Start reading The Testament of Cresseid & Seven Fables on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

The Testament of Cresseid & Seven Fables: Translated by Seamus Heaney [Kindle Edition]

Seamus Heaney
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.99
Kindle Price: £10.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £2.00 (15%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £10.99  
Hardcover £12.99  
Paperback £12.99  
Unknown Binding, Special Edition --  

Book Description

The greatest of the late medieval Scottish makars, Robert Henryson wrote in Lowland Scots, a distinctive northern version of English. He was profoundly influenced by Chaucer's vision of the frailty and pathos of human life. His greatest poem, and one of the rhetorical masterpieces of the literature of these islands, is the narrative Testament of Cresseid, set in the aftermath of the Trojan War, which completes the story of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, offering a grim and tragic account of its faithless heroine's rejection by her lover Diomede, and her decline into prostitution and leprosy. A work of unreconciled Shakespearean intensity, the Testament has been translated by Seamus Heaney into a confident and yet faithful modern English idiom which honours the poem's unique blend of detachment and compassion.

A master of narrative, Henryson was also a comic master of the verse fable; his burlesques of human weakness in the guise of animal wisdom are traced with delicate comedy and irony. Seven of the Fables are here sparklingly translated; their burlesque freshness rendered to the last claw and feather. Seven Fables and The Testament of Cresseid is an extraordinarily rich and wide-ranging encounter between two poets across six centuries.

Product Description


Praise for Seamus Heaney’s translation of "The Testament of Cresseid & Seven Fables": “"The Testament of Cresseid "is a beautiful, rare work, unique in the history of literature for [the ‘recognition’] scene alone. Heaney has done us all a generous and graceful service.” —Ruth Padel, "Financial Times "“The wintry force and appeal of ["The Testament"] are certainly apparent in [Heaney’s] rendering . . . Read him and you’ll want to experience the original, too.” —Sean O’Brien, "The Sunday Times "(London) “"The Testament of Cresseid "is [Henryson’s] masterpiece, possibly the greatest short narrative poem of the Middle Ages. It mingles human sympathy, moral judgment, ironic awareness and grim humour in equal measure . . . [Heaney’s] translation of "The Testament "into modern English . . . is a reminder that translation is one of the glories of the English literary tradition.”

Book Description

The Testament of Cresseid & Seven Fables, translated by Seamus Heaney, is an exciting new translation of a classic poem by the renowned Irish poet and Nobel Laureate.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 460 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Poetry (5 Nov. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004GGUGE4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #306,920 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I quite enjoyed this volume. The subject matter here may not be as "meaty" as Heaney's translations of Sweeney and Beowulf, but as with those works the great Irish poet has produced a beautifully readable modern text.

The usual knock on Heaney's translations is that they contain more of his spirit than those of the original author, but that is to lose sight of the fact that these are translations. By all means read the original texts as well if you really want to get into the stories. At the same time, one can still appreciate the skill and results that go into producing these more accessible renditions.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Testament of Cresseid & Seven Fables 19 Feb. 2010
The books were sent to me in brilliant condition & very quickly.
The book itself was interesting and the Fables lovely & varied, I realy enjoyed them
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The medieval world brought to life 9 Aug. 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book, with Henryson's 15th century Scots on one page and Heaney's witty translation facing it. Thus the reader can test Heaney's translations line by line, or allow himself to be lost in the rythms and images he creates for us. If you have ever wondered how Chaucer's tale of the Trojan war (Troilus and Criseyde)could have continued, here is a fascinating option. If you have never read Chaucer the morality tale speaks for itself. I dare say there has never been a more timely warning.
"Lovers beware and take good heed to whom
You give your love, for whom you suffer pain.
I tell you there are few enough among them
To be trusted to give true love back again."
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars very good 20 Jun. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Lovely edition which arrived in good condition. Slight tear to the dust jacket. The only real negative is that the edition I received obviously came from a household who smoked heavily, as it absolutely REEKS of stale nicotine. Easily solved though, as I've now sprayed each page with perfume :) I recommend this book to anyone interested in the mythology of Troy, Chaucer, and Aesop's Fables. A good read.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars I bought two! 29 Jan. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
So delighted by Heaney's conversational, fluent style of translation of the Hendryson (reproduced in original form as well as in modern clothes) I bought this paperback and Kindle edition so I could carry it with me. The opportunity to compare texts of these haunting yet wholly down-to-earth medieval gems is priceless. Both are lovely, useful, treasurable editions.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Was this review helpful?   Let us know

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category