Monday, April 16, 2007

The Canterbury Tales

Author: Geoffrey Chaucer

First line: Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote The droghte of march hath perced to the roote, And every veyne in swich licour of which vertu engendred is the flour; Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth Inspired hath in every holt and heeth...

Why you should read this book: A definitive classic of Middle English literature. A motley group of pilgrims telling stories as they travel frames this collection, which runs the gamut from moral to bawdy. Chaucer is adept at creating the characters of his storytellers, and allowing each to tell his or her own story in a particular voice, for a particular reason.

Why you shouldn't read this book: Don't worry! You don't have to read it in Middle English. There are plenty of Modern English versions, as well as picture books for kids based on the more appropriate tales.

1 comment:

katzbox said...

I've read "Katherine", by Anya Seton, the historic novel of Katherine Swynford, Chaucer's sister-in-law (sister of Chaucer's wife), and wife of John of Gaunt...interesting peek into the time and history of Chaucer's culture, Plantagenet times, etc secondary to the author's research, etc.