Prof. Lumiansky of Tulane has done yeoman's service in putting Chaucer into idiomatic modern English prose. Much as we'd like to feel we could enjoy reading him in the original Middle English (The Nun's Priest's Tale is so rendered here- would you say as a warning?)- most of us look back upon that achievement as a rather painful process, not lightly repeated. And yet the magic of Chaucer survived even that, and herein luminous prose, the simple greatness of Chaucer's story telling comes through. The biographical introduction supplies the known data on Chaucer; Mark Van Doren's preface is in itself a brilliant piece of critical writing.