Read The Great Books

A Curated Guide for Autodidacts

The Decameron

by Giovanni Boccaccio

The Decameron written by Giovanni Boccaccio, is a foundational piece of literature for its wide range and style.

Spanning a large section of novellas, much like Canterbury Tales, this work incudes various narratives. The tales vary from tragedy to the more comedic, including tales of love and eroticism. Boccaccio’s wit and interesting narrative voice make it a must read for those interested in narrative tales.

There’s one version of this book that holds it own when compared to the others. As with a lot of classical texts Penguin Classic takes the lead. It uses G.H. McWilliams’ amazing translation and views of the story to discuss the importance of Boccaccio’s work. Now in it’s second edition for greater emphasis on making sure to establish the text with modern thought.