Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

Welcome Spring (or Summer for us in hot AZ!) Readers:

We are set to begin a four-week study in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. This is a quick reading through these stories, simply to give our readers a taste of Chaucer's wit and style. Feel free to join along with our reading group on this next adventure through late Medieval classical literature.

Lets begin reading through a few of the Canterbury Tales. I chose those which are most often read in college courses (and the ones I could find study
questions on -- LOL!) I think these will give you enough of a feel for these stories without having to read them all. If you want to read more, go ahead at
your own leisure.

Brief Background from Wikipedia

I would suggest reading the background on the Tales themselves, either at Wikipedia, in your own text, or as a general introduction at Sparknotes or Online-Literature.com.


Literature Study Guide from Sparknotes

Sparknotes will provide some good summaries of the tales, a great help for struggling readers who need a little hand-holding to help explain the story.


Book Links


Modern Prose in PDF (each tale is it's own file)


Audio from Librivox



Week 1 - Introduction and Prologue
Week 2 - The Knights Tale
Week 3 - The Miller and The Reeves Tale
Week 4 - The Friar and The Summoner's Tale

Guesstimate on reading: The Knights Tale is fairly long, the others are shorter readings. I would guess four weeks to cover these tales only. If at the end of this period, you all want to read some of the other Tales, we can add a few more in. Let' wait and see how every does with these stories, OK?

Begin date: you are welcome to start this week or next. I will post the first set of questions today and then will try and stay a week ahead of everyone.

I think you will enjoy reading these stories, and will find the modern translation (PDF files linked above) a good source (helpful notes and explanations are included).

Happy Reading!