During the middle ages, a common fund of comic tales circulated throughout Europe. Writers such as Boccaccio, Chaucer, Rabelais and Cervantes drew on this material, and used it for their own purposes, but the brilliant medieval versions also deserve to be known in their own right. They are of great cultural interest and considerable entertainment value, varying from humour to farce, from sophisticated literary parody to blunt crudeness. Piety jostles blasphemy, and sex and death are everywhere good for a joke. The tales presented here, translated into clear modern English by experts in their fields, are from French, Spanish, Dutch, German, medieval Latin, Italian and English. . Scholars and students and the general reader alike will find the book accessible, useful and enjoyable. The late DEREK BREWER was Professor Emeritus of English Literature, University of Cambridge.