Tag Archives: The Canterbury Tales

My Book’s in ‘Middle English’?

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Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote/ The drought of March hath perced to the roote/

And bathed evry veyne in swich licour/ Of which vertu engendred is the flour…

–Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales

Checking the amazon.com page for my new book, The Temptation, to see if I’ve been selling any, I was rather shocked to read “Language: Middle English.”

Huh? Middle English is the language Geoffrey Chaucer spoke in the 14th century, scarcely intelligible to modern English speakers. Forsooth. I mean, it sounds really cool if you know how to read it, but forget about most people understanding you.

I couldn’t find any other definition of “Middle English” on Wikipedia. I like “Zephyrus with his swete breethe” as much as the next guy, but c’mon, now.

On the bright side, I couldn’t find any sample pages that looked like that page from The Canterbury Tales, pictured above.

I hope Geoffrey Chaucer has a big fan base, nowadays. I might be in trouble if he doesn’t.


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