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About Geoffrey Chaucer
While he achieved fame during his lifetime as an author, philosopher, and astronomer, composing a scientific treatise on the astrolabe for his ten-year-old son Lewis, Chaucer also maintained an active career in the civil service as a bureaucrat, courtier and diplomat. Among his many works, which include The Book of the Duchess, the House of Fame, the Legend of Good Women and Troilus and Criseyde. He is best known today for The Canterbury Tales.
Chaucer was a crucial figure in developing the legitimacy of the vernacular, Middle English, at a time when the dominant literary languages in England were French and Latin.
Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Photo by Unknown British 17th century (object page; previous upload was here) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
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A Penguin Classic
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.
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
"A truly remarkable achievement." —Barry Unsworth
In the tradition of Seamus Heaney’s Beowulf and Marie Borroff’s Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Sheila Fisher’s The Selected Canterbury Tales is a vivid, lively, and readable translation of the most famous work of England’s premier medieval poet. Preserving Chaucer’s rhyme and meter, Fisher makes these tales accessible to a contemporary ear while inviting readers to the Middle English original on facing pages. Her informative introduction highlights Chaucer’s artistic originality in his memorable portrayals of surprisingly modern women and men from across the spectrum of medieval society.
* Beautifully illustrated with images relating to Chaucer's life and works
* Concise introductions to the poems and other texts
* Images of how the books were first illustrated, giving your eReader a taste of the medieval texts
* Excellent formatting of the poetry
* THE CANTERBURY TALES features the original Ellesmere Manuscript illustrations of the pilgrims
* Offers two versions of the major texts THE CANTERBURY TALES and TROILUS AND CRISEDYE, each with individual contents tables and links: the Oxford University 1894 scholarly text, with original spellings and line numbers (ideal for students) AND a modernised and annotated text version to help the general reader – now you can truly enjoy Chaucer’s language!
* Special criticism section, with essays by writers such as G. K. Chesterton, Virginia Woolf and James Joyce evaluating Chaucer’s contribution to literature
* Features four biographies – immerse yourself in Chaucer's medieval world!
* Scholarly ordering of texts into chronological order and literary genres
THE ROMAUNT OF THE ROSE
THE BOOK OF THE DUCHESS
THE HOUSE OF FAME
ANELIDA AND ARCITE
PARLEMENT OF FOULES
TROILUS AND CRISEYDE (ORIGINAL TEXT)
TROILUS AND CRISEYDE (MODERNISED AND ANNOTATED)
THE LEGEND OF GOOD WOMEN
THE CANTERBURY TALES (ORIGINAL TEXT)
THE CANTERBURY TALES (MODERNISED AND ANNOTATED)
TREATISE ON THE ASTROLABE
CHAUCER AND HIS TIMES by Grace Eleanor Hadow
ON MR. GEOFFREY CHAUCER by G. K. Chesterton
ADVENTURES IN CRITICISM by Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
LECTURES ON CHAUCER AND SPENSER by William Hazlitt
Extract from ‘MY LITERARY PASSIONS’ by William Dean Howells
THE RENAISSANCE AND THE REFORMATION by Andrew Lang
THE PASTONS AND CHAUCER by Virginia Woolf
Extract from ‘INTRODUCTION TO THE PAINTINGS’ by D. H. Lawrence
Extract from ‘REALISM AND IDEALISM IN ENGLISH LITERATURE’ by James Joyce
CHAUCER AND HIS ENGLAND by G. G. Coulton
CHAUCER by Sir Adolphus William Ward
CHAUCER’S OFFICIAL LIFE by James Root Hulbert
BRIEF LIFE OF GEOFFREY CHAUCER by D. Laing Purves
Please visit www.delphiclassics.com to browse through our range of exciting titles
Like Romeo and Juliet, or Tristan and Iseult, the names of Troilus and Criseyde will always be united: a pair of lovers whose names are inseparable from passion and tragedy. Troilus and Criseyde is Chaucer's masterpiece and was prized for centuries as his supreme achievement. The story of how Troilus and Criseyde discover love and how she abandons him for Diomede after her departure from Troy is dramatically presented in all its comedy and tragic pathos. With its deep humanity and
penetrating insight, Troilus and Criseyde is now recognized as one of the finest narrative poems in the English language.
