Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I reviewed the 2018 holiday special of Call the Midwife. Tina reviewed Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a prequel to the Harry Potter series. Gaele reviewed The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson. Jean reviewed Jim at the Corner by Eleanor Farjeon. Becky reviewed the book 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff.
I read The Canterbury Tales in high school. Do you know that some of them are pretty raunchy? Really, rather shocking to this small town girl.
At the same time, I got a kick out of getting away with something. For weeks, I carried that book around the school because it was a classic. I even got praised by adults who had no idea what was actually in it. A more modern book with the same themes would have been met with disapproval or an outright ban.
That was a long time ago. I thought that all I remembered was The Wife of Bath’s tale (which I’ve re-read once or twice) and a couple of the raunchy bits. It turns out there were a few more memories that lurked in my brain.
The Archers, the world’s longest running soap opera, is about the rural community centered around the fictional village of Ambridge. They put on a show every year around Christmas time.
This year, that show was a retelling of eight of The Canterbury Tales. The entire show was broadcast in two one-hour radio specials. I remembered the dilemmas in The Franklin’s Tale and the puzzle of The Knight’s Tale just before it was revealed.
There are inside jokes for long-time listeners, like me, but I think people will enjoy this as a radio performance even if you aren’t familiar with The Archers characters.