The Canterbury Tales

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The Canterbury Tales

by Geoffrey Chaucer
Translated by Burton Raffel
Introduction by John Miles Foley

Random House Publishing Group | November 10, 2009 | Trade Paperback

5 out of 5 rating. 3 Reviews
Beyond its importance as a literary work of unvarnished genius, Geoffrey 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. But despite the brilliance of Chaucer's work, the continual evolution of our language has rendered his words unfamiliar to many of us. Esteemed poet, translator, and scholar Burton Raffel's magnificent new unabridged 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. This Modern Library edition also features an Introduction by the widely influential medievalist and author John Miles Foley that discusses Chaucer's work as well as his life and times.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 672 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 1.18 in

Published: November 10, 2009

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0812978455

ISBN - 13: 9780812978452

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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– More About This Product –

The Canterbury Tales

The Canterbury Tales

by Geoffrey Chaucer
Translated by Burton Raffel
Introduction by John Miles Foley

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 672 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 1.18 in

Published: November 10, 2009

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0812978455

ISBN - 13: 9780812978452

About the Book

This unabridged translation features an Introduction by influential medievalist author and professor John Miles Foley that explores Chaucer's life and times. In this major new translation, Burton Raffel has done a masterful job of carrying Chaucer into modern, highly readable English while retaining the rhythm and formal charm that so distinguish "The Canterbury Tales."--Billy Collins

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

Beyond its importance as a literary work of unvarnished genius, Geoffrey 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. But despite the brilliance of Chaucer's work, the continual evolution of our language has rendered his words unfamiliar to many of us. Esteemed poet, translator, and scholar Burton Raffel's magnificent new unabridged 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. This Modern Library edition also features an Introduction by the widely influential medievalist and author John Miles Foley that discusses Chaucer's work as well as his life and times.

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

About the Author

Geoffrey Chaucer was born in London about 1340, the son of a well-to-do and well-connected wine merchant. In 1360, after his capture while fighting in the French wars, Edward III paid his ransom, and later Chaucer married Philippa de Roet, a maid of honor to the queen and sister-in-law to John of Gaunt, Chaucer''s patron.

Chaucer''s oeuvre is commonly divided into three periods: the French (to 1372), consisting of such works as a translation of the Roman de la Rose and The Book of the Duchess; the Italian (1372-1385), including The House of Fame, The Parliament of Fowls and Troilus and Criseyde; and the English (1385-1400), culminating in The Canterbury Tales. In 1400, he died, leaving 24 of the apparently 120 tales he had planned for his final masterpiece. Chaucer became the first of England''s great men to be buried in the Poet''s Corner of Westminster Abbey.
    
Peter G. Beidler is the Lucy G. Moses Distinguished Professor of English at Lehigh University. He is the author of a dozen books and more than 150 articles. In the summer of 2005 he directed a seminar for high school teachers on Chaucer''s Canterbury Comedies (the seminar was supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities). He and his wife Anne have four children.


From the Paperback edition.

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
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