Tales from the Decameron
Bawdy and moving, hilarious and reflective - these stories offer the very best of Boccaccio's Decameron in a brilliant, playful new translation. This hugely enjoyable volume collects the best stories of Boccaccio's masterwork in a fresh, accessible new translation by Peter Hainsworth. It includes such celebrated, thought-provoking tales as 'Isabella and the Pot of Basil' (famously adapted by Keats) and 'Patient Griselda' alongside many boisterous and daring stories featuring faithless wives, philandering priests and curious nuns.
Boccaccio was born in Florence in 1313. He later moved to Naples, where he became part of the circle at court and started writing books. In 1348, he witnessed the plague in Florence, which killed half the city's population and would become the backdrop to his masterpiece,The Decameron. In later life he befriended the poet Petrarch, who left to him in his will an ermine robe to keep him warm when studying on winter nights. Boccaccio died in 1375. Peter Hainsworth is Professor of Italian at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford and co-editor of The Oxford Companion to Italian Literature.