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Vendor: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 1996
Dimensions: 7.80 X 5.09 X 0.79 (inches)
Availability: Expected to ship on or about 04/29/15.
This collection is the perfect introduction to one of the cornerstones of English literature. The General Prologue provides picturesque character sketches of the colorful band of pilgrims who gather at a London inn on their way to Canterbury. The nine tales chosen range from the noble Knights story of rivalry in love to the boastful and hypocritical Pardoners moral treatise, and from the exuberant Wife of Baths Arthurian legend to the Millers worldly, ribald farce. Incorporating every type of medieval narrativebawdy anecdote, allegorical fable, and courtly romancethe tales selected here encompass the blend of universal human themes and individual personal detail that have enthralled readers for more than six hundred years.
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.
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