The Canterbury Tales  -     By: Geoffrey Chaucer
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The Canterbury Tales

Penguin Books / 2010 / Paperback

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Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 464
Vendor: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 8.44 X 5.63 (inches)
ISBN: 0143106171
ISBN-13: 9780143106173
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.
Series: Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition

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Publisher's Description

"A romp for the ages" (Vanity Fair)now with a graphic cover and deluxe packaging

Renowned novelist, historian, and biographer Peter Ackroyd takes on what is arguably the greatest poem in the English language and presents it in a prose vernacular that makes it accessible to readers while preserving the spirit of the original. A mirror for medieval society, The Canterbury Tales concerns a motley group of pilgrims who meet in a London inn on their way to Canterbury and agree to take part in a storytelling competition. Ackroyd's contemporary prose emphasizes the humanity of these characters-as well as explicitly rendering their bawdy humor-yet still masterfully evokes the euphonies and harmonies of Chaucer's verse.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 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.

Author Bio

Peter Ackroyd is an award-winning novelist, critic, and biographer.

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 ealrist 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 philosphiae, 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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  1. 1 Stars Out Of 5
    September 3, 2010
    shane legler
    Before buying this book, one should be aware that it is not a Christian book and does not promote a Christian worldview. I am prone to read many books that are not overtly Christian as a mature believer can usually find a useful pearl in many books that weren't necessarily written to glorify God. This work is not one of those books. The amount of mud that you will have to wade through for the very small pearl that you may get isn't worth it. It's contents can be mildly humorous but remain raunchy and irreverent throughout.
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