And one more unit today: Canterbury Tales! This is another unit I am really glad to have in my class as it was part of my World Literature class which I no longer teach, and I've been missing it. This time, I decided to go with a prose retelling. In the World Literature class, I used a modernized version also but in verse form, and I could tell the students were really not that into it, even though the stories are quite wonderful... and since I put a big emphasis on frametale storytelling traditions (a big personal interest of mine), I really would like for students to enjoy this book as much as they do, for example, 1001 Nights! So, I opted for  Tappan's prose version this time. It doesn't have all the same stories I would have wanted to use (she leaves out the more shocking and/or scandalous stories), but this will do, and maybe I will add another Chaucer unit later, in verse for that one, with those other stories. I've got:
The Wife of Bath's Tale: The Unknown Bride
The Friar's Tale: The Story of the Summoner
The Franklin's Tale: The Promise of Dorigen
The Pardoner's Tale: The Revelers
The Prioress's Tale: Little Hugh
Nun's Priest's Tale: The Cock, the Hen, and the Fox
The Canon's Yeoman's Tale: The Priest as Philosopher
But speaking of shocking and scandalous: It's pretty amazing to me that the Prioress's Tale would make its way into a book for children, but so it did. No sexual stories, but an outrageous story of anti-Jewish hatred, oh sure, no problem (the book was published in 1908). So, yes, that story is an anti-Semitic blood libel legend ... I debated about whether to include it or not and decided that I should as it is very much a part of the European folklore tradition as its presence here in Chaucer proves. Luckily, Dan Ashliman has a great collection of these types of stories at his folklore site so I was able to link to that and include a comment from him: "These legends reflect an anti-Jewish sentiment long exhibited by European Christians. These tales, like their witchcraft analogs, illustrate a tragic and lengthy chapter in ecclesiastical history. Archives, like microscopes, often reveal root causes of sickness and evil. Our best hope of correcting the errors of the past lies in exposing their root causes to the light of day."
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