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English Literature for Boys and Girls

H. E. Marshall

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Canterbury Tales.

Some of these stories you will like to read, but others are too coarse and rude to give you any pleasure. Even the roughness of these tales, however, helps us to picture the England of those far-off days. We see from them how hard and rough the life must have been when people found humor and fun in jokes in which we can feel only disgust.

But even in Chaucer's day there were those who found such stories coarse. "Precious fold," Chaucer calls them. He himself perhaps did not care for them, indeed he explains in the tales why he tells them. Here is a company of common, everyday people, he said, and if I am to make you see these people, if they are to be living and real to you, I must make them act and speak as such common people would act and speak. They are churls, and they must speak like churls and not like fine folk, and if you don't like the tale, turn over the leaf and choose another.

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Community Reviews

This is my second time through, and it's even better than the first time.

I read one chapter a week for Miss 12's school work, and each week I marvel that we are able to enjoy such a beautiful book...and that so few people know about it.

Highly recommended for anyone 12 and over. (The age limit is n

Well- not really finished the whole book, just the section I was reading for English homework. About a fifth of the entire thing?

Self Explanatory and Simple Worded Book that is as good for the learned as for the young!

The book renders the true beauty of literature, arousing the curiosity and interest of young readers along with providing the information that serves to fill the missing links for the experienced reader. Student

To be completely honest, I haven't actually read all of this book. Just around the first third. However, I wanted to try and cut down my 'currently reading' shelf, as quite a few are books that I have started but never finished. The part of this book that I did read was really good, with lots of sho

This anthology of English Lit from "the listening time" to Alfred, Lord Tennyson, appears to be intended for middle school. Would be a nice resource for an English teacher, and was certainly interesting, although the author clearly demonstrated her strong bias with some rather biting commentary on c

I read this book over the course of 4 years of high school English classes. This is a wonderfully written book - a great introduction to English lit! It's accessible to a wide age range, and I personally can say that I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading it. I learnt so much and have come away feelin

muy interestante

Great summaries of the major works of English literature. Great for developing a working knowledge of English literature without having read EVERYTHING.

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