18 Facts About Canterbury Tales


Canterbury Tales is a collection of twenty-four stories that runs to over 17,000 lines written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer between 1387 and 1400.

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The tales are presented as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together from London to Canterbury to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral.

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Canterbury Tales is generally thought to have been incomplete at the end of Chaucer's life.

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Question of whether The Canterbury Tales is a finished work has not been answered to date.

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The Canterbury Tales vary in both minor and major ways from manuscript to manuscript; many of the minor variations are due to copyists' errors, while it is suggested that in other cases Chaucer both added to his work and revised it as it was being copied and possibly as it was being distributed.

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The first version of The Canterbury Tales to be published in print was William Caxton's 1476 edition.

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Canterbury Tales contains more parallels to the Decameron, by Giovanni Boccaccio, than any other work.

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Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories built around a frame tale, a common and already long established genre in this period.

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Canterbury Tales's writing of the story seems focused primarily on the stories being told, and not on the pilgrimage itself.

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The Canterbury Tales is among the first English literary works to mention paper, a relatively new invention that allowed dissemination of the written word never before seen in England.

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Canterbury Tales reflect diverse views of the Church in Chaucer's England.

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Several characters in the Tales are religious figures, and the very setting of the pilgrimage to Canterbury is religious, making religion a significant theme of the work.

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The ultimate pilgrimage destination was Jerusalem, but within England Canterbury Tales was a popular destination.

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Saint Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury Tales, had been murdered in Canterbury Tales Cathedral by knights of Henry II during a disagreement between Church and Crown.

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Canterbury Tales is referred to as a noble translator and poet by Eustache Deschamps and by his contemporary John Gower.

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John Lydgate and Thomas Occleve were among the first critics of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, praising the poet as the greatest English poet of all time and the first to show what the language was truly capable of poetically.

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Incompleteness of the Canterbury Tales led several medieval authors to write additions and supplements to the tales to make them more complete.

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Canterbury Tales is then aided by a local man in getting his revenge.

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