The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written by Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century (two of them in prose, the rest in verse). The tales, some of which are originals and others not, are contained inside a frame tale and told by a collection of pilgrims on a pilgrimage from Southwark to Canterbury to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The Canterbury Tales are written in Middle English. Although the tales are considered to be his magnum opus, some believe the structure of the tales is indebted to the works of The Decameron, which Chaucer is said to have read on an earlier visit to Italy.
— Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Ackroyd's retelling of Chaucer's classic isn't exactly like the Ethan Hawke'd film version of Hamlet, but it's not altogether different, either. Noting in his introduction that the source material is as close to a contemporary novel as Wells Cathedral is to an apartment block, Ackroyd translates the original verse into clean and enjoyable prose that clears up the roadblocks readers could face in tackling the classic. The Knight's Tale, the first of 24 stories, sets the pace by removing distracting tics but keeping those that are characteristic, if occasionally cringe-inducing, like the narrator's insistence on lines like, Well. Enough of this rambling. The rest of the stories continue in kind, with shorter stories benefiting most from Ackroyd's treatment, though the longer entries tend to... ramble. The tales are a serious undertaking in any translation, and here, through no fault of Ackroyd's work, what is mostly apparent is the absence of the original text, making finishing this an accomplishment that seems diminished, even if the stories themselves prove more readable.
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Translation notes - poorly placed
It's the original text - but it has placed translation notes at the end of every line instead of at the bottom of the page. This makes the whole thing rather difficult and clumsy to read; especially if you're already proficient in the language.
NOTHING like original
You can tell even from e first word of e prologue that this was horribly transcribed. "Whan that Aprill with his shoores soote," is not the same as "When that Aprilis." Shame on the publisher for scamming people. There are free versions with ten times the authenticity.
Cant understand it.
I cant seem to find an iBook version of the Canterbury tales. If you dont understand old or middle english, dont buy.