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The Canterbury Tales : Penguin Classics -  Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales

Penguin Classics

Paperback Published: 30th January 2003
ISBN: 9780140424386
Number Of Pages: 528
For Ages: 18+ years old

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In The Canterbury Tales Chaucer created one of the great touchstones of English literature, a masterly collection of chivalric romances, moral allegories and low farce. A story-telling competition between a group of pilgrims from all walks of life is the occasion for a series of tales that range from the Knight’s account of courtly love and the ebullient Wife of Bath’s Arthurian legend, to the ribald anecdotes of the Miller and the Cook. Rich and diverse, The Canterbury Tales offer us an unrivalled glimpse into the life and mind of medieval England.

Nevill Coghill’s masterly and vivid modern English verse translation is rendered with consummate skill to retain all the vigour and poetry of Chaucer’s fourteenth-century Middle English.

About The Author

Geoffrey Chaucer was born in London, the son of a wine-merchant, in about 1342, and as he spent his life in royal government service his career happens to be unusually well documented. By 1357 Chaucer was a page to the wife of Prince Lionel, second son of Edward III, and it was while in the prince's service that Chaucer was ransomed when captured during the English campaign in France in 1359-60. Chaucer's wife Philippa, whom he married c. 1365, was the sister of Katherine Swynford, the mistress (c. 1370) and third wife (1396) of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, whose first wife Blanche (d. 1368) is commemorated in Chaucer's earliest major poem, The Book of the Duchess.

From 1374 Chaucer worked as controller of customs on wool in the port of London, but between 1366 and 1378 he made a number of trips abroad on official business, including two trips to Italy in 1372-3 and 1378. The influence of Chaucer's encounter with Italian literature is felt in the poems he wrote in the late 1370's and early 1380s – The House of Fame, The Parliament of Fowls and a version of The Knight's Tale – and finds its fullest expression in Troilus and Criseyde.

In 1386 Chaucer was member of parliament for Kent, but in the same year he resigned his customs post, although in 1389 he was appointed Clerk of the King's Works (resigning in 1391). After finishing Troilus and his translation into English prose of Boethius' De consolatione philosophiae, Chaucer started his Legend of Good Women. In the 1390s he worked on his most ambitious project, The Canterbury Tales, which remained unfinished at his death. In 1399 Chaucer leased a house in the precincts of Westminster Abbey but died in 1400 and was buried in the Abbey.

Industry Reviews

Introduction: Chaucer's Life--Chaucer's Worksp. xi
Group A
The Prologuep. 3
The Knight's Talep. 26
Words between the Host and the Millerp. 86
The Miller's Talep. 88
The Reeve's Prologuep. 106
The Reeve's Talep. 108
The Cook's Prologuep. 119
The Cook's Talep. 120
Group B
Introduction to the Man of Law's Talep. 122
The Man of Law's Prologuep. 125
The Man of Law's Talep. 126
Epilogue to the Man of Law's Talep. 156
The Shipman's Talep. 157
Words of the Host to the Shipman and the Prioressp. 169
The Prioress's Prologuep. 169
The Prioress's Talep. 170
Words of the Host to Chaucerp. 176
Chaucer's Tale of Sir Topazp. 177
The Host stops Chaucer's Tale of Sir Topazp. 183
Chaucer's Tale of Melibee (in synopsis)p. 185
Words of the Host to the Monkp. 186
The Monks Talep. 189
King Peter of Spain
King Peter of Cyprus
Bernabo Visconti of Lombardy
Count Ugolino of Pisa
King Antiochus the Illustrious
Julius Caesar
Words of the Knight and the Hostp. 213
The Nun's Priest's Talep. 214
Words of the Host to the Nun's Priestp. 231
Group C
The Physician's Talep. 232
Words of the Host to the Physician and to the Pardonerp. 239
The Pardoner's Prologuep. 241
The Pardoner's Talep. 244
Group D
The Wife of Bath's Prologuep. 258
Words between the Summoner and the Friarp. 280
The Wife of Bath's Talep. 281
The Friar's Prologuep. 292
The Friar's Talep. 293
The Summoner's Prologuep. 303
The Summoner's Talep. 305
Group E
The Clerk's Prologuep. 320
The Clerk's Talep. 322
Chaucer's Envoy to the Clerk's Talep. 354
The Merchant's Prologuep. 356
The Merchant's Talep. 357
Epilogue to the Merchant's Talep. 388
Group F
The Squire's Prologuep. 389
The Squire's Talep. 389
Words of the Franklin to the Squire and of the Host to the Franklinp. 407
The Franklin's Prologuep. 408
The Franklin's Talep. 409
Group G
The Second Nun's Prologuep. 433
The Second Nun's Talep. 437
The Canon's Yeoman's Prologuep. 449
The Canon's Yeoman's Talep. 454
Group H
The Manciple's Prologuep. 475
The Manciple's Talep. 478
Group I
The Parson's Prologuep. 485
The Parson's Tale (in synopsis)p. 487
Chaucer's Retractionsp. 489
Notesp. 490
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780140424386
ISBN-10: 0140424385
Series: Penguin Classics
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 528
Published: 30th January 2003
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.5 x 13.5  x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.36
Edition Number: 1

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