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This fascinating fourteenth-century text is as complex as it is misunderstood. The premise is simple enough: the author creates a fictional set-up where, over ten days, seven female and three male characters who are cooped up in a country estate tell one another a total of 100 stories. The title, "The Decameron," literally means "ten day's work."

But this framing technique of ten narrators is hardly the point. The star of this work are the tales told by these sequestered characters. These 100 stories are chillingly sneaky in how they will mess with your mind. At first the tales will appear shocking, overtly sexual, or even knee-slappingly funny. (Think "Monty Python.") But in fact, like Aesop, the great Italian prose author Boccaccio tucks an ambiguous, gnawing moral into each tale. You will laugh at first, and then the bittersweet truth of each story's lesson will zap you.

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This fascinating fourteenth-century text is as complex as it is misunderstood. The premise is simple enough: the author creates a fictional set-up where, over ten days, seven female and three male characters who are cooped up in a country estate tell one another a total of 100 stories. The title, "The Decameron," literally means "ten day's work."

But this framing technique of ten narrators is hardly the point. The star of this work are the tales told by these sequestered characters. These 100 stories are chillingly sneaky in how they will mess with your mind. At first the tales will appear shocking, overtly sexual, or even knee-slappingly funny. (Think "Monty Python.") But in fact, like Aesop, the great Italian prose author Boccaccio tucks an ambiguous, gnawing moral into each tale. You will laugh at first, and then the bittersweet truth of each story's lesson will zap you. More...

 
    Boccaccio, Italian Author and Poet
  Boccaccio, Italian Author and Poet
Giovanni Boccaccio was an Italian writer, poet, correspondent of Petrarch, and an important Renaissance humanist. Boccaccio wrote a number of notable works, including The Decameron and On Famous Women. He wrote his imaginative literature mostly in th...
 
    The Black Death in Europe
  The Black Death in Europe
Coming out of the East, the Black Death reached the shores of Italy in the spring of 1348 unleashing a rampage of death across Europe unprecedented in recorded history. By the time the epidemic played itself out three years later, anywhere between 25...
 
       
 
         
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