The 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. The tales (mostly written in verse, although some are in prose) 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. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return. It has been suggested that the greatest contribution of The Canterbury Tales to English literature was the popularization of the English vernacular in mainstream literature, as opposed to French, Italian or Latin. English had, however, been used as a literary language centuries before Chaucer's time, and several of Chaucer's contemporaries—John Gower, William Langland, and Julian of Norwich also wrote major literary works in English. (Wikipedia)


Geoffrey Chaucer,

The Canterbury Tales: A Selection (Penguin Classics),

Colin Wilcockson,

Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (July 28, 2009),

ISBN 978-0140424454