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Paperback The Canterbury Tales (Bantam Classics) Book

ISBN: 0553210823

ISBN13: 9780553210828

The Canterbury Tales (Bantam Classics)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

Lively, absorbing, often outrageously funny, Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales is a work of genius, an undisputed classic that has held a special appeal for each generation of readers. The Tales gathers twenty-nine of literature’s most enduring (and endearing) characters in a vivid group portrait that captures the full spectrum of medieval society, from the exalted Knight to the humble Plowman. This new edition includes a comprehensive introduction that...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Not very good condition

I bought 4 books, 3 of them are amazing, so happy to get them but not this one, it's not in good condition although it said "very good condition ", and it has some dust on the cover heated to remove, it's like it was in a wet place for some time and got some dust, the font is hard to read..I'm so disappointed to get it like that..

A wonderful pilgrimage

Writing a "review" of The Canterbury Tales is difficult, not because the book/collection isn't worthy of a review, but because it is so widely variant and has so many nuances to be discussed. 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. While his tale is entertaining and the reading would be much shorter if that's all you read, you would miss a TON of social and religious commentary which is very interesting. Similarly, the Wife of Bath has lengthy rambling passages in her Prologue and the Merchant includes numerous lengthy lists that have little bearing on the plot. It's difficult to create a good synopsis of what can safely be skipped, because it depends in a large extent on what you want to get out of it. Worse still, if you're reading in the unfamiliar Middle English, it's harder to quickly scan the text and get a feel for when the narrative has gotten back to the 'heart of the matter.' The writing is fun and clever (once you get through the 'translation' issues with the Middle English). For a common reference, it's like reading Shakespeare, only more archaic by a couple hundred years. The language of the narrative varies depending on the narrator of the particular prologue/tale, but with Chaucer at the helm behind the scenes, the writing is generally very good, descriptive, layered, humorous, inspiring, etc. (except for when he's trying to illustrate 'bad writing', and then it's good in that it's so bad). The mess

Wonderful text; too expensive

As a college teacher, I love this text, but also won't assign it because it is too expensive. It is virtually the same price as the complete Oxford Riverside Chaucer.

A superior edition for scholars and novices alike

This edition of the Canterbury Tales, edited by Larry Benson, is superb. It is based on the Riverside Chaucer, Third Edition (also edited by Benson) and is as authoritative as you can get. It's greatest attribute is the presentation of a highly readable text that will be appreciated by scholars and lovers of Chaucer of all levels. It's beautifully glossed, but in an unobtrusive manner that allows the language to sing off the page without any unneccesary interruptions; the copious (and useful) vocab and grammar notes are clearly marked by line and placed below the body text, thus one can read (aloud preferably!) at one's own pace without being constantly interrupted. The placement and economy of the notes also makes for a clear presentation and a great reading text that allows one to approach the Tales at one's own pace. Highly informative and entertaining essays on Chaucer's life, outlining the history and conext in which he lived and wrote, and on the language and versification of the Tales introduce the volume and provide an excellent jumping off point into the them. The latter essay is a decent - albeit brief - introduction to reading and pronounciation of the Middle English that Chaucer employs in the Tales, but it is far from comprehensive in that it confines its survey to just the Tales. Although covering only the most basic elements thereof while paying scant attention to the nuances of inflection and grammar (and, again, variations and specifics of Middle English in general and Chaucer's language in his other works), it is still a great gateway, especially for the novice reader of Chaucer who wishes to engage the author and the work in their original vernacular. And this is really where this edition acheives - it presents a highly readable and accesible version of Chaucer's masterpiece and allows readers of all levels to approach the poem(s) on their own terms, unencumbered by an intrusive or burdensome sholarly apparatus. In other words, one can approach the Tales with just enough context, historically and linguistically, to engage with it in a manner as close to possible as a fluent reader of Middle English would have. And the perfect balance between inspiring the novice reader to venture forth independently and the superior guidance that is readily available with just a quick glance toward the bottom of the page, will undoubtadly improve one's reading and comprehension of Middle English. Scholars of all levels will appreciate and enjoy this edition. Larry Benson (still teaching at Harvard, by the way) is one of the great Chaucerians and has given us one of the best editions of Chaucer available - one that is equally beneficial and interesting to both the student and the layman. The point is, you can't outgrow this one. If anything, you can grow into it. What more could one want?

A brilliant translation and an excellent place to start.

