Chaucer's English: A Quiz Deck from The Canterbury Tales

Chaucer's English: A Quiz Deck from The Canterbury Tales
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Chaucer's English: A Quiz Deck from The Canterbury Tales
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With 48 fact-filled cards per package, Knowledge Cards are a great source of condensed information—all in a deck the size of a pack of playing cards. Size: 3¼ x 4".

By Evelyn Sinclair and Linda Osborne. Library of Congress.

ISBN 9780764953330

Product Description

This 48-card deck presents excerpts from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales—in an intriguing language we now call Middle English—with modern translations and concise, illuminating commentaries on the card backs. The original wording challenges us to understand what Chaucer (1343–1400) was saying about life in his time. In many ways, the half century during which he lived was very different from our own, yet there is much we share with the pilgrims who made their way to Canterbury, telling stories to pass the time. Even though many of its sounds are foreign to our ears, it is amazing how clearly Chaucer’s language speaks to us if we allow ourselves to become immersed in it.

Middle English text is from The Riverside Chaucer, 3rd ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987).


Sample Card Text

Who is this? “The Cook’s Tale” Lines 4370–4375
Dauncen he koude so wel and jolily
That he was cleped Perkyn Revelour.
He was as ful of love and paramour
As is the hyve ful of hony sweete;
Wel was the wenche with hym myghte meete.
At every bridale wolde he synge and hoppe.


Answer
He could dance so well and so merrily
That they called him Little Peter the Partier.
He was as full of love and lust
As the hive is full of honey.
Happy was the young girl who met up with him.
At every wedding feast he would sing and dance.

The Cook describes a jolly apprentice who worked for a shopkeeper in the food suppliers’ guild. The shopkeeper was relieved to let this apprentice go—saying one rotten apple could spoil an entire lot. On his own, the happy-go-lucky fellow borrowed from companions until he met and married a prostitute, who kept a shop for appearances but made their living in her own way.