This is a new translation into contemporary English of Chaucer's greatest single poem which can be read alongside the Middle English original, or as an accurate and readable version in its own right.
ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
At the Tabard Inn in Southwark, in the London of the late 1300s, a band of men and women from all walks of life have gathered to begin a pilgrimage to the shrine of Thomas à Becket at Canterbury. To relieve the tedium of the journey, the host of the inn proposes that each of the pilgrims tell a favorite story, promising that the best storyteller will be treated to a fi ne dinner on the group's return to Southwark.
So begins one of the earliest masterpieces of English literature, a collection of stories as much prized for the portraits of its story tellers as for the stories they tell — portraits that reveal much of the rich social fabric of 14th-century England. Now three of the most popular tales — along with the charming General Prologue have been selected for this edition: The Knight's Tale, The Miller's Prologue and Tale, and The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale.
Animated by Chaucer's sly humor, flair for characterization and wise humanity, the stories have been recast into modern verse that captures the lively spirit of the originals. Highly entertaining, they represent an excellent entree to the rest of The Canterbury Tales and to the pleasures of medieval poetry in general. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
The selection features complete translations of the majority of the stories, including all of the more familiar tales and narrative links along with abridgments or summaries of the others. To reflect Chaucer's interest in poetic technique, Glaser presents the tales written in non-couplet stanzas in their original forms.
An Introduction, marginal glosses, bibliography, and notes are also included."
Chaucer, who lived in medieval England during an eventful period in English history, is known as the Father of English Literature. As the first acknowledged poet in English, Chaucer was a polymath who had wide ranging interests in astronomy, alchemy, philosophy and literature. He was a courtier and civil servant in the 14th century, whose life is surprisingly well-documented for those times. A confidante and mentor to many royal children, Chaucer wrote the Canterbury Tales after his retirement, somewhere between 1380-90. It was written in verse form and in Middle English in the original, which would be difficult for modern readers to decipher easily. However, excellent translations have now made the text accessible to us.
What sets The Canterbury Tales apart from other works during the period is that Chaucer preferred to use English rather than Latin which was considered to be the language of sophistication. This one decision made all the difference as people all over England soon began to use their native tongue to express themselves in prose and poetry.
This is perhaps the first “road trip” genre of writing in English and is replete with wonderful, ironic, sharp and witty descriptions of the characters and Chaucer's unerring eye for details allows the reader to instantly visualize the people he's describing. The Knight, The Wife of Bath, The Prioress and The Miller are some of the colorful travelers. The book is an interesting document regarding history, social customs, the medieval concept of “courtly love,” the emphasis on companionship and cooperation while traveling, the role of the church and the prevailing corruption and romantic ideals of the time.
For both casual readers and those interested in the history of English literature, The Canterbury Tales is an invaluable mine of information. Anyone who has ever been on a package tour with a group of strangers who soon become friends, and passed time swapping stories with them, would instantly identify with this timeless classic of English literature. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer recounts twenty different stories recounted by a diverse group of pilgrims who gather at The Tabard Inn in Southwark, near London, before setting out for the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury. The Host of the inn proposes that they entertain themselves by telling stories along the route and the one who tells the best tale would win a prize – a meal at Bailey's tavern, sponsored by the losers. Lots are drawn and the stories and the journey begin...
Th' arc of his artificial day had run
The fourthe part, and half an houre more;
And, though he were not deep expert in lore,
He wist it was the eight-and-twenty day
Of April, that is messenger to May;
And saw well that the shadow of every tree
Was in its length of the same quantity
That was the body erect that caused it;
And therefore by the shadow he took his wit."