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Jenan Jones Benson
AudioFile, February 2005

British actors present seven of Chaucer's classic tales in modern verse. Tim Pigott-Smith opens with "The Friar's Tale," recounting the Summoner's pact with the devil in a clear and expressive voice. Timothy West's portrayal of "The Seaman's Tale" lags a bit when the long-suffering wife's vocal characterization changes mid-speech. Rosalind Shanks lends sweet sadness to the murder and miracle comprising "The Prioress's Tale." Genuine angst rings through Sean Barrett's depiction of "The Manciple's Tale," as a husband takes decisive action on a crow's advice. Michael Maloney applies a driving rhythm as a young woman chooses death over loss of virtue in "The Physician's Tale." This clear and compelling collection is certain to appeal to both novice and experienced Chaucer readers.

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