Bawdier than The Canterbury Tales, The Fabliaux is the first major English translation of the most scandalous and irreverent poetry in Western literature.
Composed between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, these virtually unknown erotic and satiric poems lie at the root of the Western comic tradition. Passed down by the anticlerical middle classes of medieval France, The Fabliaux
depicts priapic priests, randy wives, and their cuckolded husbands in tales that are shocking even by today’s standards. Chaucer and Boccaccio borrowed heavily from these riotous tales, which were the wit of the common man rebelling against the aristocracy and Church in matters of food, money, and sex. Containing 69 poems with a parallel Old French text, The Fabliaux
comes to life in a way that has never been done in nearly eight hundred years.