This selection of the best-loved and most frequently studied of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales provides a fascinating introduction to one of the great cornerstones of English literature. The General Prologue gives vivid character sketches of the colourful band of pilgrims who gather at a London inn on their way to Canterbury, while the nine tales chosen range from the noble Knight’s story of rivalry in love to the boastful Pardoner’s moral treatise, from the exuberant Wife of Bath’s Arthurian legend to the Miller’s worldly, ribald farce. Incorporating every style of Medieval narrative – bawdy anecdote, allegorical fable and courtly romance – the tales brought together here encompass the blend of universal human themes and individual personal detail that have fascinated readers for over 600 years.
For this selection the original fourteenth-century Middle English is presented with a facing-page modern prose translation. This volume also contains a chronology, further reading and an introduction examining Chaucer’s life and work and the literary influences on the Tales.
Translated and edited with an introduction by Colin Wilcockson.
The Canterbury Tales: A Selection
A Note on the Translation, Text and Illustrations
The Canterbury Tales
The General Prologue
The Knight's Tale
The Miller's Prologue and Tale
The Reeve's Prologue and Tale
The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale
The Clerk's Prologue and Tale
The Merchant's Prologue, Tale and Epilogue
The Franklin's Prologue and Tale
The Pardoner's Prologue and Tale
The Nun's Priest's Tale