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Wordsworth, 1995 - Poetry - 632 pages
A group of pilgrims bound for Canterbury Cathedral agree to pass the weary miles by taking turns at storytelling - thus begins English literature's greatest collection of chivalric romances, bawdy tales, fables, legends, and other stories.& & Translation into modern English verse by J. U. Nicholson.

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Contents

The Prologue
1
The Knightes Tale
23
The Milleres Tale
80
The Reves Tale
100
The Cokes Tale
113
The Shipmannes Tale
148
The Prioresses Tale
160
Sir Thopas
168
The Tale of the Wyf of Bathe
291
The Freres Tale
324
The Somnours Tale
335
The Clerkes Tale
352
The Marchantes Tale
386
The Squieres Tale
418
The Frankeleyns Tale
437
The Seconde Nonnes Tale
461

The Tale of Melibeus
175
The Monkes Tale
222
The Nonne Preestes Tale
247
The Phisiciens Tale
265
The Pardoners Tale
274
The Chanouns Yemannes Tale
477
The Maunciples Tale
502
Note on Language and Metre
597
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Geoffrey Chaucer, one of England's greatest poets, was born in London about 1340, the son of a wine merchant and deputy to the king's butler and his wife Agnes. Not much is known of Chaucer's early life and education, other than he learned to read French, Latin, and Italian. His experiences as a civil servant and diplomat are said to have developed his fascination with people and his knowledge of English life. In 1359-1360 Chaucer traveled with King Edward III's army to France during the Hundred Years' War and was captured in Ardennes. He returned to England after the Treaty of Bretigny when the King paid his ransom. In 1366 he married Philippa Roet, one of Queen Philippa's ladies, who gave him two sons and two daughters. Chaucer remained in royal service traveling to Flanders, Italy, and Spain. These travels would all have a great influence on his work. His early writing was influenced by the French tradition of courtly love poetry, and his later work by the Italians, especially Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch. Chaucer wrote in Middle English, the form of English used from 1100 to about 1485. He is given the designation of the first English poet to use rhymed couplets in iambic pentameter and to compose successfully in the vernacular. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is a collection of humorous, bawdy, and poignant stories told by a group of fictional pilgrims traveling to the shrine of St. Thomas a Becket. It is considered to be among the masterpieces of literature. His works also include The Book of the Duchess, inspired by the death of John Gaunt's first wife; House of Fame, The Parliament of Fowls, and The Legend of Good Women. Troilus and Criseyde, adapted from a love story by Boccaccio, is one of his greatest poems apart from The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer died in London on October 25, 1400. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, in what is now called Poet's Corner.

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