Chaucer's (1340-1400) celebrated work begins at the Tabard Inn in Southwark, England, where a group of pilgrims has assembled on their way to Canterbury. Harry Bailly, the innkeeper, suggests a contest: whoever tells the best tale, "Shall have a supper at our aller cost/ Here in the place, sitting by this post/ When that we come again from Canterbury." Chaucer's Middle English has been here updated by Professor Michael Murphy of Brooklyn College, City University of New York. This is not a translation, but rather a modernization of the spelling and pronunciation of The Tales, leaving the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary unchanged. Thus Chaucer's poetry can be appreciated without the encumbrance of the difficult pronunciations of Middle English. Includes these tales: The Knight's; The Miller's; The Reeve's; The Wife of Bath's; The Friar's; The Clerk's; The Merchant's; The Franklin's; The Pardoner's; The Shipman's; The Prioress's; and The Nun's Priest's.
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by Peter Ackroyd, Geoffrey Chaucer
by Geoffrey Chaucer
by Geoffrey Chaucer, John Miles Foley
by Robert D. San Souci
by Adele Parks
by S. Beth Atkin
by Jackie Kay
"When the host of the Tobard Inn suggested to the assembled Pilgrims that their journey to Canterbury will be more pleasant if they share stories along the way, he was also inventing the idea of audiobooks. Six hundred years later, Recorded Books saw the Tales as ideal for both audio production and the educational market. The catalyst for the project was a modernization of the Tales done by Michael Murphy. The absolutely stunning program which resulted has angered some scholars, brought praise from some teachers, and has made Chaucer more accessible for everyone. The General Prologue and twelve stories in this program are the most notable, showing interactions between some of the characters as well as the marriage debates in the tales of the Knight, the Wife of Bath, Clerk, and Franklin. Murphy expertly introduces each tale; the recordings involve some of Recorded Books's most notable narrators. Patrick Tull brings an appropriately earthy tone to his readings of the Miller's and Merchant's Tales; George Guidall a courtly quality to the Knight's and Friar's Tales; and Davina Porter a gentleness to the Prioress's Tale. The one disappointment in the program is that Barbara Rosenblat sounds too sophisticated for the Wife of Bath. But all of the readers deliver intelligent interpretations and infuse drama into their texts, which brings them to life despite difficult vocabulary. A commuter can enjoy this work as can a student following a written text with a good glossary. Obviously a special project for all involved, this program deserves very broad support. S.K. Winner of AUDIOFILE Earphones Award (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine"
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