Item description for The Canterbury Tales (Classic Literature with Classical Music) (v. 1) by Geoffrey Chaucer...
Outline ReviewOn 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.
Product Description Chaucer's greatest work, written towards the end of the fourteenth century, paints a brilliant picture of medieval life, society and values. The stories range from the romantic, courtly idealism of 'The Knight's Tale' to the joyous bawdy of the Miller's. All are told with a freshness and vigour in this modern verse translation that make them a delight to hear.
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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Reviews - What do customers think about The Canterbury Tales (Classic Literature with Classical Music) (v. 1)?
a classic with good reason Jun 4, 2008
Had wanted to read this for about 15 years, but it's funny how more books are published and then you have to read them? How 'bout that? This book has been out six centuries, so I guessed another 15 years would not hurt me. Chaucer's facility with language, his ability to rhyme, his familiarity with the human condition, and his ability to link the human conditions to elements of people's trades and careers at this time truly make this book one which paved the way for many other satires, multi-person narratives, and rich, nuanced tales of particular events at particular times.
This book is endlessly satisfying. I found Chaucer's poetry to be very intelligent, with allusions to the work of the day, to cultural references, to fashion, to religious beliefs, to prominent figures in the world at that time, and most of all, to allowing his imagination not to be limited by expectations on the limits of his writing. The stories in the book come via the relating of experiences told by travelers on their way to Canterbury. At times, the stories are considered too dry or too preposterous or perhaps they are too derivative. But Chaucer imbues the multiple characters, the minister's wife, the metalworker, the barrister, the civil servant, with characters who respond as mentioned to stories, if the stories are not seen to be up to scratch. Many of the stories concern sexual hijinx. Some concern convoluted family relations, some concern work concerns. Chaucer's currency with the lives and ways of many in 14th century England make the book rich and satisfying. He was a master poet and it seemed that Chaucer enjoyed spinning these tales for the more privileged who would have read this book at first. It is not surprising, however, that the book has remained current. The interests, themes, and topics from which Chaucer very ably spins his tales remain relevant today.
Nice surprise May 3, 2008
I bought this book as a gift for my sisters birthday. It was on her wishlist, yet neither of us realized it is a coffee table sort of book. Maybe neither of us read the review carefully! Either way, we were both happy with the quality and the illustrations inside our beautiful.
The only negative was that it arrived with one of the corners a little smushed.
canterbury tale review Dec 14, 2007
What would it be like if you had to make a very long journey on horse back? Pretty boring, right? But what if someone had the brilliant idea of telling stories on the way there? That would make the trip go a lot faster. This is the premise of the Canterbury Tales. There are a lot of people who all want to go to the shrine of St. Thomas a Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. They all met at a pub when the pub owner said that they should all tell one story on the way there and one on the way back. The version of the Canterbury tales only consists of four of the one hundred twenty eight that were told. The first story that is told by the Nun's priest. This story is about a poor widow who lives on a farm. As you get further in this story it starts retelling the story of a chicken and a hen. This chicken had many wonderful hens around him. "This noble rooster ruled over seven hens, whose work it was to please him. They were his sisters and his wives." (pg. 20) But there was one hen named Lady Pertelote that he liked the most. One night he had a dream about a fox eating him. The next morning he told Lady Pertelote and she thought it didn't mean anything. A couple of days later a fox tricked him to shut his eyes and then the fox snuck up behind him and snatched him in his mouth. He was saved by the widow. The next person to tell was the pardoner. His story was about greed. There were three people who were searching for death because they heard of all the horrible things he had done and wanted to kill him. While on their way they met an old man who told the men, "If you're so anxious to find Death, turn up this crooked road. I left him in that grove, under a tree and there he'll stay." (pg. 41) So that's what they did. When they got there they saw a sack full of gold and decided not to chase after Death but take the gold by night. They decided for one of them to go into the city and get wine to celebrate. The person that went was the youngest of them all. While he was gone the two thought up a plan to kill the third one so that they only had to split the money between them. The third boy wanted the money all to himself so he poisoned two of the bottles of wine and left one free of poison for himself. As he got the tree the two men killed him and they celebrated by drinking the wine and they died too. In the end they all got there wish. They met Death. Those two were my favorite and the next two are by the Wife of Bath and the Franklin. The wife of Bath is about a man who threatens the life of another if they don't tell him what women want. The franklin's tale is about women who loved a man who left her and she was very sad. Nothing could make her feel better. If you want to know what happens at the end of these stories you'll have to read the book. Historically this book is very good. It is based in the year of 1386. It show the life style of people who lived in the middle ages. It taught me that not all people were rich back then. It is historically spot on but the thing about this book is because it was written in the middle ages all the living conditions are right but it's very whimsical. Chickens can't talk, and Death isn't a person. In a way it shows how people thought back then. It tells us that some people might have wanted to meet death. Maybe in a physical way because they wanted to die or they just wanted to see someone death took away from them. The reason I liked this book was because of the old English. I like taking in the metaphors and deciphering it. If you like Shakespeare then you'll most likely like this book. It is very whimsical and magical. It shows the people in the middle ages in a very metaphorical way. This book shows how life can be mystical and great even when you don't except it.
Children's Version! Not for the literary afficianado... Nov 9, 2007
I was trying to find an illustrated version of the original Chaucer as a wedding gift for a friend of mine, and found this one. I didn't realize (my fault--it's in the Publisher's Weekly review) that this was a child's version of the classic. The illustrations are nice, and, quite frankly, I haven't read the author's interpretation, but I wanted to make it clear to folks that it's not the original text, nor even an unabridged translation.
Beware of translation CD! Aug 8, 2007
This is a translation abridgement (not the original text). It's not going to help you at all, with any english class. If you want to listen to the original unabridged text in middle english look here:The Canterbury Tales