Brewer, Derek - Medieval Comic Tales - ( Item 112523 )
Published in London by Folio Society. 2012. First Thus. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Fine slipcase. Preface by Peter Ackroyd. Illustrated by Becca Thorne. Bound in buckram. Blocked with a design by Becca Thorne. Set in Poliphilus. 304 pages. 20 black & white illustrations. Book size: 9" × 6¼". Quick-thinking wives caught with their lovers turn the tables on their husbands; a trickster exposes the impiety of a priest; St Peter rescues all the souls in hell by gambling with loaded dice ... When Chaucer and Boccaccio wrote The Canterbury Tales and the Decameron, they were drawing upon a great wealth of comic tales, ranging from crude anecdotes to mock courtly romances. Derek Brewer's compendium, first published in 1973, brings together a selection that spans the length and breadth of Europe, some written in the vernacular, some in Latin. Organised by country of origin, they are translated in pithy prose that captures the flavour of the originals. The reader will recognise the sources of later comic stories ('The Smith in the Baking-Trough' from Germany inspired Chaucer's 'The Miller's Tale') within a treasure-trove of often ribald tales. There is plenty of innuendo and wordplay: a monk who blesses a maiden with his own personal trinity; half-shocking blasphemies, such as the Friar who preaches against riding on a Sunday and, when challenged that Christ rode on Palm Sunday, replies, 'What came of it? Wasn't he hanged on the Friday after?' There are farcical mistaken identities: a porter paid to throw a hunchback in the river ends up disposing of four different men. And there are cruel tricks: a deceived husband tells his wife that her illegitimate 'snow-child' melted, when, in fact, he sold the boy as a slave. The book is illustrated with witty linocuts by Becca Thorne, modelled on illuminations from psalters and bestiaries. In his original introduction, Derek Brewer explores the role humour played, then as now, in binding and defining cultures and communities. Peter Ackroyd has written a new preface in which he considers the nature of this humour, musing that, 'In a world of pain and suffering … the restorative power of laughter must have been proportionately great' .
Price £ 13.85 Other items you may like Others by the same author
To buy this item online using any major credit or debit card or Paypal, click the appropriate delivery option below to add the item to your basket, depending on where you are in the world. Alternatively please contact us at RNewbury@ardis.co.uk for further information or to order with payment by direct bank transfer or cheque if you are in the UK.
Safe and Secure Online Buying
To buy online, please click the appropriate postage option in the item boxes above. You will be transferred to secure pages hosted by Paypal, the largest online transaction processor in the world. You can pay with any major credit or debit card or by Paypal. When ordering multiple items in the UK, you may be entitled to a postage discount. This will be refunded when your order is received. If you prefer to pay by cheque, or would like a quotation for buying multiple items, please email us at email@example.com with the unique item numbers required.
Money Back Guarantee, Secure Packaging and Fast Response
We are a major online trader with excellent feedback from satisfied customers on Amazon and Ebay (over 25,000 customers). We will refund your costs for items returned within seven days for any reason. If we are at fault we will also refund your return postage. Items are sent in top grade book boxes for protection. Large items or multiple purchases may be boxed. Items will be despatched within a day of receipt of your order, usually on the same day if ordered before noon.