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Burton Raffel

Burton Raffel is a translator, poet, and scholar whose major translations include The Canterbury Tales, Beowulf, Don Quijote, The Red and the Black, and Gargantua and Pantagruel. He has also annotated several Shakespeare plays for Yale University Press. He was the Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Arts and Humanities and emeritus professor of English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette until 2003. He lives in Louisiana.


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Written by Anonymous, Afterword by Roberta Frank, Translated by Burton Raffel, Introduction by Burton Raffel
Signet | Paperback | June 2008
$4.95/5.50(Canada) | 978-0-451-53096-7 (0-451-53096-9)

Before there was Game of Thrones, there was Beowulf...
Beowulf is one of the earliest extant poems in a modern European language, composed in England before the Norman Conquest. As a social document this great epic poem is invaluable—reflecting a feudal world of heroes...

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The Song of the Cid
Written by Anonymous, Translated by Burton Raffel, Introduction by Maria Rosa Menocal
Penguin Classics | Trade Paperback | March 2009
$18.00/24.00(Canada) | 978-0-14-310565-7 (0-14-310565-5)

From a legendary translator: a magnificent new rendering of Spain's national epic

Venture into the heart of Islamic Spain in this vibrant, rollicking new translation of The Song of the Cid, the only surviving epic from medieval Spain. Banished from the court of King Alfonso, the noble warrior Rodrigo Diaz, know as... Read more

The Canterbury Tales
Written by Geoffrey Chaucer, Translated by Burton Raffel, Introduction by John Miles Foley
Modern Library | Trade Paperback | November 2009
$17.00/21.00(Canada) | 978-0-8129-7845-2 (0-8129-7845-5)

Beyond its importance as a literary work of unvarnished genius, Geoffrey Chaucer’s unfinished epic poem is also one of the most beloved works in the English language–and for good reason: It is lively, absorbing, perceptive, and outrageously funny. But despite the brilliance of Chaucer’s work, the continual evolution of our language... Read more

41 Stories
Written by O. Henry, Afterword by Laura Furman, Introduction by Burton Raffel
Signet | Paperback | July 2007
$6.95/7.99(Canada) | 978-0-451-53053-0 (0-451-53053-5)

The Master of Irony

Readers the world over recognize O. Henry as the best short story writer of the early twentieth century. Widely known as a master of irony, O. Henry also displays here dazzling wordplay and a wry combination of pathos and humor. Read more

The Annotated Milton
Edited by Burton Raffel
Bantam Classics | Paperback | September 1999
$6.95/7.95(Canada) | 978-0-553-58110-2 (0-553-58110-4)

Affordable, compact, and authoritative, this one-volume edition of The Annotated Milton encompasses the monumental sweep of John Milton’s poetry. Here are Milton’ s early works, including his first great poem, “On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity,” the light and lyrical “L’Allegro” and “Il Penseroso,” the masque Comus, and the lushly beautiful... Read more

How to Read a Poem
Written by Burton Raffel
Plume | Trade Paperback | April 1984
$16.00/18.50(Canada) | 978-0-452-01033-8 (0-452-01033-0)

An introductory text that is both an anthology of over 200 poems and a comprehensive exploration of the form. Over 100 poets featured; those most widely represented include Blake, Byron, cummings, Dickinson, Donne, Alan Dugan, Frost, Louise Gluck, George Herbert, Keats, Pope, Pound, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, and Yeats. Read more

Pure Pagan
Translated by Burton Raffel, Introduction by Guy Davenport
Modern Library | Trade Paperback | October 2005
$11.95/16.95(Canada) | 978-0-8129-6962-7 (0-8129-6962-6)

“For there is indeed something we can call the spirit of ancient Greece–a carefully tuned voice that speaks out of the grave with astonishing clarity and grace , a distinctive voice that, taken as a whole, is like no other voice that has ever sung on this earth.”
BURTON RAFFEL, from his... Read more

The Signet Classic Book of American Short Stories
Edited by Burton Raffel
Signet | Paperback | November 2004
$7.99/9.99(Canada) | 978-0-451-52963-3 (0-451-52963-4)

The best of American short fiction

Spanning over 100 years of literary history, here are 33 of the finest short stories by Washington Irving * Nathaniel Hawthorne * Edgar Allan Poe * Herman Melville * Harriet Beecher Stowe * Bret Harte * Bayard Taylor * Rose Terry Cooke * Ambrose Bierce *...

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Preface by Burton Raffel, Afterword by Neil D. Isaacs, Translated by Burton Raffel, Introduction by Brenda Webster
Signet | Paperback | February 2009
$6.95/7.50(Canada) | 978-0-451-53119-3 (0-451-53119-1)

The epic poem of honor and bravery

Written by an anonymous fourteenth-century poet, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is recognized as an equal to Chaucer’s masterworks and to the great Old English poems, Beowulf included. A green-skinned knight offers the Knights of the Round Table a simple but deadly challenge—a... Read more

The Red and the Black
Written by Stendhal, Translated by Burton Raffel, Introduction by Diane Johnson
Modern Library | Trade Paperback | May 2004
$14.00/19.00(Canada) | 978-0-8129-7207-8 (0-8129-7207-4)

A Major New Translation

The Red and the Black, Stendhal’s masterpiece, is the story of Julien Sorel, a young dreamer from the provinces, fueled by Napoleonic ideals, whose desire to make his fortune sets in motion events both mesmerizing and tragic. Sorel’s quest to find himself, and the doomed love he encounters... Read more