The late Terry Jones was best known as one of the founders of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, and as one of its actors and director. But a lesser-known fact about him is that he was a medievalist with two books on Geoffrey Chaucer and his Canterbury Tales. Actually, one of his last works was cooperating with the University of Saskatchewan and University College of London in creating an app that transformed Chaucer’s literary classic into an app.
University of Saskatchewan (USask) English professor Peter Robinson, leader of the project said that “We want the public, not just academics, to see the manuscript as Chaucer would have likely thought of it—as a performance that mixed drama and humor.”
As the British daily Telegraph explains, “while listening to the reading, users have access to a modern translation, explanatory notes and a vocabulary explaining Middle English words used by Chaucer, as well as a digitized version of the original 14th Century manuscript.” Terry Jones did the translation of the text into modern language and it was his last academic project.
The app features a 45-minute audio performance of the General Prologue of the Tales “along with the digitized original manuscript. While listening to the reading, users have access to supporting content such as a translation in modern English, commentary, notes, and vocabulary explaining Middle English words used by Chaucer.”