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3rd Edition
Geoffrey Chaucer, Translated by Vincent F. Hopper, Edited by Andrew Galloway - All books by this author

The Canterbury Tales is among the earliest of the great narrative poems written in the English language. Its author, Geoffrey Chaucer (c.1340–1400), penned his masterpiece in a vernacular that was the standard dialect in the southeast of England during his lifetime—a language of rich vitality, but also very different from the English we speak today. This useful volume, updated with an enlightening new introduction by Andrew Galloway, presents readers with the vigor, liveliness, and humor of Chaucer’s original Middle English poetry, interspersed line-by-line with Professor Vincent Hopper’s modern, graceful, and easy-to-understand translation. The Canterbury Tales is a set of stories that a diverse group of travelers tell to one another at the end of each day. They had set off by foot on a religious pilgrimage from the Tabard Inn in London to the shrine of St. Thomas à Becket in England’s cathedral town of Canterbury.

This volume opens with Chaucer’s own famous Prologue
    Whan that Aprille with his shoures sote
    When April with his showers sweet
    The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote,
    The drought of March has pierced to the root . . .
And then presents the best among those many tales, which demonstrate Chaucer’s skill in portraying a wide range of very different personalities. For instance, we meet the religiously pious but haughty Prioress, the comically bawdy Miller, and the genially earthy Wife of Bath, among many others. Through it all, we are treated to Chaucer’s own voice, which is worldly wise, often ironic, sometimes self-deprecating, and always good-natured. Here in a newly updated edition is an attractive and approachable textbook for students of English literature. It’s also a richly entertaining volume for the enlightened general reader.

Important Facts about this New Edition
  • Continues to offer the benefits of the previous critically acclaimed edition by presenting the original Middle English of Chaucer’s poetry with an elegant, direct, line-by-line and often word-by-word translation. This format gives students and general readers immediate appreciation of Chaucer’s last and greatest narrative poem.

  • Features a new set of up-to-date notes and resources for further study.

  • Four additional key narratives newly translated from Chaucer’s original text respond to the modern reader’s willingness to explore The Canterbury Tales’ brilliantly experimental approach to storytelling.

  • Includes a stimulating new introduction that encourages modern readers to embrace various difficult-to-understand Chaucerian turns of phrase so that they can fully appreciate the fine artistry of Chaucer’s poetic style.

Praise for the previous edition

From the reviews:
“Readers coming to 'The Canterbury Tales' for the first time should…buy Vincent Hopper's interlinear translation…To my knowledge, Hopper's rendering is as close, as word for word, as any translation of 'The Canterbury Tales'... It places the new word directly under the original word -- a device that makes the syntax feel old-fashioned but that will also quickly teach you Middle English, which is not hard."
—Joan Acocella,The New Yorker

"Builds a needed bridge for the general student between the 20th and 14th centuries."
—Kent Williams, Troy State University, AL

About The Authors:
Vincent F. Hopper
was for many years Professor of English at New York University.

Andrew Galloway, Ph.D., is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Cornell University. His specialty is English, Latin, and French literature and culture from the tenth to the fifteenth century.

Paperback / 608 Pages / 5 3/16 x 7 3/4 / 2012


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