Canterbury Tales (selected)

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Barron's Educational Series, 1970 - Literary Criticism - 530 pages
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Lively, absorbing, often outrageously funny, Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales" is a work of genius, an undisputed classic that has held a special appeal for each generation of readers. "The Canterbury Tales" gather twenty-nine of literature's most enduring (and endearing) characters in a vivid group portrait that captures the full spectrum of medieval society, from the exalted Knight to the humble plowman. A graceful modren translation facing each page of the text allows the contemporary reader to enjoy the fast pace of these selections from "The Canterbury Tales" with the poetry of the Middle English original always at first hand.

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Contents

The Knights Tale
55
The Millers Prologue
197
The Reeves Prologue
246
The Prioresss Prologue
277
The Nuns Priests Prologue
297
The Nuns Priests Epilogue
341
The Wife of Baths Prologue
384
The Wife of Baths Tale
438
The Franklins Tale
466
Notes
523
Copyright

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About the author (1970)

Geoffrey Chaucer, considered by many to be both the father of modern English poetry and the father of the modern English novel (for Troilus and Criseyde), also distinguished himself in his lifetime as a civil servant and diplomat under three kings of England. When he was taken prisoner by the French, the King himself contributed to his ransom. When, in later years, the King wished to reward Chaucer for his services to the crown, he was granted -- among other favors -- the right to demand a daily jug of wine from the pantry of the royal butler. Toward the end of his career, he became a knight of the shire for Kent.

But it is for "The Canterbury Tales" that he is best remembered. This masterpiece of English literature moved Aldous Huxley to say, "If I dared to wish for genius, I would ask for the grace to write "The Canterbury Tales.

Vincent F. Hopper was for many years Professor of English at New York University.

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