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Canterbury Tales: General Prologue (1 of 4)

Publication Date: July 5, 2010

Chapter: English Literature During The Middle Ages

The Norton reprints Chaucer in the original middle English, barring a few minor spelling changes. Seriously. While there a few words here and there that one could recognize as modern English, most of it is a grab bag of mysterious ancient language. In the Anthology, there's hardly a line of the poem without at least two footnotes or translations. Needless to say, it's rather difficult to read... and I'm not man enough to do it this time. I'm therefore reading a translation of "The Canterbury Tales," and just referring back to the Norton for biographical and other background information.

Lest you think I'm a wuss, let it be known that Chaucer was required reading in the course of getting my English degree, and that -at the time - I did read the original Middle English text. I just didn't enjoy it very much.

Author: Geoffrey Chaucer • Year: c. 1386 • Info: Librarius

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