Creating A Modern Version of The Decameron

Written by Rebecca Larson

Let’s do like they did in the 14th century during the outbreak of the Black Death. As some of you are self-quarantining, or self-isolating, let’s use the inspiration of Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio who compiled:

100 tales told by a group of seven young women and three young men sheltering in a secluded villa just outside Florence to escape the Black Death, which was afflicting the city. Boccaccio probably conceived of The Decameron after the epidemic of 1348, and completed it by 1353. The various tales of love in The Decameron range from the erotic to the tragic. Tales of wit, practical jokes, and life lessons contribute to the mosaic. In addition to its literary value and widespread influence (for example on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales), it provides a document of life at the time.  (“Giovanni Boccaccio: The Decameron.”Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 18 December 2013.)

I’d love to keep my mind busy with historical ideas instead of worry…so, let’s compile our own version of The Decameron! If you have ideas of something you’d like to contribute, please know that this will (at minimum) be published online, and that this will be a volunteer, unpaid project. Your name will remain attached to it, however it will become the property of Some have asked if they still have right to their own work, the answer is yes – you are just giving me permission to do with it what I like, even turning it into an ebook or print version if I so choose to. If that happens, your name will still be attached to it but you will not be paid any royalties – it would be too difficult to figure that out with so many contributors. This is an opportunity to become published.

If this is something you might be interested in, please message me using the form below.

I will be accepting the following (must be Tudor-ish):

Short stories
Word Search
Crossword Puzzles
Taking suggestions as well…

Here is an excerpt from the book to give you an idea of it, if you are unfamiliar:

Taken from the public domain digital copy of The Decameron

In The Decameron, they had each day laid out – I’d like to try and duplicate that as well. Here is what The Decameron had as the topic for each day, I’d love to see things similar to this but NOT limited to:

Day One: Subjects Freely chosen

Day Two: Stories about those who attain a state of unexpected happiness after a period of misfortune

Day Three: Stories about people who have attained difficult goals or who have recovered something previously lost.

Day Four: Introduction: The narrator defends himself from the criticism that greeted the stories of the first three days of storytelling

Day Five: Love stories which end happily after a period of misfortune

Day Six: Stories about how intelligence helps to avoid danger, ridicule, or discomfort

Day Seven: Stories about tricks played by wives on their husbands

Day Eight: Stories about tricks played by both men and women on each other

Day Nine: Subjects freely chosen

Day Ten: Stories about those who have performed generous deeds and who have acquired fame in so doing

Have an idea you’d like to contribute? Fill out this form and give me some details of what you have in mind!