The Canterbury Tales – Second Edition
  • Publication Date: April 16, 2012
  • ISBN: 9781554811069 / 1554811066
  • 550 pages; 7¾" x 9¼"

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Availability: Worldwide

The Canterbury Tales – Second Edition

  • Publication Date: April 16, 2012
  • ISBN: 9781554811069 / 1554811066
  • 550 pages; 7¾" x 9¼"

The Broadview Canterbury Tales is an edition of the complete tales in a text based on the famous Ellesmere Manuscript. Here one may read a Middle English text that is closer to what Chaucer’s scribe, Adam Pinkhurst, actually wrote than that in any other modern edition. Unlike most editions, which draw on a number of manuscripts to recapture Chaucer’s original intention, this edition preserves the text as it was found in one influential manuscript. A sampling of facsimile pages from the original manuscript is also included, along with a selection of other works that give the reader a rich sense of the cultural, political, and literary worlds in which Chaucer lived.

The second edition includes a new Middle English glossary, a timeline of Chaucer’s life and times, and detailed page headers showing the fragment and line numbers to assist readers in finding a specific section of the poem.

The Canterbury Tales, second edition and Troilus and Criseyde may be packaged together for the discounted price for US & CDN $46.95 (ISBN 978-1-4881-0243-1).


“I can already tell you that this text—unlike any other Chaucer text—makes it easy for students to read and understand Chaucer. It has certainly made my job easier!” — Mary Flowers Braswell, University of Alabama at Birmingham

“This attractive, readable edition features Chaucer’s Middle English text, marginal glosses, explanatory footnotes, and illustrative facsimile pages. Especially helpful are the appended ‘background documents,’ historical and literary, which provide key contexts for the interpretation of Chaucer’s work. A useful bibliography concludes the volume. Highly recommended.” — Ann W. Astell, University of Notre Dame

“Britain’s greatest medieval poem by its greatest non-dramatic poet: this new edition will be attractive to students, scholars, and general readers alike. Facsimiles of individual leaves from the Ellesmere Manuscript have been scattered throughout the volume to give us a real sense of what it would have been like to open The Canterbury Tales for the first time in the years immediately following Chaucer’s death.” — Larry Scanlon, Rutgers University

“With its meticulously edited text, generous glosses and notes, abundant selections from relevant medieval sources, and attractive reproductions of the sumptuous pages of the Ellesmere Manuscript, the Broadview Canterbury Tales will become the obvious choice for teachers, students, and general readers alike.” — John T. Sebastian, Loyola University New Orleans

“This is the best edition of the Tales I’ve found to date.” — John Marlin, College of Saint Elizabeth



  • Chaucer’s Life and Times
    The Construction of The Canterbury Tales
    Chaucer’s English
    Chaucer’s Versification
    The Reception of Chaucer’s Poetry
    Close Reading and Interpretation
    Editorial Principles



Fragment I

  • The General Prologue
    The Knight’s Tale
    The Miller’s Prologue
    The Miller’s Tale
    The Reeve’s Prologue
    The Reeve’s Tale
    The Cook’s Prologue
    The Cook’s Tale

Fragment II

  • Introduction to the Man of Law’s Tale
    The Prologue of the Man of Law’s Tale
    The Man of Law’s Tale

Fragment III

  • The Wife of Bath’s Prologue
    The Wife of Bath’s Tale
    The Friar’s Prologue
    The Friar’s Tale
    The Summoner’s Prologue
    The Summoner’s Tale

Fragment IV

  • The Clerk’s Prologue
    The Clerk’s Tale
    The Merchant’s Prologue
    The Merchant’s Tale

Fragment V

  • The Squire’s Prologue
    The Squire’s Tale
    The Franklin’s Prologue
    The Franklin’s Tale

Fragment VI

  • The Physician’s Tale
    The Pardoner’s Prologue
    The Pardoner’s Tale

Fragment VII

  • The Shipman’s Tale
    The Prioress’s Prologue
    The Prioress’s Tale
    The Prologue to Chaucer’s Tale of Sir Thopas
    Chaucer’s Tale of Sir Thopas
    The Prologue to Chaucer’s Tale of Melibee
    Chaucer’s Tale of Melibee
    The Monk’s Prologue
    The Monk’s Tale
    The Nun’s Priest’s Prologue
    The Nun’s Priest’s Tale

Fragment VIII

  • The Second Nun’s Prologue
    The Second Nun’s Tale
    The Canon’s Yeoman’s Prologue
    The Canon’s Yeoman’s Tale

Fragment IX

  • The Manciple’s Prologue
    The Manciple’s Tale

Fragment X

  • The Parson’s Prologue
    The Parson’rsquo;s Tale
    Chaucer’s Retraction

Appendix: Background Documents

  1. Saint Jerome, Against Jovinian (400)
  2. Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy (524)
  3. William Thorpe’s Testimony on Pilgrimages (1407)
  4. Benedict of Canterbury, The Miracles of St. Thomas Becket (1170s)
  5. The Twelve Conclusions of the Lollards (1395)
  6. Jean de Meun, The Romance of the Rose (c. 1275)
    1. False Seeming
    2. The Old Woman
  7. William Langland, Piers Plowman (1360s–80s)
    1. The Fair Field of Folk
    2. The Friar
  8. Guillaume de Machaut, The Judgment of the King of Navarre (1351)
    • The Plague
  9. Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron (1353)
    1. The Black Death
    2. Patient Griselda
  10. Jean Froissart, Chronicles (1400)
    1. The Black Death, Flagellants and Jews (1349)
    2. The Campaign of 1359
    3. The Peasants’ Revolt in England (1381)
    4. The Election of Henry IV
  11. The Anonimalle Chronicle (1396–99)
    • The Rising is Suppressed
  12. A Model Indulgence (1300)
  13. Rudolph of Schlettstadt, The Host and Libels against the Jews (1303)
  14. The Remedy against the Troubles of Temptation(late fourteenth century)
    • An Exemplum about Despair
  15. The Tale of Beryn (1410–20)
    • The Pilgrims Arrive at Canterbury and Visit the Shrine


Robert Boenig is Professor of English at Texas A&M University.

Andrew Taylor is Professor of English at the University of Ottawa.