is a collection of 24 stories that runs to over 17,000 lines written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و ششم ماه سپتامبر سال 2009 میلادی
عنوان: حکایتهای کنتربری؛ نویسنده: جفری چاسر؛ مترجم: علیرضا مهدیپور؛ مشخصا...more

My biggest fear about this book was that it would be like The Pilgrim's Progress. Although they followed a similar format, they couldn't have been more different for me. The Pilgrim's Progress was boring and preachy, whereas this was delightfully bawdy.

There are many translations, from Middle En...more

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