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The Canterbury Tales (Oxford World's Classics) Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 141 customer reviews

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Kindle Edition, 11 Aug 2011
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Length: 548 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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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"

Review


"David Wright's new verse translation of the poems from the Canterbury Tales is lively, readable...it should lead many delighted readers to Chaucer."--Manuscripta
"Indeed the best translation I have seen and will replace the version I had been using. The binding appears able to withstand constant use, and the price is fine for student budgets. This text, with Kane's biography and the Chaucer Glossary will make a fine course!"--The College of Staten Island, City University of New York
"With Wright's translation in print, there is no excuse for withholding Chaucer from any class offering an introduction to literature."--Anthony Ugolnik, Franklin & Marshall College
"I have found this translation to be the most thorough and easily read. I will recommend it to all my students as a companion to our main text."--Paul R. Lehman, University of Central Oklahoma
"I reviewed all the versions of Canterbury Tales in print and yours was by far the most lucid translation--real resonanc

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 10062 KB
  • Print Length: 548 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; New edition (11 Aug. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005H0CBLO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 141 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #306,415 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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 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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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.
4 Comments 113 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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: Paperback
As is proved by the delightfully wicked set of stories mirroring in some respects Boccaccio's Decameron, which predated Chaucer, but which expand on bawdiness and give a fascinating insight into human nature: the very language is stripped of all ambiguity: for example, 'and sodeynly anon, Damyan gan pullen up hir smock and in he throng' is almost something out of a Jilly Cooper, although far more exotic!

And if you don't like the olde English, you can read the translation, which I think is extremely helpful if you're new to Chaucer or don't warm immediately to the lingo.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having decided to reread The Canterbury Tales after many years and having a paperback of the poem in original spelling, I thought I would download this to my Kindle to have as a side-dish as it were to see me through more difficult passages. I find it useless for my purposes. The "original" text in plain font here (the so-called plain English translations being in italic) is a mixture of original and updating of words to make them easier to understand. This may be useful but means one is not actually presented with the original beside a translation, but a kind of hybrid modernisation text with enough of the antique to give it "flavour". And it can't be trusted to be exact.

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.
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