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The Canterbury Tales in Modern Verse
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Geoffrey Chaucer; Translated by Joe Glaser

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This version of The Canterbury Tales is indeed 'fast-paced and entertaining'. It includes translations of most of the tales (certainly all of the most popular ones) and abridgments and summaries of a few others. Glaser's main innovation in this translation is a rather striking decision to render Chaucer's standard iambic pentameter line in iambic tetrameter. . . . Those who read his translation of The Canterbury Tales will likely be motivated to tackle a linguistically more challenging, yet more rewarding Middle English edition. Those who lack the time for such a task will still be able to appreciate the humor and variety of one of Chaucer's greatest works and will, through the basic and clear Introduction, get a sense of the historical and literary background of Chaucer, his times, and his works. The near conversational tone of the Introduction, furthermore, makes for an unintimidating encounter with a period of literature that, for many, is foreign and remote. As a kind of gateway text, therefore, Glaser's new translation of The Canterbury Tales will be much appreciated and valued by a non-specialist audience. --Jennifer A. Smith, Comitatus

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