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Title Page of Canterbury Tales

Title Page of Canterbury Tales


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Poet Geoffrey Chaucer was born circa 1340, most likely at his parents’ house on Thames Street in London, England. Chaucer’s family was of the bourgeois class, descended from an affluent family who made their money in the London wine trade. According to some sources, Chaucer’s father, John, carried on the family wine business.

Geoffrey Chaucer is believed to have attended the St. Paul’s Cathedral School, where he probably first became acquainted with the influential writing of Virgil and Ovid.

In 1357, Chaucer became a public servant to Countess Elizabeth of Ulster, the Duke of Clarence’s wife, for which he was paid a small stipend𠅎nough to pay for his food and clothing. In 1359, the teenage Chaucer went off to fight in the Hundred Years’ War in France, and at Rethel he was captured for ransom. Thanks to Chaucer’s royal connections, King Edward III helped pay his ransom. After Chaucer’s release, he joined the Royal Service, traveling throughout France, Spain and Italy on diplomatic missions throughout the early to mid-1360s. For his services, King Edward granted Chaucer a pension of 20 marks.

In 1366, Chaucer married Philippa Roet, the daughter of Sir Payne Roet, and the marriage conveniently helped further Chaucer’s career in the English court.


The Canterbury Tales

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.

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Chaucer

This is a great great book for anyone to read! I enjoyed it! Chaucer is my most favorite poet and writer and so all of his works are very enjoyable! The Canterbury Tales are fun to read and easy to grasp for anyone. It gives a good look at life in the 14th Century! Читать весь отзыв

LibraryThing Review

I bought this book as a challenge of my English understanding a couple of years back. I have started reading it but lost the enthusiasm after about the third of the book, and I didn't continue. Its a . Читать весь отзыв

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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 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.

Nevill Coghill (1899–1980) held many appointments at Oxford University. His translation of Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde is also published by Penguin Classics.


The Canterbury tales

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  • 3 Currently reading
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This edition was published in 1857 by D. Appleton in New York .

A collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales (mostly in verse, although some are in prose) are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. In a long list of works, including Troilus and Criseyde, House of Fame, and Parliament of Fowls, The Canterbury Tales was Chaucer's magnum opus. He uses the tales and the descriptions of the characters to paint an ironic and critical portrait of English society at the time, and particularly of the Church. Structurally, the collection bears the influence of The Decameron, which Chaucer is said to have come across during his first diplomatic mission to Italy in 1372. However, Chaucer peoples his tales with 'sondry folk' rather than Boccaccio's fleeing nobles.


Title Page of Canterbury Tales - History

Click on one of the subject buttons above, or click on Site Index to search for specific topics or titles.

Most recent additions:

Interlinear Translations of The Canterbury Tales, which is now complete (Oct 3 2010). A trial version of A Glossary to the works of Chaucer is now ready (though it still needs work.) click here

A translation of Sir Gawain is now in progress.
click here

A trial version of An Index to the Spellings in Chaucer's Works (Riverside edition (Nov 17, 2008 click here Nov 6. 2008

An Index to the Tales and Subjects in John Gower's Confessio amantis is also now available.

A trial version of the first Book of Troilus is also now ready
The other books of Troilus are in preparation.

This site provides materials for Harvard University's Chaucer classes in the Core Program, the English Department, and the Division of Continuing Education. (Others of course are welcome to use it.) It provides a wide range of glossed Middle English texts and translations of analogues relevant to Chaucer's works, as well as selections from relevant works by earlier and later writers, critical articles from a variety of perspectives, graphics, and general information on life in the Middle Ages. At the moment the site concentrates on the Canterbury Tales, but the longer-term goal is to create a more general Chaucer page. Please send any comments or suggestions about the site to [email protected]>. The site is constantly being corrected, and in this it has much benefited from the editorial skills of Kevin Psonak. I am grateful for his good work. I am also very grateful to Jane Tolmie, whose hard and skillful work contributed greatly to the early stages of this project.

chaucer Last Modified: Oct 3, 2006
Permission is granted to use this material for non-commercial purposes. Please use proper attribution. Copyright © President and Fellows of Harvard College

This Page is linked with The Chaucer Metapage

High school teachers and students might find this NEH site useful and interesting (click the icon):


Title Page of Canterbury Tales - History

The title pages used in the first two binding styles (1906-34) were, like the endpapers, designed by Reginald Knowles, then working for Dents, in the "Arts and Crafts" style of William Morris. They are works of art in themselves. Each category had its own title page design and motto. The title pages in binding Style 3 (1935-53) were far less ornate, but they had distinct colophons for each category, designed by Eric Ravilious. Later title pages were text only, with no distinguishing art work.

