The Canterbury Tales

Chaucer, Geoffrey (c.1343–1400), modernised by Kline, A. S. (contact-email)

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The Canterbury Tales, composed by Geoffrey Chaucer in Middle English, comprises narratives exchanged among pilgrims en route from London to Canterbury. Drawing inspiration from Boccaccio’s Decameron, the collection serves as a societal microcosm, reflecting both secular and religious facets of Chaucer’s era. The pilgrimage itself is secondary to the stories, which are Chaucer’s primary focus. Catering to an educated, courtly readership, the tales are rich in character and humour. While they display limited engagement with religious themes, they emphasise the diversity of human experiences. Chaucer’s work had a lasting impact on English literature, laying a foundation for later authors through its social inclusivity, attention to everyday life, and incorporation of European cultural elements.

Author Details

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Kline, A. S.

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