Geoffrey Chaucer: The Nun's Priest's Tale

(2035 words)
  • Helen Cooper (University of Cambridge)

The Nuns’s Priest’s Tale is the concluding tale of the largest fragment in the Canterbury Tales, fragment VII (2821-3446; B2 4011-4636 in the old “Chaucer Society” numbering still found, with no manuscript authority, in some editions). The “fragments” of the Tales are made up of stories connected by linking passages that can be firmly ascribed to Chaucer; later scribes or editors sometimes furnished further linking passages of their own, so making non-authentic further connections between tales. The links are normally given editorial headings as prologues to the next tale though they may well serve more as epilogues to the previous story. The Nun’s Priest’s Tale is unusual in that …

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Cooper, Helen. "The Nun's Priest's Tale". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 October 2008
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]