Click thumbnails to enlarge images.

Biography

The quotation is from Milton's Areopagitica, an essay in defense of freedom of speech and of the press. John Milton (1608-74) is most famous, of course, for his epic poem Paradise Lost, considered one of the greatest works, as well as the last true epic, in the English language.

Classical

The quotation is by Joseph Glanvill (1636-80), an English philosopher and clergyman, and comes from Chapter XVII of his Scepsis Scientifica (1661), also published under the title The Vanity of Dogmatizing. The full quotation is "The Sages of old live again in us and in opinions there is a Metempsychosis." (Thanks to Lucas Graves of Arlington, VA for this information.)

Essays & Belles-Lettres

The quotation is from the dedication to the 1625 edition of the Essays by Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626), the great English philosopher, statesman, and essayist. The actual sentence reads: "My essays, which of all my other works have been most current for that, as it seems, they come home, to men's business, and bosoms." (Thanks to Phil Williams of London for the source of this quotation.)

Though Ruskin's works are in this section of Everyman's Library and four of them have the Bacon quotation, a quotation from his Modern Painters was used in the following works:

  • Elements of Drawing (No. 217)
  • Modern Painters (5 vols, Nos. 208-212)
  • Pre-Raphaelitism (No. 218)
  • Sesame and Lilies (No. 219)
  • Seven Lamps of Architecture (No. 207)
  • Stones of Venice (3 vols, Nos. 213-215)
  • Unto this Last (No. 216)

Fiction

The quotation is from The Defence of Poesy by Sir Philip Sidney (1554-86), who was famous in Elizabethan England not only as a poet, but also as a soldier and courtier. This work has had a profound influence on English literary criticism and theory.

History

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) was a Scottish essayist, satirist, and historian whose work was enormously influential during the Victorian era. His sui generis, enigmatic work Sartor Resartus (tr. "the tailor re-tailored") had a large influence on Ralph Waldo Emerson and the New England Transcendentalists. The quotation is from Carlyle's essay "On History Again," to be found in Essays, Vol. 2 (No. 704). (Thanks again to Lucas Graves.)

Oratory

The quotation is from Book III of The Iliad, Antenor responding to Helen. The source of this particular translation resisted our efforts to root it out, but once more due to the research talents of Lucas Graves, who has identified itas Emerson's, from his essay "Eloquence" in Society, Solitude, and Other Essays (No. 567).

Poetry & Drama

The quotation is from A Defence of Poetry by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), the great Romantic poet. He was greatly influenced by the work of similar title by Sir Philip Sidney.

Reference

The Merry Wives of Windsor, of course, was written by William Shakespeare (1564-1616). The quotation is of the Welshman Sir Hugh Evans, in Act I, Scene 1. Shakespeare's spelling of the word "brief" with a "p" is a caricature of a Welsh accent.

Romance

The quotation is from The Book of the Duchesse, lines 48-9. The most famous work of Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343-1400), of course, is The Canterbury Tales, written in Middle English.

Science

The quotation is attributed to Socrates (c. 470-399 BCE), and translates as "I only know that I know nothing."

Theology & Philosophy

The quotation is from Comus, line 475, by John Milton (1608-74).

Travel

Playwright Ben Jonson (c. 1572-1637), like his contemporary William Shakespeare, was also an actor and a poet. The quotation is from his play Volpone, Act II, Scene 1. The line is spoken by Sir Politick Would-Be, and actually reads: 'To a wise man, all the world's his soil.' Perhaps Ernest Rhys was quoting from an imperfect memory, but considering Jonson's wit and fondness for puns, Rhys may have been avoiding any scatalogical implications.

For Young People

The quotation is the Shepherd, in The Winter's Tale, Act III, Scene 3.

Bedford Title Page

The Bedford binding has a pictorial frontispiece in place of a motto.

Australian Edition Title Page

Evidently to economize on shipping costs, Dents sent Everyman's Library volumes unbound to E. W. Cole in Australia, where Cole bound them (Guide 4-5). The title page has no mention of either Dent or Dutton, but I would surmise this page was printed by Dents in England as part of the arrangement with Cole, for not only is it part of the bound pages, but it also would be unlikely that Cole would have the elaborate printing plates.

