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Selected Canterbury Tales Paperback – October 21, 1994

3.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Geoffrey Chaucer (1343–1400) is widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages. His greatest work stands as The Canterbury Tales.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (October 21, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486282414
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486282411
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Bradley on August 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales are a wonderful collection of stories which I highly recommend. This translation, however, takes liberties. Nicholson embellishes Chaucer's work, which does not need such additions, and changes words to fit his sentiment rather than keeping with the meaning of Chaucer's original. Examples:

Chaucer: Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote ...
Nicholson: When April with his showers sweet with fruit ...

Chaucer: To Caunterbury with full devout corage, ...
Nicholson: To Canterbury, full of devout homage, ...

Corage means heart or spirit, NOT homage.

I recommend an interlinear translation, it keeps the translators honest, and allows you to see where they have deviated from the original.
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Format: Paperback
Selected Canterbury Tales

Geoffrey Chaucer lived in 14th century England. He was a civil servant as a household page, soldier, diplomat in Spain, Italy, France, and Flanders. Then he held domestic government posts. Chaucer was a well-educated courtier with a pragmatic outlook. This collection of short stories is his best known work. A group of pilgrims will travel together and tell stories for entertainment; the best story will win a prize. Each story reflects their personal experiences. But only 22 of the planned 120 stories were written before Chaucer’s death. This is a selection of the unabridged tales from the 1934 translation by J. U. Nicolson. Who reads this for entertainment?

It begins with the General Prologue in Middle English, a language that is foreign today. Then the “General Prologue” begins in Modern English. It introduces: The Knight, The Squire, The Yeoman, The Prioress, The Nun, The Three Priests, The Monk, The Friar, The Merchant, The Clerk, The Lawyer, The Franklin, The Haberdasher and the Carpenter, The Weaver, The Dyer, and the Arras-Maker, The Cook, The Sailor, The Physician, The Wife of Bath, The Parson, The Plowman, The Miller, The Manciple, The Reeve, The Summoner, and The Pardoner. [What are the modern equivalents?]

The rest of this book contains: The Knight’s Tale; The Miller’s Prologue and The Miller’s Tale; The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and The Tale of the Wife of Bath. Why were only these chosen? Perhaps they best represented life in the 14th century. Chaucer was born after the Black Death devastated Western Europe and England. There were wars in France until the Maid of Orleans led the French to victory in expelling the English. The Norman Conquest of 1066 led to English claims to French lands. [War is about looting lands, people, and money. Just read today’s newspaper.]
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Format: Paperback
The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale is my fav.

Chaucer uses the English that still had many Saxon words and none French-German hybrid words. Old English that will give you a clue to how the language developed after 1066
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great reading! I would recommend to anyone that likes olde english humor.
Great download for high school students who have it as a required reading.
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classic publication For a good price.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a required read for my history class. The book to me was quite dull. It is a mixture of stories from the 12th century. I would not reccomend this book unless you are VERY interested in history and the early middle ages.
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By R. Zone on September 20, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Received fresh new copy within hours of placing my order!
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