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Portable Chaucer Rev Edition

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Portable Chaucer Rev Edition Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the fourteenth century Geoffrey Chaucer, who served three kings as a customs official and special envoy, virtually invented English poetry. He did so by wedding the language of common speech to metrical verse, creating a medium that could accommodate tales of courtly romance, bawdy fabliaux, astute psychological portraiture, dramatic monologues, moral allegories, and its authors astonishing learning in fields from philosophy to medicine and astrology. Chaucers accomplishment is unequalled by any poet before Shakespeare and—in The Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Cressida—ranks with that of the great English novelists.

 

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.

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Suggested Readings and Other Aids

THE CANTERBURY TALES

Prologue

The Knight's Tale

Prologue to the Miller's Tale

The Miller's Tale

Prologue to the Reeve's Tale

The Reeve's Tale

Prologue to the Cook's Tale

The Words of the Host to the Company

Prologue to the Lawyer's Tale

Epilogue to the Lawyer's Tale

The Words of the Host to the Shipman and Prioress

Prologue to the Prioress's Tale

The Prioress's Tale

Prologue to "Sir Topaz"

Sir Topaz

The Host's Interruption of "Sir Topaz"

Epilogue to the Tale of Melibeus

The Knight's Interruption of the Monk's Tale

The Nun's Priest's Tale

Epilogue to the Nun's Priest's Tale

Prologue to the Wife of Bath's Tale

The Wife of Bath's Tale

Prologue to the Friar's Tale

The Friar's Tale

Prologue to the Summoner's Tale

The Summoner's Tale

Prologue to and Conclusion of the Student's Tale

Chaucer's Envoy

Prologue to the Merchant's Tale

The Merchant's Tale

Epilogue to the Merchant's Tale

Epilogue to the Squire's Tale

Prologue to the Franklin's Tale

The Franklin's Tale

The Words of the Host to the Physician and Pardoner

Prologue to the Pardoner's Tale

The Pardoner's Tale

Prologue to the Manciple's Tale

Prologue to the Parson's Tale

Chaucer's Retractation

TROILUS AND CRESSIDA

Translator's Note

Text

SELECTIONS AND SHORT POEMS

from The Book of the Duchess

from The House of Fame, Book II

from The Bird's Parliament

from the Prologue to the Legend of Good Women

Nobility

Truth

Lack of Steadfastness

Chaucer's Envoy to Bukton

Chaucer's Words to Adam, His Own Copyist

Chaucer's Complaint to His Purse

Chaucer's Envoy to Scogan

Product Details

ISBN:
9780140150810
Editor:
Morrison, Theodore
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Editor:
Morrison, Theodore
Author:
Chaucer, Geoffrey
Author:
Morrison, Theodore
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature
Subject:
Poetry
Subject:
English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Subject:
British and irish fiction (fictional works by
Subject:
Translations into english
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Anthologies-United Kingdom Poetry
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Rev. ed.
Edition Description:
Revised
Series:
Viking Portable Library
Publication Date:
19770531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
624
Dimensions:
7.72x5.20x1.13 in. .91 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » United Kingdom » Poetry
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Chaucer
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » General
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Medieval and Nordic
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Medieval and Renaissance

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