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I think that it is time I write a book blog post (BBP).

Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400) is much famous for his timeless work, The Canterbury Tales. If you had taken a literature class, it is very probable that this literary piece was discussed.

Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales (written probably around 1386) is a collection of stories told by pilgrims on their journey towards Canterbury (The Canterbury Cathedral is where St. Thomas a Becket was murdered in 1170). The protagonist, who is one of the pilgrims as well, meets 29 other pilgrims* at the Tabard Inn in Southwark, England.

* Knight, Squire (the Knight’s son), Yeoman (the Knight’s servant), Prioress, another Nun, Three Priests, Monk, Friar, Merchant, Clerk of Oxford, Sergeant of Law, Franklin, Haberdasher/Carpenter, Weaver, Dyer, Tapestry Maker, Cook, Shipman, Doctor of Medicine, Wife from Bath, Parson, Plowman, Reeve, Miller, Summoner, Pardoner of Rouncivalle and Manciple.

the canterbury tales

The owner of the inn, not wanting the party to ride “along the way dumb as a stone”, suggested that each one of the pilgrims tell two tales each- one on the way to Canterbury and one when they go back home. The most amusing storyteller will win “a supper at the cost of all”.

However, not everyone was able to tell their tale. Only the knight (who had the longest story), miller, the wife of Bath, merchant, franklin, pardoner, prioress, and one of the priests were able to do so in the book- plus a prologue. Their stories mostly involved romance, humor and life lessons.

But it is written in the Introduction, that Chaucer got to write 22 tales, the general prologue and two unfinished stories.

My favorite line is from the Wife of Bath:

the canterbury tales_p237When you get to read a copy published by Bantam Books (1981 edition), it is in page 237. It is as follows:

Poverty will often, when a man is low,make him know his God and himself as well.
Poverty is a glass, it seems to me,
through which he can see his true friends.

the canterbury tales2It is a wonderful read, especially when you want to brush up on your Classic English Literature list. The stories, although written poetically, are witty, romantic and amusing. You would not be bored with several different genres and tales to look forward to.

La vie est belle,

Freine ♛