Ravilious Title Page Devices

The only authoritative treatment of these woodcuts by Eric Ravilious is For Shop Use Only (Devizes: Garton, 1993), with its introduction by Robin Garton and reproductions of the wood engravings Ravilious designed for Dent and Curwen. It is also valuable for the essay on Ravilious by John Lewis, and others by Enid Marx and Robert Harling. The book was published to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Eric Ravilious off the coast of Iceland while on a reconnaissance flight to search for a missing airplane in September 1942.


Canterbury Tales

The marvelously talented children&aposs writer Barbara Cohen, author of such wonderful stories as Seven Daughters and Seven Sons and Molly&aposs Pilgrim , turns her attention to the work of 14th-century author Geoffrey Chaucer, sometimes known as the &aposFather of English Literature,&apos in this wonderful collection of adapted tales. The equally talented Trina Schart Hyman, who won the Caldecott Medal for her Saint George and the Dragon , contributes the accompanying artwork here. Cohen retells four The marvelously talented children's writer Barbara Cohen, author of such wonderful stories as Seven Daughters and Seven Sons and Molly's Pilgrim , turns her attention to the work of 14th-century author Geoffrey Chaucer, sometimes known as the 'Father of English Literature,' in this wonderful collection of adapted tales. The equally talented Trina Schart Hyman, who won the Caldecott Medal for her Saint George and the Dragon , contributes the accompanying artwork here. Cohen retells four of the twenty-four stories from Chaucer's immortal Canterbury Tales , keeping fairly faithfully to the original narratives, but changing the language and structure quite a bit for today's young reader. The stories included, all told in prose, rather than poetry, are: The Nun's Priest's Prologue and Tale, The Pardoner's Prologue and Tale, The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale, and The Franklin's Prologue and Tale. An afterword gives more information about how Cohen adapted these medieval stories.

As someone who loves Chaucer's Canterbury Tales , which I have only ever read in the original Middle English, I was curious to see what I would make of Cohen and Hyman's interpretation. I love both author and illustrator here, so I had high hopes, and I was not disappointed. The narrative here is engaging, and the artwork simply beautiful! Given the adult content of so many of the stories in the original, it would have been easy for a children's adapter to change, not just the outward trappings of these selections, but some of the bawdier details as well. Apparently this was done quite frequently in 19th-century children's adaptations of Chaucer. Cohen resists that impulse however, and her retellings feel faithful, while also seeming fresh and appealing to the more modern temper. I appreciated the selection of tales here, as at least two of the stories - The Nun's Priest's Tale and The Wife of Bath's Tale - can be read in conjunction with other, related works of literature and storytelling. The former is a retelling of the Reynardian story of Chanticleer and the Fox , while the latter is an Arthurian story with striking parallels to that of Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady . Given that this is so, teachers and homeschoolers working on a unit on medieval English, or medieval letters in general, could use Cohen's text, together with a retelling of these two other stories, to create a lesson on the interconnected, intertextual nature of literature in the period.

I did enjoy Cohen's Canterbury Tales, and I thought Trina Schart Hyman's accompanying artwork was stunning. Her illustrations of the entire cast of pilgrims was amazing, as was her specific portrait of each storyteller included by Cohen. Unfortunately, other than these paintings, as well as four others illustrating each of the four stories, there were no other visuals. Personally, I would have liked there to be more - perhaps a few paintings per tale? As it is, there are many stretches with just text, making this more of an illustrated text, than a picture-book. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, although I do think that the length and maturity of theme makes this a book better suited for older children, middle grades and above, but it is regrettable that there wasn't more from Hyman. Leaving aside that criticism, this is one I would recommend to anyone looking for a children's adaptation of Chaucer, as well as to fans of Trina Schart Hyman. Needless to say, once one is old enough, the reader should read the original (and I do mean the original Middle English, rather than the modern translation), something Cohen herself hoped for, in her afterword. . more


The Canterbury tales

  • ★ ★ ★ 3.33
  • 3 Ratings
  • 73 Want to read
  • 3 Currently reading
  • 8 Have read

This edition was published in 1857 by D. Appleton in New York .

A collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales (mostly in verse, although some are in prose) are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. In a long list of works, including Troilus and Criseyde, House of Fame, and Parliament of Fowls, The Canterbury Tales was Chaucer's magnum opus. He uses the tales and the descriptions of the characters to paint an ironic and critical portrait of English society at the time, and particularly of the Church. Structurally, the collection bears the influence of The Decameron, which Chaucer is said to have come across during his first diplomatic mission to Italy in 1372. However, Chaucer peoples his tales with 'sondry folk' rather than Boccaccio's fleeing nobles.


