- Paperback: 624 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 2nd edition (May 17, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393925870
- ISBN-13: 978-0393925876
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Canterbury Tales: Fifteen Tales and the General Prologue (Norton Critical Editions) 2nd Edition
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About the Author
V. A. Kolve is UCLA Foundation Professor of English, Emeritus. A Rhodes Scholar, he is the author of Chaucer and the Imagery of Narrative, winner of the James Russell Lowell Award and British Council Prize, The Play Called Corpus Christi, and the forthcoming Christ as Gardener and Pilgrim: A Study in Medieval Iconography.
Glending Olson is Professor Emeritus of English, Cleveland State University. He is the author of Literature as Recreation in the Later Middle Ages.
Top Customer Reviews
Buy this edition. Try to learn enough Middle English to get along. Discover for yourself the power of Chaucer's poetry.
For those who don't know, The Canterbury Tales is a book containing a bunch of stories told by individuals traveling together on a pilgrimage to Canterbury. The book is written in the late 1300s with the pilgrimage set in the same basic time. It begins with a "General Prologue" providing a description of each of the characters in the group as well as the "game" they'll be playing (that of telling stories on the way to Canterbury). Each pilgrim tells a different tale (well, not "all" of them...the work is "unfinished" in the sense that we're missing tales from some pilgrims). Some tales are set in their contemporary England while others are set in exotic lands, romantic settings, or ancient cultures.
So what do you say in a brief review of The Canterbury Tales?
To start with, I would suggest you try reading it in the original Middle English. The language/spelling/pronunciation can be a problem, so be sure you get an edition that's glossed (unless you're proficient in Middle English). During the semester, I found a "children's" edition of the tales at my local library. It included Modern English "translations" of a couple of the tales along with some illustrations. It was kind of fun to read, but it lost some of the rhythm and drive of the tales by having them in a modern format.
Secondly, there are some bits that can be skipped, but it's difficult to identify which ones. For example, some might suggest that the entire Pardoner's Prologue (and much of his tale) can be ignored altogether and that you should just focus on the actual "tale" part of his tale.Read more ›
Norton has always done an excellent job with their collections and anthologies, especially their critical editions, several of which I personally own, like their critical editions for Heart of Darkness and The Turn of the Screw. Their critical edition for The Canterbury Tales is no exception. It has very helpful footnotes and side notes to help you get acquainted with Chaucer's original language for those who want to take on the challenge of reading Old English over an abridged edition, and it has tons of essays, contexts, and backgrounds in case you feel like digging deeper into Geoffrey Chaucer's most renown master work. If you're just getting started with Chaucer, this is an excellent place to start.
I only have a few complaints: First, the paper is thin and a little cheap, so if you're like me and you like to highlight things or write notes in your books, please use a pencil to underline and write, don't use a highlighter or a pen, it will bleed through. Second, they've only included 15 of the 24 stories written for the Canterbury tales, I'm not exactly sure why. Still, for what there is, it's excellent, and there's tons of value for the price.
General Prologue 1
The Knight's Tale 26
The Miller's Prologue 85
The Miller's Tale 88
The Steward's Prologue [The Reeve's Prologue] 105
The Steward's Tale [The Reeve's Tale] 107
The Cook's Prologue 118
The Cook's Tale 120
Introductory Words to the Man of Law's Tale 122
Prologue to the Man of Law's Tale 125
The Man of Law's Tale 127
Epilogue to the Man of Law's Tale [of disputed authenticity] 158
The Wife of Bath's Prologue 159
The Wife of Bath's Tale 182
The Friar's Prologue 193
The Friar's Tale 195
The Summoner's Prologue 205
The Summoner's Tale 207
The Cleric's Prologue 223
The Cleric's Tale 225
Chaucer's Happy Song 258
The Merchant's Prologue 260
The Merchant's Tale 262
Epilogue to the Merchant's Tale 292
Introduction to the Squire's Tale 293
The Squire's Tale [unfinished] 294
The Landowner's Prologue [The Frat/Hitts Prologue] 313
The Landowner's Tale [The Franklin's Tale] 314
The Physician's Tale 337
Introduction to the Pardon Peddler's Tale [Introduction to the Pardoner's Tale] 345
The Pardon Peddler's Prologue [The Pardoner's Prologue] 347
The Pardon Peddler's Tale [The Pardoner's Tale] 351
The Shipman's Tale 365
The Host's Merry Words to the Shipman and the Prioress 377
Prologue to the Prioress's Tale 378
The Prioress's Tale 380
Prologue to Sir Thopas 387
Sir Thopas 388
The Host Stops Chaucer's Narration 395
The Tale of Melibee 397
The...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great for students, though I was looking for something a little less text book. But I probably didn't research it enough!Published 18 months ago by kmccarty
Amazon came through with amazing delivery in time for an adult Learning program led by a revered retired professor who guided the learner through the rich colorfull amazing old... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Erika Baker-Heinegg
Exactly what I needed for a Chaucer/Canterbury Tales Class...great translations and footnotesPublished 19 months ago by Richard Jones
Fabulous resource! To anyone studying Chaucer or the medieval period, this is a must have!Published on August 3, 2014 by J. Baker
Chaucer is a language unto himself it would seem. However he was a great author and well worth the time to read. Read morePublished on April 7, 2014 by Zulu Charlie Hotel
Glending Olsen, the author, was an amazing professor at Cleveland State University while I was a grad student. I took his Chaucer class, and we used this text. Read morePublished on January 30, 2014 by Alynn J. Mahle
The book came to me used but with very little wear, I just wasn't a fan of the stories. I needed it for a class, and it's nothing I would pick up again.Published on January 3, 2014 by Cassie