The Canterbury Tales [Blackstone]

  • by Geoffrey Chaucer
  • Narrated by Martin Jarvis, Jay Carnes, Ray Porter, John Lee, Malcolm Hillgartner, Ralph Cosham, Simon Vance
  • 20 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

At the Tabard Inn, 30 travelers of widely varying classes and occupations are gathering to make the annual pilgrimage to Becket's shrine at Canterbury. It is agreed that each traveler will tell four tales to help pass the time and that the host of the inn will judge the tales and reward the best storyteller with a free supper upon their return.Thus we hear, translated into modern English, 20-some tales, told in the voices of knight and merchant, wife and miller, squire and nun, and many more. Some are bawdy, some spiritual, some romantic, some mysterious, some chivalrous. Between the stories, the travelers converse, joke, and argue, revealing much about their individual outlooks on life, as well as what life was like in late 14th-century England.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Many voices, at times enthralling

This new Blackstone recording of "Canterbury Tales" is wonderful and at times enthralling -- and also at times laugh-out-loud funny. Like the Charlton Griffin recording (also available here), it's the whole ball of wax: every tale, including the often-omitted Tale of Melibee and the Parson's Tale (which is really a three-hour sermon rather than a tale. Listen to it. It's good for the digestion, and quite a bit more interesting than it sounds). This translation, by J.U. Nicholson, uses a more old-fashioned vocabulary in places than the Coghill translation used by Griffin; but at the same time, it's also saltier. There are few crude names for parts or functions of the human body that Chaucer fails to use at one point or another, and most of them find their way into this recording. (For me, that's a GOOD thing!) One notable feature is that this is a multi-voice recording. Martin Jarvis is Chaucer, Ralph Cosham the Lawyer, Simon Vance the Squire; and that's only a few examples. Both this version and Griffin's version are five-star recordings in my book. Griffin's has occasional music, which this one lacks; on the other hand, this one has greater variety of tone and voice.
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- Tad Davis

A helpful index

I love this audio version of the Tales, but without an index it can be frustrating to locate a particular tale. I'm a teacher, and like to have students listen to excerpts. I didn't complete the times for all of the tales, but hopefully what I provide here will save another teacher a lot of time.
Canterbury Tales Bookmarks on Audible edition

Part I
General Prologue, Part I to 46:20

Knight's Tale, Part I 46:25-- 2:51:52

Miller's Tale, Part I 2:52:03-- 3:30

Reeve's Tale, 3:30-- 3:55

Cook's Tale, 3:55-- 4:06

Lawyer's Tale, 4:06-- 4:57

Sailor's Tale, 4:57-- 5:23

Prioress' Tale, 5:23-- 5:39

Sir Thopas, 5:39-- 5:50

Melibee, 5:50-- 7:49

Part II

Monk, 00-- 48.56

Nun's Priest, 49:00-- 1:25:46
Epilogue 1:25:46 - 1:26.41

Physician, 1:26-- 1:42:13

Words of Host to Physician and Pardoner, 1:42:23-- 1:45

Pardoner, 1:45-- 2:18

Wife of Bath, 2:18-- 3:32:54

Friar 3:32:56 --




Part III

Squire, 00-- 32:21 (unfinished)

Host to Squire and Franklin, 32:22-- 34:15

Franklin, 34:15-- 1:18:33

Second Nun's Tale, 1:18:33

Canon's Yeoman



Here the Maker, 6:19-- 6:21:50
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- Ruth Green

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-18-2008
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.