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Canterbury Tales (Modern Library) Hardcover – 1 Jun 1997

4.1 out of 5 stars 145 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1 Jun 1997
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 158 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Inc; New edition edition (Jun. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566196329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679601258
  • ASIN: 0679601252
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.7 x 3.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,555,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

""The Canterbury Tales was written . . . during what the Middle Ages would have considered Chaucer's old age . . . It is a quite astonishing production . . . [He was] free to experiment with narrative in a more audacious way, to challenge orthodoxies old and yet to be formulated, and to explore, exploit, enrich and subvert all the many available kinds of medieval story." -from the Introduction by Derek Pearsall

""The Canterbury Tales" was written . . . during what the Middle Ages would have considered Chaucer's old age . . . It is a quite astonishing production . . . [He was] free to experiment with narrative in a more audacious way, to challenge orthodoxies old and yet to be formulated, and to explore, exploit, enrich and subvert all the many available kinds of medieval story." -from the Introduction by Derek Pearsall

"The Canterbury Tales" was written . . . during what the Middle Ages would have considered Chaucer s old age . . . It is a quite astonishing production . . . [He was] free to experiment with narrative in a more audacious way, to challenge orthodoxies old and yet to be formulated, and to explore, exploit, enrich and subvert all the many available kinds of medieval story. from the Introduction by Derek Pearsall" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A modern playscript adaptation of some of Chaucer's fine Tales --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My review relates specifically to the Kindle edition of the Canterbury Tales (Bantam Classic) as at July 2011. Judging from the other very positive reviews, my guess is that the print version of this book is much, much, much better!

I was looking for a good version of Cantebury Tales for Kindle, ideally with both middle english and modern text, and this ebook sounded perfect as described. I downloaded the sample and I was impressed by the content as far as it went. Unfortunately, the sample content only includes the Table of Contents, Preface and Introduction etc. It did not contain any portion of the Tales themselves, not even part of the General Prologue. So I purchased the whole thing to have a better look. That's when I decided to give this a 1-star rating in Kindle edition.

Amazon really do need to ensure that Kindle sample content samples the book and not just its introductory sections.

According to other reviewers, in the printed version the two formats of the text (middle english and modern) are presented opposite each other on facing pages. Ideal!

I knew this would not be possible on Kindle which can only display one page (or part page) at a time so I expected a bit of a challenge. But...woe...the formatting is such that blocks of middle english text and the modern text just follow on from each other with no clear breaks between the two versions of text and no way of jumping between the two. The poetry line formatting is OK but The Knight's Tale, for example, is just one continuous poem with middle english, then modern english, then middle english again etc. Every page and a half you have to spot the line where one text ends and the other begins. There is rarely even a line gap to make that easy to do.
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By A Customer on 4 May 2003
Format: Paperback
As with all of the Penguin Classics, this is a nicely presented book. An introduction at the start covers the life and works of Chaucer in good detail.
The text has been updated into modern English by Neville Coghill. It is easy to read and retains the effect of Chaucer's poetic language.
The modern English means that it is easy to understand but is not suitable for those needing to study the original English. There are, however, boooks with the original old English.
A very informative set of notes and annotations add to the efectiveness of the translation, and give essential detail needed to understand the text.
All of the tales are included, including the General Prologue.
Worth buying if you need to study the tales or are interested in reading them and understanding them properly.
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Format: Paperback
Steeling myself for the hell I remember this book to be from my school days, I was delighted to find reading it to be a completely different experience!
I couldn't put it down - I can't admit to understanding absolutely all of it, but the notes at the bottom of each page really help to bring the text to life and the book itself brings to life this period of the middle ages.
It gives indepth social commentary which I believe anyone would benefit from having sight of.
I would recommend this book most highly; it is fantastic! (My only regret is there is no sequel)
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Format: Hardcover
Although difficult at first to get your head around the old english, be patient and before long you will enjoy geoffrey Chaucers unique sense of humour and light critizicm of the times.
The Wife of Baths story is particuarly interesting. Her tale of the woes of marriage - which for her are numerous! are hilarious! she argues for remarriage very well, and her whole demenour is a refreshing change from those male dominated times. it is worth buying this book, just to be able to read the wifes story.
Dont be put off by the language - it adds to the appeal.
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By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 May 2004
Format: Paperback
This version will appeal most to those who have read and studied The Canterbury Tales and enjoyed them.
The Canterbury Tales are best heard aloud. With commentary by Professor Murphy and talented actors, the various tales come appealingly alive. Chaucer's Middle English has its archaic words explained, and leaves the beauty of the meter and rhymes intact.
The tales explore primarily relations between men and women, people and God, and consistently challenge hypocrisy. The tales also exemplify all the major story forms in use during the Middle Ages.
The book's structure is unbelievable subtle and complex, providing the opportunity to peel the onion down to its core, one layer at a time. Modern anthologies look awfully weak by comparison.
Although the material is old, the ideas are not. You will also be impressed by how much closer God was to the lives of these people than He is today. The renunciation at the end comes as a mighty jolt, as a result.
My favorites are by the miller, wife of Bath, pardoner, and nun's priest.
Where do you see the opportunity to give and share spiritual and worldly love? How can you give and receive more love?
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Format: Paperback
This modern translation is for those who struggle with Chaucer's original language. Coghill's melodious verse captures the timely flow of the original text, thus preventing the reading from becoming a slow and erudite undertaking. Chaucer's Tales were not designed for sluggish meditation, but to be read aloud in an engaging manner, which is what makes this translation an ideal buy for those who wish to experience the Tales for their original charm.
The immortal Canterbury Tales is a must for all lovers of great literature. What we can witness in this noble poem "is the concise portrait of an entire nation: high and low, old and young, male and female, rogue and righteous, land and sea, town and country", as Nevill Coghill describes in his introduction to this translation. The past has become magical to us through the great works of Epic poetry; where the Greeks had Homer, and the Roman's Virgil; the English have none other than Geoffrey Chaucer.
It is only infrequently that we can find classic ideas that have captured readers throughout the ages, be it Pickwick's proposed adventure to study his fellow men, Dante's quest for his beloved Beatrice, or indeed Chaucer's undying Pilgrimage; The Canterbury Tales manifests its own unique appeal in an immortal journey through the Tales of many different voices.
On the Eve of a Pilgrimage from a London Cheapside Inn to St Thomas a Becket's shrine in Canterbury, a group of thirty pilgrims are challenged by the inn's Host to a competition: to while away their morrow's journey by each telling a tale; on returning to London their Host will then decided the best storyteller: and their reward? a luxurious meal on behalf of that Pilgrim's fellows.
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