CHAUCER : THE CANTERBURY TALES. Translated into Modern English by Nevill Coghill. 504 pp. Penguin Classics. ISBN : 0140440224 (pbk.)Nevill Coghill's brilliant modern English translation of Chaucer's masterpiece, 'The Canterbury Tales,' has always been a bestseller and it's easy to understand why. Chaucer was an intensely human writer and a great comic artist, but besides the ribaldry and sheer good fun of tales such as 'The Miller's Tale,' we also know he was capable of other things. His range was wide, and the striking thing about Coghill's translation is how amazingly faithful it is to the spirit of the original - at times bawdy and hilariously funny, at other times more serious and moving when Chaucer shifts to a more poignant mode. But despite the brilliance of Coghill's translation, a translation so effective that it was even made into a successful musical, and despite the fact that it remains the best possible introduction to Chaucer for those who don't know Middle English, those who restrict themselves to Coghill are going to miss a lot - such readers are certainly going to get the stories, but they're going to lose much of the beauty those stories have in the original language. The difference is as great as that between a black-and-white movie and technicolor.Chaucer's Middle English _looks_ difficult to many, and I think I know why. It _looks_ difficult because that in fact is what people are doing, they are _looking_ at it, they are reading silently and trying to take it in through the eye. This is a recipe for instant frustration and failure. But fortunately there is a quick and easy remedy.So much of Chaucer's power is in the sheer music of his lines, and in their energy and thrust. He was writing when English was at its most masculine and vigorous. And his writings were intended, as was the common practice in the Middle Ages when silent reading was considered a freakish phenomenon, to be read aloud. Those new to Chaucer would therefore be well advised, after reading and enjoying Nevill Coghill's rendering, to learn how to read Middle English _aloud_ as soon as possible by listening to one of the many excellent recordings (one of the best is by Robert Ross on Caedmon). Coghill certainly captures the spirit of Chaucer, but modern English cannot really convey the full flavor and intensity of the original. Learn how to roll a few of Chaucer's Middle English lines around on your tongue and you'll soon hear what I mean. You'll also find that it isn't nearly so difficult as it _looks_, and your pleasure in Chaucer will be magnified enormously.

Canterbury Tales - Which Version is Best For You?

Over some period I have read several translations of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. My first experience, selections in a high school text, was not promising. (Perhaps, I was not yet ready for Chaucer.) Translating poetry from one language to another is difficult and often unsuccessful. Translating Chaucer from Middle English is not much easier. English has changed dramatically in the last 600 years, to the point that Middle English is nearly indecipherable. For example, we read Chaucer's description of the Knight's appearance: Of fustian he wered a gipoun (Of coarse cloth he wore a doublet) Al bismotered with his habergeoun (All rust-spotted by his coat-of-mail) A glossary, diligence, and time are required for reading the original Chaucer. If you choose to do so, the Riverside Chaucer edition (edited by L. Benson) and the Norton Critical Edition (edited by Olson and Kolve) are highly recommended. The Signet Classic paperback edited by D. R. Howard modernizes the spelling a bit, but largely adheres to the original Chaucer and is an easier introduction to Middle English. Although in most cases the instructor assigns a particular version of Canterbury Tales, it can be exceedingly helpful to pick-up an additional version or two. A slightly different translation may entirely surprise you, even resonate with you, making Chaucer much more enjoyable. I suggest that you look for these versions: Selected Canterbury Tales, Dover Thrift edition - provides a poetic, rather than literal interpretation, and is quite readable. The collection of tales is fairly small, however. Canterbury Tales, Penguin edition, translated by Nevill Coghill, is an excellent poetic translation. It is a complete collection, arranged by Group A thru H, and also includes The Parson's Prologue, The Parson's Tale in synopsis, and Chaucer's Retractions. Coghill's translation remains my favorite. The Canterbury Tales, Bantam Classic paperback edited by Hieatt, uses the "facing page" format with the original Chaucer on the left and a modern literal translation on the right page. I found the literal translation a little wooden, but this edition can be quite helpful if you need some help with Middle English. (A guide to phonetics, grammar, spellings, and a glossary is provided.) Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (Barrons Educational Series) uses an "Interlinear Translation" format in which each line of Middle English is followed by a modern translation (literal to make the comparison easier). I rather like this approach. Canterbury Tales, John Murray Publishers, London is hard to find, but provides a partial translation to modern English, maintaining as much as possible of the Middle English. This rather clever approach is somewhat risky, but the translator H. L. Hitchins pulls it off. With some effort I could follow the text without continually referring to a glossary and in a limited way I was "reading Middle English". Canterbury Tales, Pocket Books, prose translation by R. M.

Tales of Caunterbury Mentions in Our Blog

Published by Beth Clark • September 24, 2018

Okay, maybe we can’t eliminate censorship (yet...#goals), but we can celebrate Banned Books Week with gusto by reading all of the stories that someone (or someones) tried to silence, destroy, or restrict access to. Here are 50 of the most frequently banned and/or most recently challenged books, along with the "who, why, and how" of literary censorship in America.

Published by Chris Viola • May 11, 2016

I recently came across a travel website that proclaimed, “London has a rich literary tradition that permeates its streets.”

It’s true, of course. I know the first time I saw London’s cobblestone back streets, I immediately pictured Oliver Twist and the Artful Dodger tearing through the crowds, possibly having just picked someone’s pocket. For my money, Dickens’ vivid descriptions of 1830s London are just as compelling as his characters.

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