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The Belles of Canterbury A Chaucer Tale Out of School   By:

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In "The Belles of Canterbury: A Chaucer Tale Out of School," author Anna Bird Stewart takes readers on a captivating journey that cleverly intertwines the past and the present. Drawing inspiration from Geoffrey Chaucer's renowned Canterbury Tales, this modern interpretation offers a unique perspective on the timeless themes of love, desire, and societal norms.

Stewart's storytelling skills are commendable, as she effortlessly brings the bustling world of Canterbury to life. The narrative follows a group of young women attending Canterbury High School, each grappling with their own personal struggles and aspirations. As they navigate the complexities of friendship, love, and the pressures of societal expectations, an intriguing parallel emerges between their experiences and Chaucer's original tales.

The author's deep understanding of Chaucer's work is evident throughout the novel, as she seamlessly weaves in extracts from the original Canterbury Tales. This adds depth to the story, allowing readers to appreciate both the modern teenage intricacies and the timeless wisdom of Chaucer's words. Stewart's use of these excerpts cleverly echoes the characters' dilemmas, further accentuating the timeless relevance of Chaucer's themes.

One of the greatest strengths of "The Belles of Canterbury" lies in its well-developed characters. Each young woman is distinctively drawn, with their own unique voice and struggles. Stewart skillfully captures the complexities of adolescence, tackling issues such as identity, friendship, and the pressure to conform, with empathy and sensitivity. As the characters' stories unfold, readers cannot help but be emotionally invested in their journeys, rooting for their growth and resolution.

Furthermore, the author's style is both engaging and accessible. While staying true to the essence of Chaucer's language, Stewart presents it in a modern form, ensuring that readers of all ages can easily connect with the story. The pacing is steady, with the plot unveiling gradually yet consistently, keeping readers intrigued and invested in the outcome.

At times, the multitude of characters and their intertwining stories can be slightly overwhelming, making it challenging to fully delve into each individual experience. Some readers might also find the inclusion of the original Chaucerian language and poetic techniques a little daunting. However, these minor quibbles do not detract from the overall enjoyment and appreciation of the novel.

In "The Belles of Canterbury: A Chaucer Tale Out of School," Anna Bird Stewart succeeds in crafting a captivating coming-of-age story that seamlessly incorporates the richness of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. With its well-drawn characters, clever interplay between the past and the present, and a deep exploration of timeless themes, Stewart offers readers a thought-provoking and enjoyable modern twist on a classic tale.

First Page:

THE BELLES OF CANTERBURY

A CHAUCER TALE OUT OF SCHOOL

=A Play In One Act for Eleven Girls=

BY ANNA BIRD STEWART, A.M.

DEDICATED TO MISS DOROTHY CONREY

1912

=PRICE 25 CENTS=

NEW YORK LONDON SAMUEL FRENCH SAMUEL FRENCH, LTD. PUBLISHER 26 SOUTHAMPTON STREET 28 30 WEST 38TH STREET STRAND

=THE BELLES OF CANTERBURY=

PERSONS IN THE PLAY.

FRESHMAN } SOPHOMORE } JUNIOR } Pupils at a girls' school SENIOR }

CHARACTERS FROM THE CANTERBURY TALES.

WIFE OF BATH From the Prologue PRIORESS " " " FIRST NUN " " " SECOND NUN " " " EMILY From the Knight's Tale HIPPOLYTA " " " " GRISELDA " " Clerk's "

COSTUMES.

The simplicity of the costuming as well as of the stage setting makes the play an easy one for amateurs to produce.

The dress of the four school girls should be as modern as possible. Their hair should be elaborately arranged.

HIPPOLYTA should wear the dress of an Amazon, armor if possible, or a short skirt, sandals laced high with crossed strings, waist to match the skirt, a crown, and a shield on the left arm... Continue reading book >>




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