The Arabian Nights"The Arabian Nights" is the title which encompasses all of the Persian, Arabian and Indian folk tales which have made their way into western culture over hundreds of years. This collection was edited by Andrew Lang, and his selections were made with the purpose of making the tales more suitable and interesting to a general audience.
BeowulfBeowulf is the earliest surviving poem in Old English. Although the authorship is anonymous it is believed to have been written before the 10th century AD. The only extant European manuscript of the Beowulf text is placed at around 1010. The epic tells the tale of the Scandinavian hero Beowulf as he struggles against three adversaries; the monster Grendel, Grendel's mother and an unnamed dragon. The epic was recently released as a blockbuster film starring Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Robin Wright Penn, Brendan Gleeson, John Malkovich, Crispin Glover, Alison Lohman, and Angelina Jolie.
Poem of the Cid : A Modern Translation With NotesFew works have shaped a national literature as thoroughly as the Poem of the Cid has shaped the Spanish literary tradition. Tracing the life of the eleventh-century military commander Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, called El Cid (from the Arabic Sayyidi, "My Lord"), this medieval epic describes a series of events surrounding his exile. The text of the poem survives in only one early-thirteenth-century manuscript copied by a single scribe, yet centuries later the figure of the Cid still was celebrated in the Spanish popular ballad tradition. Today almost every theme that characterizes Spanish literature-honor, justice, loyalty, treachery, and jealousy--derives from the Poem of the Cid. Restored by poet and medievalist George Economou, this elegant and spirited translation by Paul Blackburn is judged by many the finest English translation of a great medieval poem.
The Divine Comedy by Dante AlighierI"O human race, born to fly upward, wherefore at a little wind dost thou so fall?" Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso--the three fates of the deceased become the three pillars of an epic poem. The Divine Comedy, written by Italian poet Dante Alighieri in the fourteenth century, is considered the foremost work in Italian literature. The journey begins with Dante's descent into the depths of Hell where he witnesses those eternally separated from God. Then he climbs the mountain of Purgatory where Christian souls undergo final purification, before finally touring the celestial circles of Heaven where he is filled with the image of God. An allegorical work, the comedy is representative of the soul's journey towards God. Influential for seven centuries, this classic is a must have for lovers of great literature.
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey ChaucerGeoffrey Chaucer's fourteenth-century masterpiece The Canterbury Tales is such a rollicking good read that you'll forget many critics and scholars also regard it as one of the most important literary works in English. A group of pilgrims are traveling together to visit a holy shrine at the Canterbury Cathedral. Along the way, they decide to hold a storytelling contest to pass the time, with the winner to be awarded a lavish feast on the return trip. The tales offered up in turn by each of the travelers run the full gamut of human emotion, ranging from raucous and ribald jokes to heartrending tales of doomed romance. Even if you don't consider yourself a fan of classic literature, The Canterbury Tales is worth a read.
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám by Omar KhayyámEdward FitzGerald gave the title The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam to his translation of poetry attributed to the Persian poet, astronomer and mathematician Omar Khayyam (1048-1123). The word "Rubaiyat" means quatrains - verses of four lines. These works by Fitzgerald are the best known English translations. This edition contains both the first and fifth editions of the Rubaiyat. This influential translation is seen by many as a zenith of English literature in the nineteenth century.
Helen of TroyThe famed beauty Helen of Troy inspired wars, suicides, and some of the world's best-loved poetry. In this book-length epic poem, Scottish writer and folklorist Andrew Lang presents his own take on Helen's story. A fascinating read for fans of The Odyssey and Greek mythology.
Dante's Paradise by Dante AlighieriThe Paradise, which Dante called the sublime canticle, is perhaps the most ambitious book of The Divine Comedy. In this climactic segment, Dante's pilgrim reaches Paradise and encounters the Divine Will.
La Vita Nuova by Dante AlighieriLa Vita Nuova has many aspects. In a sequence of thirty-one poems, the author recounts his love of Beatrice from his first sight of her (when he was nine and she eight), through unrequited love and chance encounters, to his profound grief sixteen years later at her sudden and unexpected death.
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey ChaucerDavid Wright's new translation of The Canterbury Tales into modern verse--the first to appear in over thirty years--makes one of the greatest works of English literature accessible to all readers while preserving the wit and vivacity of Chaucer's original text.
The Complete Poetry and Prose of Geoffrey Chaucer by Geoffrey ChaucerTHE COMPLETE POETRY AND PROSE OF GEOFFREY CHAUCER is intended to make Chaucer's texts accessible with a minimum of scholary interference. The critical, biographical, and linguistic essays are grouped at the end so as not to impede the approach to the text. By doing so, the student is able to enjoy the richness and humor of The Canterbury Tales as well as the beauty of Troylus and Criseyde. This collection will create a deeper appreciation for Chaucer and his genius.
The Wife of Bath's Tale by Geoffrey ChaucerThis well-established series is now being updated with new scholarly introductions and attractive new covers. Texts are in the original Middle English throughout, and each has an introduction, detailed notes and a glossary.
The Travels of Marco Polo by Marco PoloNow in a handsome and newly revised hardcover edition: the extraordinary travelogue that has enthralled readers for more than seven centuries. Marco Polo's vivid descriptions of the splendid cities and people he encountered on his journey along the Silk Road through the Middle East, South Asia, and China opened a window for his Western readers onto the fascinations of the East and continued to grow in popularity over the succeeding centuries.
The Lais of Marie de France by Marie De FranceMarie de France (fl.late twelfth century) is the earliest known French woman poet, and her laisare among the finest examples of the genre. Laisare short stories in verse based on Breton tales, depicting a moment of crisis in a love relation always intense and refined, and often far more complicated than our received view of courtly love might lead us to suppose.