Geoffrey Chaucer's bleak Manciple's Tale, with its portrayal of betrayal and revenge, is also a fable of why all crows are black. The modern English translation by Frank Ernest Hill is provided a multi-faceted performance by Sean Barrett, who evokes the different characters and their dramas through exemplary control of voice and tone. In this, another of the medieval master's tales told by 14th-century pilgrims to the shrine at Canterbury, a crow informs the god Phoebus his wife has betrayed him. After killing her and destroying his instruments Phoebus turns on the messenger, plucking out all the white feathers, leaving the bird looking as we know him today.
This is a story from the Canterbury Tales III: Modern Verse Translation collection.
Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, a collection of narratives written between 1387 and 1400, tells of a group of 30 people from all layers of society who pass the time along their pilgrimage to Canterbury by telling stories to one another, their interaction mediated (at times) by the affable host - Chaucer himself. Naxos AudioBooks' third volume presents the tales of six people, here in an unabridged modern verse translation (by Frank Ernest Hill, 1935). This is an ideal way to appreciate the genuinely funny and droll talent of England's early master storyteller. Seven leading British actors bring the medieval world into the 21st century, and at least in terms of character, not much seems to have changed!
Public Domain (P)2004 Naxos AudioBooks
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