The Portable Chaucer: Revised Edition

Paperback | May 26, 1977

byGeoffrey ChaucerEditorTheodore MorrisonTranslated byTheodore Morrison

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In the fourteenth century Geoffrey Chaucer, who served three kings as a customs official and special envoy, virtually invented English poetry. He did so by wedding the language of common speech to metrical verse, creating a medium that could accommodate tales of courtly romance, bawdy fabliaux, astute psychological portraiture, dramatic monologues, moral allegories, and its author’s astonishing learning in fields from philosophy to medicine and astrology. Chaucer’s accomplishment is unequalled by any poet before Shakespeare and—in The Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Cressida—ranks with that of the great English novelists.
 
Both The Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Cressida are presented complete in this anthology, in fresh modern translations by Theodore Morrison that convey both the gravity and gaiety of the Middle English originals. The Portable Chaucer also contains selections from The Book of Duchess, The House of Fame, The Bird's Parliament, and The Legend of Good Women, together with short poems. Morrison's introduction is vital for its insights into Chaucer as man and artist, and as a product of the Middle Ages whose shrewdness, humor, and compassion have a wonderfully contemporary ring.

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From the Publisher

In the fourteenth century Geoffrey Chaucer, who served three kings as a customs official and special envoy, virtually invented English poetry. He did so by wedding the language of common speech to metrical verse, creating a medium that could accommodate tales of courtly romance, bawdy fabliaux, astute psychological portraiture, dramati...

Geoffrey Chaucer was born in London, the son of a wine-merchant, in about 1342, and as he spent his life in royal government service his career happens to be unusually well documented. By 1357 Chaucer was a page to the wife of Prince Lionel, second son of Edward III, and it was while in the prince's service that Chaucer was ransomed w...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:624 pages, 7.7 × 5.1 × 1.3 inPublished:May 26, 1977Publisher:Penguin Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140150811

ISBN - 13:9780140150810

Appropriate for ages: 18 - 18

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Introduction
Suggested Readings and Other Aids

THE CANTERBURY TALES

Prologue
The Knight's Tale
Prologue to the Miller's Tale
The Miller's Tale
Prologue to the Reeve's Tale
The Reeve's Tale
Prologue to the Cook's Tale
The Words of the Host to the Company
Prologue to the Lawyer's Tale
Epilogue to the Lawyer's Tale
The Words of the Host to the Shipman and Prioress
Prologue to the Prioress's Tale
The Prioress's Tale
Prologue to "Sir Topaz"
Sir Topaz
The Host's Interruption of "Sir Topaz"
Epilogue to the Tale of Melibeus
The Knight's Interruption of the Monk's Tale
The Nun's Priest's Tale
Epilogue to the Nun's Priest's Tale
Prologue to the Wife of Bath's Tale
The Wife of Bath's Tale
Prologue to the Friar's Tale
The Friar's Tale
Prologue to the Summoner's Tale
The Summoner's Tale
Prologue to and Conclusion of the Student's Tale
Chaucer's Envoy
Prologue to the Merchant's Tale
The Merchant's Tale
Epilogue to the Merchant's Tale
Epilogue to the Squire's Tale
Prologue to the Franklin's Tale
The Franklin's Tale
The Words of the Host to the Physician and Pardoner
Prologue to the Pardoner's Tale
The Pardoner's Tale
Prologue to the Manciple's Tale
Prologue to the Parson's Tale
Chaucer's Retractation

TROILUS AND CRESSIDA
Translator's Note
Text

SELECTIONS AND SHORT POEMS
from The Book of the Duchess
from The House of Fame, Book II
from The Bird's Parliament
from the Prologue to the Legend of Good Women
Nobility
Truth
Lack of Steadfastness
Chaucer's Envoy to Bukton
Chaucer's Words to Adam, His Own Copyist
Chaucer's Complaint to His Purse
Chaucer's Envoy to Scogan

Editorial Reviews

“The most successful translations of Chaucer’s poetry that I have ever seen.”—Chicago Tribune