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on 2 October 2012
I've enjoyed reading Boccaccio's masterpiece, Decameron, which was translated from the Italian and introduced by J.G.Nichols.

In the summer of 1348, unprecedented plague hit Florence, and 10 of young men and women managed to flee to the countryside. In order to take minds off from the realities, those people decided to provide entertaining stories in the next 10 days, and Boccaccio compiled those stories. Like Canterbury tale by Jeffery Chaucer, Boccaccio listened and wrote several people's tales. Unlike some of the bawdy and humiliating tales in the Canterbury Tale, Boccaccio's disciples provided rather classic and elegant romance and tragic stories with the description of passion, love, lust, wedding, banqueting, deception, and death blending with myth, philosophy, history and everyday life.

While reading Decameron, it reminded me of that the Italian language was born in Florence and they are generally strong Catholic worshippers and devout Christians, and they often imagine the mythical characters when expressing their fondness of their lovers.

This masterpiece gives the readers insight of traditional Italian culture and their way of thinking in terms of passion, love, and lust. It is well worth reading.
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on 16 August 2006
The Wordsworth Classics are easy to miss and even easier to undervalue. They usually reproduce texts that are out of copyright, which often also means texts that have been superseded by more recently edited texts with better introductions. This volume is different. The text is a revised version of John Payne's 1886 translation of the Decameron. It has exerted a certain fascination amongst Boccaccio scholars: Charles Singleton, the great American medievalist, published an updated version of Payne's translation in 1982 with the University of California Press. But reviews were not entirely positive and complained that for an 'updating' it did not really do enough updating. This Wordsworth edition, edited by Cormac Ó Cuilleanáin (Trinity College Dublin), presents a fresh updating of the text and provides an excellent introduction to the work, its major themes, further reading, an account of the work's 'afterlife', with an explanation of exactly how he went about the process of updating Payne's translation.

The result is highly readable and very enjoyable, and provides a delicately nuanced text that sounds both familiar and unfamiliar at once. Ó Cuilleanáin has expunged what might be described as the 'archaisms' but has managed to retain the spirit and wit in Payne's formality.

I suppose the text will continue to be viewed with a certain novelty value and probably will not become a teaching text, for example, or cited in academic articles. This is a pity because as a translation it has much to recommend itself. As for the introduction, I'd set it as required reading for any undergraduate class on Boccaccio.
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on 30 April 2015
Source material for Chaucer, Shakespeare and many more. Some quite bawdy tales but may be a bit unsophisticated for modern tastes.
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on 2 September 2015
Havent read it all but so far so good
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on 19 February 2012
Bit of a classic this, easy to read. This is my third copy, the other two disappeared into friends collections. Never mind, I'm sure I may have some of these.
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on 6 November 2014
An important book but goes on a bit. Needs to have a determined reader.
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on 4 January 2011
The Decameron (mobi) (Penguin Classics)

This time I was on guard when I looked at a Mobile Reference edition. I examined the sample carefully and compared it with the Penguin Classics edition. This is NOT as stated. This is at least the third time I have found this firm mis-stating it wares.I am not buying it.
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