The Reverdye: 1st 18 lines of Canterbury Tales

Has your teacher or professor asked you to memorize the Reverdye (first 18 lines) of the Canterbury Tales? Perhaps you just want to hear what the original Middle English sounds like? Then check out my latest video series! Here is my recitation:

Here is my video that walks you through the pronunciation of each word:

And here is my video that helps you to memorize the Reverdye:

I’m certainly no expert, but when my sophomore lit professor made us memorize it, I spent quite a bit of time with the book’s pronunciation guide, laboriously sounding out each word as correctly as I could. Later, when I took a Chaucer class in graduate school, we were required to read aloud in Middle English again, and this time I cozied up to a number of internet resources to hone my pronunciation. Call me a nerd, but I just think it’s fun.  🙂  An expert would find plenty to fault in my performance, but I’d say it’s plenty good for the amateur just trying to do the thing right.

Here are some additional resources you might find helpful:

Middle English pronunciation

The Pronunciation of Chaucer’s Middle English by John Gardner

Other course materials from the professor who posted the Gardner excerpt

Chaucer’s Pronunciation, Grammar, and Vocabulary from

Leave a comment if these videos have helped you or if you have any questions!

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