Extended Audio Sample

Download The General Prologue and The Physician's Tale Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The General Prologue and The Physicians Tale (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Geoffrey Chaucer
3.79 out of 53.79 out of 53.79 out of 53.79 out of 53.79 out of 5 3.79 (14 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Geoffrey Chaucer Narrator: Richard Bebb, Philip Madoc, and Michael Maloney Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2006 ISBN:
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The Canterbury Tales, written near the end of Chaucer's life and hence towards the close of the 14th century, is perhaps the greatest English literary work of the Middle Ages: yet it speaks to us today with almost undimmed clarity and relevance.

How do we know what Chaucer's English sounded like? The simplest way for the present reader to learn what Chaucer's pronunciation sounded like is to listen to Richard Bebb's superb reading of the current recording of The General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales. The knowledge it represents has been built up by the work of many scholars over centuries, which is now available in many competent studies and editions of Chaucer's poems.

The Physician's Tale is in origin a primitive folk tale about an honor killing that Chaucer found in Livy and elsewhere and enhanced. The wicked judge Apius wishes to abduct and rape the beautiful and virtuous Virginia, aged 14. Her father cannot save her. Rather than be dishonored, she allows him, to his utter grief, to behead her. But the people rise up against the cruel and wicked judge so that he is banished and his subordinates hanged. The rather strange moral drawn is that your sin will always find you out.

Presented in Middle English and in modern verse translation.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alford | 5/22/2011

    " An excellent, telling, comical classic. I remember in my Western Literature class the professor teared up as she read Chaucer's Retraction. The experience was moving and was one factor that me down the path of the metaphor with a much greater appreciation for literature. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carly | 5/16/2011

    " Geoffrey Chaucer was a social genius. He loved awkward moments. He made dirty jokes. He knew what women wanted. He was funny before being funny was a thing. Love it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil | 4/28/2011

    " British Literature Junior year of HS "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim | 4/25/2011

    " One of my favorites, that was until I found out that it was never finished. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rayna | 4/22/2011

    " Interesting concept but hard to get through, especially if you read the original version as the language can be difficult to understand. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gretchen | 4/21/2011

    " Read at Richard Henry's request. Wasn't all that impressed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Autumn | 4/18/2011

    " Jumped around it for class. I actually really enjoyed it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Daniel | 4/12/2011

    " I treat this more as prose than poetry. I WANT to like it. However, I wish I could get past the lumpy writing style...and most of the translations don't seem to do it any favours. A monumental work of early fiction...but an unloved one on my shelf.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matthew | 4/12/2011

    " one of the first books written in English (well, kind of English, hahaha). Some stories are funny, some are sad, some touching- but all are interesting. Especially the Nun's Tale. Goddamn what a crazy lady she is. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil | 4/9/2011

    " I liked the Miller's tale the best. It had the most fart jokes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jade | 4/4/2011

    " Chaucer is the innovative satirist that his modern english/mid english age needed. His work not only had humor but an insight to the world he lived in. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aoide | 4/2/2011

    " I will always maintain that Chaucer was the original MC. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Flora | 4/2/2011

    " Thanks to my favorite high school English teacher, Mr. S., I love these characters and stories, as well as the language of Chaucer. He entertains on every page. "Whan that aprill with his shoures soote..." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ctroskoph | 3/28/2011

    " The Miller's Tale is one of the funniest pieces of literature I have ever read; it makes me laugh out loud every time I read it. The Wife of Bath is one of my all time favorite characters. "

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About the Author
Author Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343–1400), English poet, was the son of a London vintner. He was married and held a number of positions at court and in the king’s service, including diplomat, controller of customs in the port of London, and deputy forester in the King’s Forest in Somerset. He was buried in the Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey where a monument was erected to him in 1555.