Unediting the Teaching Text | The Canterbury Tales
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THE CANTERBURY

TALES

Sentence and Solaas

Introduction

Chaucer wrote his famous Canterbury Tales in the last decades of the 14th Century. Composed in rhymed Middle English couplets, Chaucer revels in giving voice to an improbable assemblage of characters, brought together by circumstance as they go on pilgrimage from London to Canterbury on a fine spring day. Ranging from the exaggeratedly pious to the delightfully profane, from the authentically humble to the troublingly corrupt, the Canterbury pilgrims tell stories to one another as they travel. Through their tales, Chaucer offers his audience both “sentence” and “solaas” – wisdom and pleasure.

Editions

There are six versions of The Canterbury Tales showcased on this site: “The Hengwrt Chaucer,” “The Ellesmere Chaucer,” Caxton’s Canterbury Tales (1476), Workes (1532), Workes (1550), and the Kelmscott Chaucer (1896).

 

Click on the images or titles below to launch the digital exhibit.

 

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