The stories have been chosen to represent the most notable of the author's themes and the most characteristic and influential examples of his narrative technique. All are in new translations by Mark Musa and Peter Bondanella which successfully capture Boccaccio's variations in diction and sentence structure. "Contemporary Reactions" includes Petrarch's letters to Boccaccio after completion of The Decameron and the responses of such Italian Renaissance figures as Leonardo Bruni, Filippo Villani, Giannozzo Manetti, and Ludovico Dolce, all of which have been translated for this edition. "Modern Criticism" includes interpretations by Ugo Foscolo, Francesco De Sanctis, Erich Auerbach, Aldo D. Scaglione, Wayne Booth, Tzvetan Todorov, Robert J. Clements, and Marga Cottino-Jones. Thomas G. Bergin's important historical overview is published here for the first time, while Ben Lawton's study of Pier Paolo Pasolini's filming of The Decameron and a general essay by the editors were written specially for this volume.