Monday, July 26, 2010
I recently had my son Jasio read the kid's version by Marcian Williams Chaucers-Canterbury-Tales-Marcia-Williams and then watch BBC series for kids canterburytales , versions of the original Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales.' Note that an early 1900s edition of this book can be read and downloaded here - (Canterbury Tales from google)
By the way, we should remember that word 'canter' to denote a 'slow gallop' in today's English actually comes from the ambling pace of the Canterbury pilgrims' horses - where canter is an abbreviation of word Canterbury. Hence Canterbury gallop or Canterbury pace* were phrases applied to the easy, ambling pace at which horse ridding prilgrims went to the shrine of St. Thomas a Becket at Canterbury. As these pacing horses were gradually forced out of the breeding and training in England by the growing numbers of trotting and galloping English thoroughbreds, the term 'canter' or 'easy gallop' of these Throughbres was adopted into the English language hippological vocabulary and on vernacular vocabulary, at end of XVII century and beginning of XVIII century.
And now I found this paper by that is examining horses in Chaucer's tales Mounted Menagerie
Intriguing reading into the medieval horse world, I daresay.
Please find Chaucer's horses as described in the Tales: from the Prologue by Nevill Coghill, Penguin Classics, 1951:
The Wife of Bath
Easily on an ambling horse she sat
Well wimpled up, and on her head a hat
As broad as is a buckler or a shield;
She had a flowing mantle that concealed
Large hips, her heels spurred sharply under that."
There was a Merchant with a forking beard
And motley dress; high on his horse he sat,
Upon his head a Flemish beaver hat
And on his feet daintily buckled boots."
"He wore a tabard smock, and rode a mare."
"The stallion-cob he rode at a slow trot
Was dapple-grey and bore the name of Scot."
"A monk there was, one of the finest sort
Who rode the country; hunting was his sport.
A manly man, to be an Abbot able;
Many a dainty horse he had in stable.
His bridle, when he rode, a man might hear
Jingling in a whistling wind as clear,
Aye, and as loud as does the chapel bell.....
His palfrey was as brown as is a berry."
The Skipper (sailor)
"He rode a farmer's horse as best he could."
the text above comes from this website fellpony
some images of the Tales personages
the Manciple rider I
wife of bath rider II
knight rider IV