Both The Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Cressida are presented complete in this anthology, in fresh modern translations by Theodore Morrison that convey both the gravity and gaiety of the Middle English originals. The Portable Chaucer also contains selections from The Book of Duchess, The House of Fame, The Bird's Parliament, and The Legend of Good Women, together with short poems. Morrison's introduction is vital for its insights into Chaucer as man and artist, and as a product of the Middle Ages whose shrewdness, humor, and compassion have a wonderfully contemporary ring.
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 within 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 offers us an unrivalled glimpse into the life and mind of medieval England.
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.
One fine day, thirty pilgrims set off from Harry Bailey's inn in Southward for the shrine of Thomas a Becket in Canterbury. The innkeeper makes an offer that none of the travellers can refuse: a free dinner at his inn, on their return, to the person who can tell the best story. So begins the assortment of tales from such varied characters as the Knight, the Wife of Bath, the Miller and many more.
Incorporating every type of medieval narrative-bawdy anecdote, allegorical fable, and courtly romance-the tales selected here encompass the blend of universal human themes and individual personal detail that have enthralled readers for more than six hundred years.
So begins one of the earliest masterpieces of English literature, a collection of stories as much prized for the portraits of its storytellers as for the stories they tell - portraits that reveal much of the rich social fabric of the 14th century England.
During the great seige of Troy, Troilus, The son of Priam, sees Criseyde and falls in love with her. Later, with the help of Pandarus - one of the first great character studies in our literature - Troilus wins her love, only to be betrayed.
King of the barnyard, Chanticleer struts about all day. When a fox bursts into his domain, dupes him into crowing, and then grabs him in a viselike grip, Chanticleer must do some quick thinking to save himself and his barnyard kingdom. Recommended for ages 4 to 8. The 1959 Caldecott Medal winner.