Canterbury Tales (Wordsworth Poetry Library)

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9781840225365: Canterbury Tales (Wordsworth Poetry Library)

Edited with Introductions, Bibliographies, Footnotes and on-page Glossaries by Dr Lesley A. Coote, Lecturer in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, University of Hull
The Canterbury Tales tells the story of 30 pilgrims who meet by chance at the Tabard Inn in Southwark, London, and journey together to the shrine of St Thomas Becket in Canterbury cathedral. To pass the time along the way, they tell stories to one another. This new transcription and edition is taken from British Library MS Harley 7334, a beautifully-decorated, volume produced within ten years of Chaucer's death. The aim of the present edition, with its on-page notes and glosses, is to enable readers with little or no previous experience of Medieval English to read and enjoy this landmark in English Literature.

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Review:

On a spring day in April--sometime in the waning years of the 14th century--29 travelers set out for Canterbury on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint Thomas Beckett. Among them is a knight, a monk, a prioress, a plowman, a miller, a merchant, a clerk, and an oft-widowed wife from Bath. Travel is arduous and wearing; to maintain their spirits, this band of pilgrims entertains each other with a series of tall tales that span the spectrum of literary genres. Five hundred years later, people are still reading Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. If you haven't yet made the acquaintance of the Franklin, the Pardoner, or the Squire because you never learned Middle English, take heart: this edition of the Tales has been translated into modern idiom.

From the heroic romance of "The Knight's Tale" to the low farce embodied in the stories of the Miller, the Reeve, and the Merchant, Chaucer treated such universal subjects as love, sex, and death in poetry that is simultaneously witty, insightful, and poignant. The Canterbury Tales is a grand tour of 14th-century English mores and morals--one that modern-day readers will enjoy.

Book Description:

This textbook series provides concise and lucid introductions to major works of literature, from classical antiquity to the twentieth century. Each book provides close reading of the text, as well as giving a full account of its historical, cultural and intellectual background, a discussion of its influence, and further reading.

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