In the summer of 1348, as the Black Death ravages their city, ten young Florentines take refuge in the countryside. Taken from the Greek, meaning 'ten-day event', Boccaccio's Decameron sees his characters amuse themselves by each telling a story a day, for the ten days of their confinement - a hundred stories of love and adventure, life and death, and surprising twists of fate. Less preoccupied with abstract concepts of morality or religion than earthly values, the tales range from the bawdy Peronella, hiding her lover in a tub, to Ser Cepperallo, who, despite his unholy effrontery, becomes a Saint. The result is a towering monument of European literature and a masterpiece of imaginative narrative.
This is the second edition of G.H. McWilliam's acclaimed translation of the Decameron. In his introduction McWilliam illuminates the worlds of Boccaccio and of his storytellers, showing Boccaccio as a master of vivid and exciting prose fiction.