Tales from the Decameron
Translated by Peter Hainsworth
Bawdy and moving, hilarious and reflective—these stories offer the very best of Boccaccio’s Decameron in a brilliant, playful new translation
In the early summer of the year 1348, as a terrible plague ravages the city, ten charming young Florentines take refuge in country villas to tell each other stories—one hundred stories of love, adventure, and surprising twists of fortune that later inspired Chaucer, Keats, and Shakespeare. Now, this hugely enjoyable volume collects the best stories of Boccaccio’s masterwork in a fresh, accessible new translation by Peter Hainsworth. It includes such celebrated, thought-provoking tales as “Isabella and the Pot of Basil” (famously adapted by Keats) and “Patient Griselda” alongside many boisterous and daring stories featuring faithless wives, philandering priests, and curious nuns. Written in an early Florentine dialect and influencing scores of literature that followed, The Decameron is a masterpiece of classical Italian prose.
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