Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Date: March 2009
Duration: 30 hours 3 minutes
It is 1348, the year of the Black Death. In the dying, corrupt city of Florence, seven ladies and three gentlemen decide to escape to the hills of Fiesole, where they pass ten days telling each other stories. Reveling in an enchanted dreamworld of beauty and luxury, they take turns playing king or queen for the day, with the designated ruler naming the stipulations for that day's story. In contrast to their idyllic environment of medieval gentilesse, the stories they tell are marked by an intense, cynical realism and feature ordinary people of less privileged classes.
Boccaccio brings these stories alive with the authentic language of the different social classes and a frank, realistic handling of character. His satire often bites deep, yet he embraces evil and holiness alike with sympathy and tolerance, leaving guilty characters to condemn themselves.
Translated by John Payne