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Canterbury Tales (Everyman's Library Classics) Hardcover – 4 Jun 1992
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Lively, upbeat, great fun: lots of staging and props ideas for the novice director, those with more experience will enjoy being more experimental. Great for Year 9s (5 Start Amazon review)
The kids can really have a lot of fun with the quirky style and the character of the Pardoner always gets an enthusiastic response. It is an ideal way to introduce Chaucer to teens who might be a bit intimidated by jumping straight into the middle English of the original (5 Star Amazon review) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
A modern playscript adaptation of some of Chaucer's fine Tales --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product description
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From the prologue for instance my paperback Laurel Poetry Series version of the original has
Bifel that in that season on a day
In Southwerk at the Taberd as I lay
Redy to wenden on my pilgrimage
To Caunterbury with ful devout corage
At night was come in-to that hostelrye
Wel nyne and twentye in a companye
Of sondry folke by aventure y-falle
In felawshipe and pilgrims wer they alle
That towards Cauntebury woulden ryde;
The "original" in this kindle version becomes
Befell that season on a day
In Southwark at the Tabard as I lay
Ready to wenden on my pilgrimage
To Canterbury with devout corage
At night was come into that hostelry
Well nine and twenty in a company
Of sundry folk, by aventure y-fall who had by chance fallen
In fellowship, and pilgrims were they all, into company.
That toward Canterbury would ride.
What is a phrase glossing the meaning of "aventure -y-fall" is as shown put in as if part of the text, causing a mess. The "translation" proper that follows reduces what is in fact a quite unambiguous piece of verse anyhow to
Now it happened that one day in that season
As I stayed at the Tabard in Southwark
Ready to go on my pilgrimage
To Canterbury in great high spirits
At night there came into that inn
A group of twenty-nine
Diverse people, who had by chance
Fallen in with each other, and they were all pilgrims,
That wanted to ride to Canterbury.
So, "the story" if that's what you want in "plain English".Not a full translation with details missed and a generalised free verse simply giving the impression of full verse translation without it being such.
The quotes should help people make up their own mind, and some mightn't see any problem. My own copy though is deleted from my Kindle as it annoys me in its unreliability of text and rewriting of "translation" in sections where original passages have a meaning that is perfectly clear and better put in the poetry itself.
I will look elsewhere for a translation for my purposes.
"Middle English.". There are good translations available to read alongside if this is necessary and in particular I would recommend that of Nevill
Coghill written when at Exeter College, Oxford. I am continuing to make my way alone currently and enjoying every minute of this serious but very
entertaining work of life in the period in which Chaucer lived and wrote. The characters come to life very readily and the "tales" they tell are really quite something ! I recommend it highly and wish you good luck along your pilgrimage from London to Canterbury.
I am very disappointed by this Kindle book. It is essentially unreadable. There appear to be no explanatory footnotes in the Kindle edition so the numbers in brackets in the text that relate to the footnotes are useless. There are translation of various words indicated by an asterisk that are jumbled untidily amongst the text. This has clearly not been properly adapted as an e-book. It may be a cheap e-book but it money thrown away.
My reason for not giving five stars is that the explanatory notes are not numbered within the tales, they are just marked with an asterisk; consequently, it is more time consuming to look up the notes than it needs to be. I find this error very surprising as it's not one error in the book, it's nearly 500 errors (or opportunities to spot the errors). Also several of the points marked with an asterisk are not even in the explanatory notes.
However, when just considering this book without comparing it to others, it is well-translated and has a useful bit at the back entitled "Explanatory Notes" where it briefly goes over each tale and explains the translations and sometimes words and how they would have differed in Middle English.
I'd say it was a good buy.
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