The Canterbury Tales Study Guide

The Canterbury Tales is at once one of the most famous and most frustrating works of literature ever written. Since its composition in late 1300s, critics have continued to mine new riches from its complex ground, and started new arguments about the text and its interpretation. Chaucer’s richly detailed text, so Dryden said, was “God’s plenty”, and the rich variety of the Tales is partly perhaps the reason for its success. It is both one long narrative (of the pilgrims and their pilgrimage) and an encyclopedia of shorter narratives it is both one large drama, and a compilation of most literary forms known to medieval literature: romance, fabliau, Breton lay, moral fable, verse romance, beast fable, prayer to the Virgin… and so the list goes on. No single literary genre dominates the Tales. The tales include romantic adventures, fabliaux, saint's biographies, animal fables, religious allegories and even a sermon, and range in tone from pious, moralistic tales to lewd and vulgar sexual farces. More often than not, moreover, the specific tone of the tale is extremely difficult to firmly pin down.

This, indeed, is down to one of the key problems of interpreting the Tales themselves - voice: how do we ever know who is speaking? Because Chaucer, early in the Tales, promises to repeat the exact words and style of each speaker as best he can remember it, there is always a tension between Chaucer and the pilgrim's voice he ventriloquises as he re-tells his tale: even the "Chaucer" who is a character on the pilgrim has a distinct and deliberately unChaucerian voice. Is it the Merchant’s voice – and the Merchant’s opinion – or Chaucer’s? Is it Chaucer the character or Chaucer the writer? If it is Chaucer’s, are we supposed to take it at face value, or view it ironically? It is for this reason that, throughout this ClassicNote, a conscious effort has been made to refer to the speaker of each tale (the Merchant, in the Merchant’s Tale, for example) as the “narrator”, a catch-all term which represents both of, or either one of, Chaucer and the speaker in question.

No-one knows for certain when Chaucer began to write the Tales – the pilgrimage is usually dated 1387, but that date is subject to much scholarly argument – but it is certain that Chaucer wrote some parts of the Tales at different times, and went back and added Tales to the melting pot. The Knight’s Tale, for example, was almost certainly written earlier than the Canterbury project as a separate work, and then adapted into the voice of the Knight and the Second Nun’s Tale, as well as probably the Monk’s, probably have a similar compositional history.

Chaucer drew from a rich variety of literary sources to create the Tales, though his principal debt is likely to Boccaccio’s Decameron, in which ten nobles from Florence, to escape the plague, stay in a country villa and amuse each other by each telling tales. Boccaccio likely had a significant influence on Chaucer. The Knight's Tale was an English version of a tale by Boccaccio, while six of Chaucer's tales have possible sources in the Decameron: the Miller's Tale, the Reeve's, the Clerk's, the Merchant's, the Franklin's, and the Shipman's. However, Chaucer's pilgrims to Canterbury form a wider range of society compared to Boccaccio's elite storytellers, allowing for greater differences in tone and substance.

The text of the Tales itself does not survive complete, but in ten fragments (see ‘The texts of the Tales’ for further information and specific orders). Due to the fact that there are no links made between these ten fragments in most cases, it is extremely difficult to ascertain precisely in which order Chaucer wanted the tales to be read. This ClassicNote corresponds to the order followed in Larry D. Benson’s “Riverside Chaucer”, which is undoubtedly the best edition of Chaucer currently available.


Reflections in a Looking-Glass

When we meet these people from so long ago, we notice how different they are from us. On their pilgrimage, for example, the tales they tell often derive from mythology, folk wisdom, or religion. Were we moderns on a similar trek, we would probably talk politics and culture.

Yet if we examine them more closely, we find in these pilgrims people very much like us, human beings who possess traits and emotions in common with us, who seek the good life, and who work hard, for the most part, at what they do.

A portrait of the English poet and author Geoffrey Chaucer, from the Welsh Portrait Collection at the National Library of Wales. (Public Domain)

Chaucer knew well those of whom he wrote. His father was a wealthy wine merchant, and as a youth Chaucer served as a page at the court of King Edward III. In addition to writing other poetry, the best known of which is “Troilus and Criseyde,” he served as a justice of the peace, a controller of customs, a one-time member of Parliament, and a supervisor of construction and repair over such buildings as the Tower of London and Westminster Abby. At his death, he was buried in the Abby in what is now known as “Poet’s Corner.”


Watch the video: Ende des Rätselratens um Erzbischof von Canterbury (May 2022).


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