Download PDF by Peter Ackroyd: The Canterbury Tales: A Retelling

By Peter Ackroyd

A clean, smooth prose retelling captures the energetic and bawdy spirit of Chaucer's classic

well known critic, historian, and biographer Peter Ackroyd takes on what's arguably the best poem within the English language and offers the paintings in a prose vernacular that makes it available to fashionable readers whereas maintaining the spirit of the original.

A reflect for medieval society, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales matters a motley crew of pilgrims who meet in a London resort on their method to Canterbury and comply with participate in a storytelling festival. starting from comedy to tragedy, pious sermon to ribald farce, heroic event to passionate romance, the stories serve not just as a summation of the sensibility of the center a while yet as a illustration of the drama of the human condition.

Ackroyd's modern prose emphasizes the humanity of those characters-as good as explicitly rendering the naughty sturdy humor of the author whose comedy encouraged Fielding and Dickens-yet nonetheless masterfully inspires the euphonies and harmonies of Chaucer's verse. This retelling is certain to thrill sleek readers and produce a brand new appreciation to these already conversant in the vintage stories.

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Example text

We shared some ale and wine, and agreed among ourselves that we would ride together. It would be a diversion, a merry journey made in good fellowship. Before the sun had gone down, we had determined to meet at dawn on the following day to make our way along the pilgrims’ road. Before we begin our travels, however, I want to introduce you to the men and women who made up our company. If I describe their rank, and their appearance, you may also acquire some inkling of their character. Dress, and degree, can be tokens of inward worth.

He did not earn a large income, or collect much from the offering plate, but he was content with what he had. He had a large parish, with the houses set far apart, but neither rain nor thunder would prevent him from visiting his parishioners in times of grief or dearth. He would pick up his sturdy staff, and take off to the furthest reaches of his parish where he would bless both rich and poor. He gave the best possible example to his flock. Perform before you preach. Good deeds are more fruitful than good words.

I presume that she was referring to divine love. I did not ask her about that, either. In fact she seemed a little cautious of me, and I would sometimes catch her staring at me with a perplexed expression. Riding beside her was a nun who performed the duties of a chaplain, together with three priests about whom I could gather very little information. They were just priests. And then there was a MONK, and a handsome one at that. He was one of those monks who do much business outside the monastery, arranging sales and contracts with the lay-people, and he had acquired lay tastes.

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