The Canterbury Tales by Peter Ackroyd
A Retelling

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Continuing his apparent mission to refract the whole of English culture and history through his personal lens, Ackroyd...offers an all-prose rendering of Chaucer’s mixed-media masterpiece...A not-very-illuminating updating of Chaucer’s Tales.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

A fresh, modern prose retelling captures the vigorous and bawdy spirit of Chaucer’s classic

Renowned critic, historian, and biographer Peter Ackroyd takes on what is arguably the greatest poem in the English language and presents the work in a prose vernacular that makes it accessible to modern readers while preserving the spirit of the original.

A mirror for medieval society, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales concerns a motley group of pilgrims who meet in a London inn on their way to Canterbury and agree to take part in a storytelling competition. Ranging from comedy to tragedy, pious sermon to ribald farce, heroic adventure to passionate romance, the tales serve not only as a summation of the sensibility of the Middle Ages but as a representation of the drama of the human condition.

Ackroyd’s contemporary prose emphasizes the humanity of these characters—as well as explicitly rendering the naughty good humor of the writer whose comedy influenced Fielding and Dickens—yet still masterfully evokes the euphonies and harmonies of Chaucer’s verse. This retelling is sure to delight modern readers and bring a new appreciation to those already familiar with the classic tales.


 

About Peter Ackroyd

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PETER ACKROYD is an award-winning novelist, as well as a broadcaster, biographer, poet, and historian. He is the author of the acclaimed Thames: Sacred River, London: The Biography, and the first volume of his history of England, Foundation. He holds a CBE for services to literature and lives in London.
 
Published October 15, 2009 by Viking. 443 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Kirkus

Below average
on May 20 2010

Continuing his apparent mission to refract the whole of English culture and history through his personal lens, Ackroyd...offers an all-prose rendering of Chaucer’s mixed-media masterpiece...A not-very-illuminating updating of Chaucer’s Tales.

Read Full Review of The Canterbury Tales: A Retel... | See more reviews from Kirkus

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