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The Decameron / Giovanni Boccaccio ; Translated by G. H. McWilliam [Hardcover]

Giovanni (1313-1375) Boccaccio
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 738 pages
  • Publisher: Pennsylvania; Franklin Library. Privately Printed Exclusively For Member Of The First Editions Society; 1st Edition in this form edition (1979)
  • ASIN: B001KIBB4A
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.7 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,532,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
Ser Cepperello deceives a holy friar with a false confession, then he dies; and although in life he was a most wicked man, in death he is reputed to be a Saint, and is called Saint Ciappelletto. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This translation of the Decameron is the best I know of currently available. It's ideal not only for students but also for general readers, since Boccaccio is incredibly accessible and enjoyable to read. If you don't know the bawdy tales, it's worth the price of entry just for those. Sheer pleasure to dip into or read straight through.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant translation! 3 Oct 2009
By L. Reid
The length of this work may seem daunting to some but it is a fantastic book to dip in and out of without it losing any of its integrity or humour. Despite being written in the 14th century, it is full of innuendo and blasphemy and bound to keep any of it's readers entertained for a long time. The notes at the front and back of the Penguin edition are invaluable and I would fully recommend this book to anyone who is considering buying it.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb edition 4 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A reader from Durham has complained here about the shoddy modern editing, but unfortunately it is unclear which edition (Oxford or Penguin) this refers to. So it should be pointed out that the Penguin edition is amazing - the culmination of a lifetime's work on 'The Decameron' by McWilliam. The footnotes are informative and drily witty, there are maps, a comprehensive index and an introducation that amounts to a book within a book, surely one of the most extensive introductions of any Penguin Classic. All in all a beautiful edition that reads well and is consistently entertaining.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By Edelbee
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Beware!! The Amazon advert states that this is the GH McWilliam translation and refers to him as also being the commentator of the book. This is not his translation nor is there any commentary in this e-book.

There is no indication here as to whose translation this is. I suspect that it a very old, possibly genuinely Jacobean translation. It is very likely available in the form of a public domain free download.

If you want the real deal plus the commentary go for the Penguin edition. It is far more expensive than this one but is worth the extra outlay in cash.

Do not be misled! Amazon - your advert is sloppy and factually incorrect. Correct it now!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the foundations of world literature 24 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am fluent in Italian so I could have also read this in its original language. The English version is absolutely impressive and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in Italian classics. One might easily be tempted into regarding this as fourteenth century pornography but this perhaps just goes on to prove that plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose! We've always been the same I suppose.

One must remember that, in all probability, the style of recording stories by different characters was what gave the idea to Geoffrey Chaucer to write The Canterbury Tales - just to show the extensive influence that medieval Italian literature had on other literatures
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A realistic masterpiece! 29 July 2012
The "Decameron" is a collection of 100 short stories written by the Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio between 1350 and 1353.
It's about a a group of seven young women and three young men who flee Florence during the plague and end up living together in a villa in Fiesole for two weeks. To pass the time, each person tells a story to the others in the group. In this manner 100 stories are told which revolve around different amorous episodes, the lust and greed of the clergy and the adventures of a few merchants. The author elevates different moral values like the power of intelligence, quick wit, ethics and good manners and takes up different social behaviors like the tricks that women play on men or that people play one each other.
The book is realistic, historical, philosophical, satirical and human.

Joyce Akesson, author of The Invitation, Love's Thrilling Dimensions and Majnun Leyla: Poems about Passion.
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