Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales

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Chaucer is now best known for

The Canterbury Tales

, a collection of twenty-four tales (22 in verse, 2 in prose) told within the framework of a group of pilgrims telling stories as they travel on pilgrimage from Southwark (across the Thames from London) to Canterbury. The setting is fictional, but presented in the famous General Prologue as fact, with Chaucer including himself among the apparently random collection of thirty people assembled one April day, in the Tabard Inn, preparing for their journey to St Thomas à Beckett's shrine in Canterbury. In choosing a pilgrimage as his framing device, Chaucer was not only using a familiar and fairly popular kind of journey, but also one for which people did combine with strangers into ad hoc travelling companies, for their greater safety.…

2788 words

Citation: Rudd, Gillian. "The Canterbury Tales". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 June 2002 [, accessed 15 June 2024.]

1340 The Canterbury Tales 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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