The narrative, written in Middle English, follows a group of pilgrims on their arduous trip from London to Canterbury Cathedral. The Canterbury Tales were one of the first significant works of English literature. Chaucer started writing the stories in 1387 and continued until his death in 1400. They were first published in 1465 by John Leland.
Chaucer's original title for the collection of tales was "The Boke of Chycherye". It was changed when William Caxton published an edition in 1477. He called it "The Canterbury Tales", probably thinking it would attract more readers by mentioning the famous pilgrimage route. However, today it is generally accepted that the author of the poems is Thomas Chaucer (1340-1400), not Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1345-1400).
Geoffrey Chaucer was the father of Thomas Chaucer and lived about fifteen years after him. He was born in London around 1340 and died in London around 1405. He was educated at Oxford University and became a lawyer like his father before turning to poetry. His works include moral essays, religious poems, and fiction. He is most known today for his collection of forty-four sonnets which some consider to be the first work of modern love poetry.
Thomas Chaucer married Agnes Turberville in 1367 and had three children: Mary, Alice, and Joan.
1387 The Canterbury Tales were one of the first significant works of English literature. He was only 49 years old.
Chaucer's father was a wealthy landowner who served as an adviser to King Richard II. When the king became incapacitated due to illness, Chaucer's father helped lead negotiations with Henry IV who had become the new king. In return for being appointed justice constable, Chaucer's father was allowed to keep his position. However, when the king recovered, Chaucer's father was not made justice constable because he had played a role in the deposition of the previous ruler. The family fell into poverty after this incident.
Chaucer wrote several other books including Troilus and Criseyde, which was unfinished at the time of his death.
He spent his last years working on the tales for The Canterbury Tales without success trying to find new employment.
He died at the age of 50 in 1400.
Mainly due to The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer is considered to be the father of modern-day English literature.
Chaucer's masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales, was written at the pinnacle of his lyrical ability. From story to story, the work is satiric, sad, ribald, and funny. It also marks a major advance in English prose fiction: through the use of irony, character analysis, and metaphorical language, it transforms the traditional oral medium into a significant literary form.
Canterbury Tales first appeared in 1386 in the form of forty-one separate poems or tales. Most are humorous, some are tragic, but all deal with ordinary people going on an adventure (or pilgrimage) to seek salvation by traveling together across England. The original title was Alle Lecestre, which means "The All Red". This refers to the fact that each poem or tale has been attributed to one of the pilgrims - except for the General Prologue, which was apparently written by Chaucer himself.
It is estimated that it took Chaucer about three years to complete The Canterbury Tales. The first version was probably not published until 1386, when it was included in a collection called The Franklin's Prologue. This edition had illustrations by John Wycliffe, who later became Archbishop of London.
In total, there are over 70 manuscripts of The Canterbury Tales dating back to the 14th century.
Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales are without a doubt his masterwork. It is one of the most well-known pieces in literature. It focuses on his time in England. Chaucer is frequently referred to be the "Father of Modern English Poetry." He introduced many words and phrases that we still use today, such as "metaphor" and "trope."
Canterbury Tales was first published in 1380. It consists of thirty-three poems or tales. Each one tells a different story but all deal with the pilgrimage to Jerusalem for salvation. The poems were originally written in English but some now used archaic language instead.