If you want to understand the daily life and psychology of the Late Middle Ages, Neville Coghill's famous translation of The Canterbury Tales provides one of the very best means of doing so. Within its pages are to be found a broad range of society – high and low, male and female, rich and poor – who express their innermost beliefs and extravagant fantasies in a series of stories they tell as they make their way to Canterbury cathedral.
"Getting Medieval Understanding"
In this edition, we hear, translated into modern English, 20-some tales, told in the voices of knight and merchant, wife and miller, squire and nun, and many more. Some are bawdy, some spiritual, some romantic, some mysterious, some chivalrous. Between the stories, the travelers converse, joke, and argue, revealing much about their individual outlooks upon life as well as what life was like in late 14th-century England.
"Many voices, at times enthralling"
This is a story from the Canterbury Tales II: Modern Verse Translation collection.
"I forgot how good this story is!"
This is a story from the Canterbury Tales I: Modern Verse Translation collection. Chaucer's greatest work, written towards the end of the fourteenth century, paints a brilliant picture of medieval life, society and values. The stories range from the romantic, courtly idealism of "The Knight's Tale" to the joyous bawdy of the Miller's; all are told with a freshness and vigor in this modern verse translation that make them a delight to hear.
This is a story from the Canterbury Tales III: Modern Verse Translation collection.
Read in a mixture of Middle-English and modern English, The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales 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.
"Terrible Recording Quality"
"Too much is abridged..."
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 Tales gathers 29 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. This unabridged work is based on the new translation.
"A wonderful treat!"
Four more delightful tales from one of the most entertaining storytellers of all time. Though writing in the thirteenth century, Chaucer’s wit and observation comes down undiminished through the ages, especially in this accessible modern verse translation. The stories vary considerably from the uproarious Wife of Bath’s Tale, promoting the power of women to the sober account of patient Griselda in the Clerk’s Tale.
The Canterbury Tales, written near the end of Chaucer's life and hence towards the close of the 14th century, is perhaps the greatest English literary work of the Middle Ages: yet it speaks to us today with almost undimmed clarity and relevance.
"Workmanlike reading in clear Middle English"