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Download The Canterbury Tales Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (81,531 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Geoffrey Chaucer Narrator: Bill Wallace, Cameron Stewart, Kim Hicks, Maggie Ollerenshaw, Mark Meadows, Ric Jerrom Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Beyond its importance as a literary work of unvarnished genius, Geoffrey Chaucer’s unfinished epic poem is also one of the most beloved works in the English language—and for good reason: it is lively, absorbing, perceptive, and outrageously funny. But despite the brilliance of Chaucer’s work, the continual evolution of our language has rendered his words unfamiliar to many of us. Esteemed poet, translator, and scholar Burton Raffel’s magnificent new unabridged translation brings Chaucer’s poetry back to life, ensuring that none of the original’s wit, wisdom, or humanity is lost to the modern reader. This edition also features an introduction by the widely influential medievalist and author John Miles Foley that discusses Chaucer’s work as well as his life and times.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Canterbury Tales has remained popular for seven centuries. It is the most approachable masterpiece of the medieval world, and Mr. Raffel’s translation makes the stories even more inviting.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Masterly…This new translation beckons us to make our own pilgrimage back to the very wellsprings of literature in our language.”

    Billy Collins, former US Poet Laureate

  • “Chaucer’s blend of humour, realism, philosophical depth, poetic virtuosity, and masterful control of dialogue and character was never matched…As a storyteller, he is supreme.”

    Cambridge Guide to Literature in English

  • “Chaucer’s genius is such that the tales reveal the personalities of their tellers…the pilgrims grow as distinct personalities as they converse and argue between stories.”

    Frank N. Magill, editor, Masterpieces of World Literature

  • “A delight…[Raffel’s translation] provides more opportunities to savor the counterpoint of Chaucer’s earthy humor against passages of piercingly beautiful lyric poetry.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jas | 2/18/2014

    " This is a very good translation, preserving the basic form of the original as well as its spirit. I first read parts of it in the 1970s. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Alan | 2/16/2014

    " Haven't read all, but what I've read was a riot "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jeffrey | 2/13/2014

    " I have to say that the cultural barriers between Chaucer's audience and the modern reader are what most kept me from enjoying sections of this book which just come off as tedious when they probably were very interesting when first introduced. However, Chaucer's genius, wit, and knack for social commentary continue to stand out in the Canterbury Tales. It's one of the only books I've read recently that has frequently made me laugh out loud. Undeniably a masterpiece, just has some very dry spots. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kristopher | 2/9/2014

    " Really only read about half the stories... mostly stories I've already read in other classes. Someday, I really have to dig in and read the rest of them. "

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About the Narrator

Maggie Ollerenshaw’s theater work is extensive, ranging from several Alan Ayckbourn roles, to Martha in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Similarly, her many television credits cover Open All Hours and The House of Eliott, to a BAFTA nomination for her performance in Last of the Summer Wine. She has written for radio and has written and performed a one-woman musical play about Vera Lynn titled Yours Sincerely.