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Home > Learning > Language & Literature > English Timeline > Accessiptcouncil.nete version > Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
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The Canterbury Tales is just one of the best loved functions in the history of English literature. Written in center English, the story complies with a group of pilgrims who are travelling the lengthy journey from London come Canterbury Cathedral. Setup off indigenous a London inn, the innkeeper suggests that throughout the journey each pilgrim need to tell two tales to help pass the time. The best storyteller, the says, will certainly be rewarded with a totally free supper top top his return.

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Chaucer introduces us to a vivid actors of characters, including a carpenter, a cook, a knight, a monk, a prioress, a haberdasher, a dyer, a clerk, a seller and a very bawdy miller. These characters come from every corners that 14th century society, and also give Chaucer the possibility to speak in many different voices. Several of the characters" tales are humorous, rude and naughty, while others are moral and reflective.

 

One that the factors Chaucer is so crucial is the he make the decision to write in English and also not French. In the centuries following the Norman invasion, French to be the language talked by those in power. The Canterbury Tales was one of the very first major works in literature written in English. Chaucer started the story in 1387 and also continued until his fatality in 1400. No text in his own hand tho exists, yet a surprising number of copies survive from the 1500s - more than 80. This argues the story were enormously well-known in medieval England. This early and handsomely ornamented manuscript copy, native c.1450, was made in ~ a generation the Chaucer"s death.

 

Shelfmark: Harley ms 1758, f.1.

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Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales

Original text:

 

Prologue

 

Ere begynneth the book of tales of Canterburye compiled by Geffraie Chaucer that Brytayne chief poete.