The Canterbury Tales

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The Canterbury Tales

by Geoffrey Chaucer

Random House Publishing Group | March 23, 2012 | Hardcover

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It would be impossible to overstate the influence of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. A work with one metaphorical foot planted in the Florentine Renaissance literary tradition of Boccaccio's Decameron and the other in works ranging from John Bunyan, Voltaire, and Mark Twain to the popular entertainments of our own time, The Canterbury Tales stands astride the cultures of Great Britain and America, and much of Europe, like a benign colossus.

Beyond its importance as a cultural touchstone and literary work of unvarnished genius, Chaucer's unfinished epic poem is also one of the most beloved works in the English language-and for good reason: It is lively, absorbing, perceptive, and outrageously funny-an undisputed classic that has held a special appeal for generations of readers. Chaucer has gathered twenty-nine of literature's most indelible archetypes-from the exalted Knight to the bawdy Wife to the besotted Miller to the humble Plowman-in a vivid group portrait that captures the full spectrum of late-medieval English society and both informs and expands our discourse on the human condition.

Presented in these pages in a new unabridged translation by the esteemed poet, translator, and scholar Burton Raffel-whose translation of Beowulf has sold more than a million copies-this Modern Library edition also features an Introduction by the well-known and widely influential medievalist and author John Miles Foley that discusses Chaucer's work as well as to his life and times.

Despite the brilliance of Geoffrey Chaucer's work, the continual evolution of our language has rendered his words unfamiliar to many of us. Burton Raffel's magnificent new translation brings Chaucer's poetry back to life, ensuring that none of the original's wit, wisdom, or humanity is lost to the modern reader.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 672 pages, 9.62 × 6.56 × 1.61 in

Published: March 23, 2012

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0679643559

ISBN - 13: 9780679643555

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– More About This Product –

The Canterbury Tales

by Geoffrey Chaucer

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 672 pages, 9.62 × 6.56 × 1.61 in

Published: March 23, 2012

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0679643559

ISBN - 13: 9780679643555

About the Book

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.

"From the Paperback edition."

Read from the Book

The Knight’s Tale 1 Introduction 1 The Knight’s Tale, which mostly takes place in ancient Athens, is the conflicted love story of two royal Theban cousins who love the same woman. Because “The Knight’s Tale” is by far the longest and most complex of the Canterbury Tales presented in this volume, a quick summary of the action of the four parts of the tale may help readers encountering it for the first time: Part I. On his way back to Athens with his bride, Hypolita, and his sister-in-law, Emily, Duke Theseus responds to the pleas of some grieving widows by defeating Creon, the tyrant of Thebes. Among the bodies of the defeated army, he finds near death the royal cousins Palamon and Arcite. Rather than kill them, Theseus takes them back to Athens and places them in prison. From their barred prison window, the two young men see the lovely Emily and both fall in love with her. Arcite after a time is released but banished from Athens on pain of death, while Palamon remains in prison. The two are envious of each other’s condition. Part II. Arcite disguises himself as a common laborer and comes back to Athens, where he gets a job working in Emily’s household. Meanwhile, Palamon escapes from prison, and the rival cousins chance to meet in a grove near Athens. While Palamon and Arcite are fighting a bloody duel, Theseus, Hypolita, and Emily, out hunting, by chance come upon them in a grove. At first angry, Theseus soon relents, sets both of hi
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From the Publisher

It would be impossible to overstate the influence of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. A work with one metaphorical foot planted in the Florentine Renaissance literary tradition of Boccaccio's Decameron and the other in works ranging from John Bunyan, Voltaire, and Mark Twain to the popular entertainments of our own time, The Canterbury Tales stands astride the cultures of Great Britain and America, and much of Europe, like a benign colossus.

Beyond its importance as a cultural touchstone and literary work of unvarnished genius, Chaucer's unfinished epic poem is also one of the most beloved works in the English language-and for good reason: It is lively, absorbing, perceptive, and outrageously funny-an undisputed classic that has held a special appeal for generations of readers. Chaucer has gathered twenty-nine of literature's most indelible archetypes-from the exalted Knight to the bawdy Wife to the besotted Miller to the humble Plowman-in a vivid group portrait that captures the full spectrum of late-medieval English society and both informs and expands our discourse on the human condition.

Presented in these pages in a new unabridged translation by the esteemed poet, translator, and scholar Burton Raffel-whose translation of Beowulf has sold more than a million copies-this Modern Library edition also features an Introduction by the well-known and widely influential medievalist and author John Miles Foley that discusses Chaucer's work as well as to his life and times.

Despite the brilliance of Geoffrey Chaucer's work, the continual evolution of our language has rendered his words unfamiliar to many of us. Burton Raffel's magnificent new translation brings Chaucer's poetry back to life, ensuring that none of the original's wit, wisdom, or humanity is lost to the modern reader.

From the Jacket

"A delight . . . [Raffel's translation] provides more opportunities to savor the counterpoint of Chaucer's earthy humor against passages of piercingly beautiful lyric poetry."-Kirkus Reviews

"Masterly . . . This new translation beckons us to make our own pilgrimage back to the very wellsprings of literature in our language." -Billy Collins

"The Canterbury Tales has remained popular for seven centuries. It is the most approachable masterpiece of the medieval world, and Mr. Raffel's translation makes the stories even more inviting."-Wall Street Journal



From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400), often referred to as "the grandfather of English literature," is invariably ranked with Shakespeare and Milton as one of the three greatest poets of the English language. His masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales, has been a touchstone for English-language poetry for more than half a millennium and is one of the most widely read works in the Western canon.

Burton Raffel is a translator, poet, and scholar whose major translations include Beowulf, Don Quijote, The Red and the Black, and Gargantua and Pantagruel. He has also annotated several Shakespeare plays for Yale University Press. He was the Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Arts and Humanities and emeritus professor of English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette until 2003. He lives in Louisiana.

John Miles Foley is a leading Chaucer scholar specializing in medieval studies, epics, and the oral tradition. A professor at the University of Missouri, he is the director of the Center for Studies in Oral Tradition and has written or edited eighteen books. He lives in Columbus, Missouri.

Editorial Reviews

"A delight . . . [Raffel's translation] provides more opportunities to savor the counterpoint of Chaucer's earthy humor against passages of piercingly beautiful lyric poetry."-Kirkus Reviews

"Masterly . . . This new translation beckons us to make our own pilgrimage back to the very wellsprings of literature in our language." -Billy Collins

"The Canterbury Tales has remained popular for seven centuries. It is the most approachable masterpiece of the medieval world, and Mr. Raffel's translation makes the stories even more inviting."-Wall Street Journal



From the Trade Paperback edition.
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