The Decameron or Ten Days’ Entertainment of Boccaccio – also sometimes subtitled Prince Gehaut and often named I’Umana Commedia is a collection of short stories by Giovanni Boccaccio. The stories are told within a frame story, much as One Thousand and One Nights. a group of young people has escaped the black death and are now waiting in a remote villa outside Florence where they usually live. To pass the time, they tell stories. 100 stories in all about love, jokes, nature, society, and relationships and much more. Many of the stories are folk tales or stories Boccaccio took from other authors and twisted to fit his within his frame. Some stories he combined and elsewhere he takes only parts of other stories. What is interesting is that The Decameron was finished in 1353 and as such gives us a very early and unique literary perspective from a time when Marco Polo had just returned and Christopher Columbus wasn’t even born yet.
Download The Decameron here as a free PDF e-book, large file (587 pages/54 Mb):