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The Canterbury Tales

Written by: Geoffrey Chaucer
Narrated by: Jack Wynters
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Publisher's Summary

The Canterbury Tales--Geoffrey Chaucer. A complete modernization by A. S. Kline.

The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories, written in the Middle English vernacular, supposedly told among a group of pilgrims traveling from London to Canterbury. Chaucer uses the form, possibly based on knowledge of Boccaccio’s Decameron gained on a visit to Italy in 1373, to provide a highly varied portrait of his society, both secular and religious. The journey of the pilgrims, unlike that of, say, Homer’s Odysseus or of Dante in the Divine Comedy, is relatively unimportant compared to the tales themselves, where Chaucer’s true interest lies. 

Entertaining, and lively, these stories, though primarily intended for a literate and courtly audience, exhibit Chaucer’s wide love of character and humor, and his mix of narrators allows him to reveal both the scope and complexity of his times. His interest in religion and spirituality is muted, while his secular delight in the varied lives of men and women is to the fore.

A founding master of English literature, Chaucer was highly valued by subsequent writers and set the tone for the later tradition through his social inclusiveness, his pleasure in the everyday, and his introduction of European cultural elements to an English setting.

Published by Poetry in Translation.

©2007 Adam Kline (P)2023 Adam Kline

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