The Decameron

Ranked #10 in Italian, Ranked #25 in Medievalsee more rankings.

The Decameron (c.1351) is an entertaining series of one hundred stories written in the wake of the Black Death. The stories are told in a country villa outside the city of Florence by ten young noble men and women who are seeking to escape the ravages of the plague. Boccaccio's skill as a dramatist is masterfully displayed in these vivid portraits of people from all stations in life, with plots that revel in a bewildering variety of human reactions.

Translated with an Introduction and Notes by G. H. McWilliam

Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of The Decameron from the world's leading experts.

Marion Turner The Decameron specifically is a story about ten people who decide to escape the plague by going to a lovely country house with their servants. They tell stories there: ten stories a day for ten days, so there are 100 stories. The stories tend to be very, very funny. A lot of them are very rude. (Source)

Jenny Davidson The premise of the book is that a group of young noblemen and -women, people of great privilege who have been able to flee the plague-ridden city, are telling each other stories to while away their time together in the luxurious villa to which they’ve retreated. The description of the plague in the frame narrative is very vivid and quite horrifying; it sets a dark tone. (Source)

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