The Canterbury Tales (Unabridged)
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If you want to understand the daily life and psychology of the Late Middle Ages, iThe Canterbury Talesi provides one of the very best means of doing so. Within its stories are to be found a broad range of society - high and low, male and female, rich and poor - who express their innermost beliefs and extravagant fantasies in a series of stories they tell as they make their way to Canterbury cathedral.pPolitics, religion, commerce, philosophy, love, sex, honor, alchemy, and just about everything known at the time is discussed with gusto and sincerity by these lively pilgrims. From the pious tales of nuns to the bald ribaldry of common tradesmen, the full panoply of Medieval man is on display here. And it is done with a genius unmatched in any work of its time.pChaucer, who was active in the second half of the 14th century, lived in a dynamic and epoch-changing period. He was a participant in the Hundred Years War and knew the great King Edward III personally. He was an eyewitness to events of the time and his wry wit was put to brilliant use in service to his poetry, among the best ever written by an Englishman.pAlthough we read Chaucer in translation today, his original hybrid language - part Saxon, part French - is the immediate predecessor to our own modern English. And even in translation, its magnificence shines through.pThis is a true unabridged edition, which includes The Tale of Melibee and The Parsons Tale, both of which are almost always excluded from modern editions. The Tale of Melibee is a perfect example of Scholasticism, the Medieval tradition of using the newly emergent Greco-Roman literature of ancient times as a means of supporting and reinvigorating various Christian dogmas in clever essays and treatises, of whom Thomas Aquinas was the most noted advocate. The Parsons Tale is a wonderful profile of Christian belief and psychology in the Late Middle Ages.

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