Julia Hughes's Reviews > Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales

Geoffrey Chaucer by Geoffrey Chaucer
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's review
Sep 30, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: literature

Every student of English knows the story of 'Canterbury Tales' how it was the first book to be written in recognisable English, and the part it played in 'popularising' English. When Caxton started up his press, one of the first books he chose to print was Canterbury Tales, and his 15th century illustrated version is considered amongst the most valuable books in existence.

For that reason alone, it gets five stars. A book holding such an important place in literature, not to mention the English language, in my opinion cannot fall below maximum ratings.

As to how good Chaucer's actual writting is, well it's difficult to judge as he wrote in Middle English and although a modern reader would be able to recognise probably more than half the words, it is hard to read coherently. It appears though that Chaucer was a keen observer of character with a sly wit and amongst the first to portray 'ordinary' people in his stories, some of which can easily be brought up to date and applied to modern day settings, as many authors have already discovered.

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