The Canterbury Tales

The Canterbury Tales

By Geoffrey Chaucer; David Wright (Translator); Christopher Cannon (Introduction by)

Oxford University Press, USA, Paperback, 9780199599028, 517pp.

Publication Date: September 5, 2011

Description
Beyond all doubt the greatest work of English literature before Shakespeare, Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales brings together an unforgettable group of pilgrims on their way to Canterbury, pilgrims who came from all ranks of society, from the crusading Knight and burly Miller to the worldly Monk and the famously lusty Wife of Bath. Their tales are as various as the tellers, including romance, bawdy comedy, beast fable, learned debate, parable, and Eastern adventure. The resulting collection gives us a set of characters so vivid that they have often been taken as portraits from real life, and a series of stories as hilarious in their comedy as they are affecting in their tragedy. Even after 600 years, their account of the human condition is fresh and true. David Wright's verse translation has long been admired for its brilliance and fidelity. This new edition adds representative passages from the important but overlooked prose tales, Melibee and the Parson's Tale, in new translations by Christopher Cannon, who also provides a new critical introduction and invaluable notes.


About the Author
Often referred to as the father of English poetry, Geoffrey Chaucer was a fourteenth-century philosopher, alchemist, astrologer, bureaucrat, diplomat, and author of many significant poems. Chaucer s writing was influential in English literary tradition, as it introduced new rhyming schemes and helped develop the vernacular traditionthe use of everyday Englishrather than the literary French and Latin, which were common in written works of the time. Chaucer s best-knownand most imitatedworks include The Canterbury Tales, Troilus and Criseyde, The Book of the Duchess, and The House of Fame.

David Wright is an assistant professor of English and African-American Studies at the University of Illinois. The recipient of the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Award, he has published in "The Southern Review" and "African-American Review, " among others.

Christopher Cannon, Fellow of Girton College and University Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge