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    Question is in the title!
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    Chaucer.
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    Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Malory's Morte d'Arthur, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Beowulf are all fun reads and well-known texts. If you are unfamiliar with medieval languages, then you'll definitely need a translation of Beowulf (Seamus Heaney's is the most popular) and you may need a translation of Sir Gawain (Simon Armitage has recently done one). Chaucer and Malory should be easy enough to read in the original Middle English.

    Of The Canterbury Tales, my favourites are the Knight's, Franklin's, Pardoner's, and Nun's Priest's Tales. You can buy most of these on audiobook from Naxos, so that you can hear them read aloud in Middle English and get a feel for how the language was pronounced.

    If you fancy having a stab at translating/reading Old English, then I'd recommend The Cambridge Old English Reader (Richard Marsden) as it's heavily glossed and therefore easier to use if you're a beginner (I'm assuming you are). I'd also recommend Beowulf and Other Stories as an Introduction to Old English (and Old Icelandic and Anglo-Norman) as it's written in a very accessible manner.

    You can hear Old English being read out loud here: http://fred.wheatonma.edu/wordpressmu/mdrout

    For a good, general overview of medieval iterature, try some of the Cambridge Companions for Chaucer, Old English, Medieval Romance, Dante, etc.

    'Medieval Literature' of course doesn't only refer to works written in Old and Middle English. See also:

    The Prose Edda
    The Poetic Edda
    Njal's Saga
    The Mabinogion
    The Song of Roland
    The Poem of the Cid
    Chretien de Troyes's Arthurian Romances
    The Golden Legend
    The Travels of Marco Polo
    Boccaccio's Decameron
    Dante's Divine Comedy
    The One Thousand and One Nights (though some would argue over whether this counts as 'medieval' literature).

    Happy Reading!
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    Wait a while before you get onto the Gawain poet unless you want your head to explode!

    There's another guy too. Langley?
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    I started with Mitchell and Robinson's guide to Old English. There's no substitute for manning up and learning the language ;-) If your German is decent you shouldn't have too many problems. Read the Exeter book riddles - Craig Williamson's edition is splendid! I never really got into middle English though. This probably means I'm a deficient human being :-(
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    Middle English is surprisingly easy to pick up - a few hours reading Chaucer and I was well into it.
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    PS Helper
    (Original post by Wyrd14)
    Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Malory's Morte d'Arthur, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Beowulf are all fun reads and well-known texts. If you are unfamiliar with medieval languages, then you'll definitely need a translation of Beowulf (Seamus Heaney's is the most popular) and you may need a translation of Sir Gawain (Simon Armitage has recently done one). Chaucer and Malory should be easy enough to read in the original Middle English.
    :ditto: Chaucer and Malory, but for someone who's only just starting out and hasn't done very much Middle English yet, reading Sir Gawain would almost certainly be too tough. Beginners often think of Chaucer as challenging, and the Pearl-poet is definitely a step up from Chaucer in terms of difficulty...

    Also, if you can get hold of it, Mandeville's Travels is both a fun read and a good beginners' text, because the language is quite easy to understand.
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    Chaucer :yep:
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    Something that really influenced the middle ages:
    Malleus Maleficarum, 1486 by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger

    No great literary experience though...
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    (Original post by A-Man!)
    Chaucer.
    YES ! i loves mr. chaucer muchly ! :yep:
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    I really enjoyed reading Christine de Pizan's City of Ladies (1405); it is worth reading if you are spending time on Giovanni Boccaccio, or Italian literature in general.
 
 
 
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