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Selected Canterbury Tales Paperback – October 21, 1994
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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.
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.]
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
Great download for high school students who have it as a required reading.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Chaucer begins a literary tradition by writing about everyday people, not just the nobility. He depicts the characters with humor and insight. Read morePublished on August 15, 2000 by Janet Carroll
Please realize that the above reviewer is mistaken; Chaucer does not chronicle the lives of Greeks WHATSOEVER. The Tales recount a pilgrimage in England!Published on July 30, 2000