Friday Memes and 'The Decameron'

The DecameronIt's Friday and I've survived my first actual week back at University. There is a lot of work that needs to be done but I'm enjoying all of it and I already feel like I'm learning things. It's making me a lot more productive as well, which is a good thing. But let's get it on with the memes.

This week I'm featuring a novel from my 100 Classics list which I really should've started by now. I'm talking about The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio.
The Decameron (c.1351) is an entertaining series of one hundred stories written in the wake of the Black Death. The stories are told in a country villa outside the city of Florence by ten young noble men and women who are seeking to escape the ravages of the plague. Boccaccio's skill as a dramatist is masterfully displayed in these vivid portraits of people from all stations in life, with plots that revel in a bewildering variety of human reactions.
Book Beginnings and Friday 56 are hosted respectively by Gilion over at Rose City Reader and Freda by Freda's Voice.

'Gracious Ladies, so often as I consider with my selfe, and observe respectively, how naturally you are enclined to compassion; as many times doe I acknowledge, that this present worke of mine, will (in your judgement) appeare to have but a harsh and offensive beginning, in regard of the mournfull remembrance it beareth at the verie entrance of the last Pestilentiall mortality, universally hurtfull to all that beheld it, or otherwise came to knowledge of it. But for all that, I desire it may not be so dreadfull to you, to hinder your further proceeding in reading, as if none were to looke thereon, but with sighes and teares.' p.12 (first page of narration)
I managed to find myself an old timey-version of the text, which is nice because it feels authentic but it will probably be heard to read.

'Whereto Master Guillaume suddenly replied; Do nothing but this Sir: Paint over the Portall of your Halles enterance, the lively picture of Liberality, to bid all your friends better welcome, then hitherto they have beene.' p.56
I'm thinking Guillaume hasn't been the best of hosts. I do like the advice though, it's nice and prosaic. You should always be a good host, especially to friends.

So, that is me


  1. I have read some stories about the plagues and how frightening those times were, so I am sure this will be fascinating. Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “HOUSE OF GLASS”

  2. I haven't even heard of this one - for shame! lol My Friday 56

  3. I haven't heard of this one but it sounds rather interesting. Anything that talks about the plague has the potential for lots of great things.
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. never heard of this book or author. Not sure I'd get through this, though it does sound fascinating.

    My 56 -

  5. I've not heard of this one either. I hope you enjoy it!
    Happy weekend!

  6. Hi Juli,

    You have set yourself a real challenge in choosing to read this book in the authentic Old English text!

    However, as it appears to be broken down into a series of much shorter stories, might there be the potential to dip inand out of the book, rather than read it as a whole?

    Good Luck and enjoy :)


  7. Great quotes! It sounds quite hard going with it being in old English and quite descriptive. I hope you enjoy it :)
    Have a great day,
    Amy x

  8. I probably say this too often: I need to read more classics. Reading about the plague isnt the most pleasant thing but the oldey-timey tone may spice things up a bit! :)

  9. I had to read this in college - might have even been using the same edition... long but worth it. :)

    Check out my Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings).


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