HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Full wise is he that can himselven knowe.' Written at the end of the fourteenth century, the poet Geoffrey Chaucer
's The Canterbury Tales are a collection of stories told in Middle-English. Thirty pilgrims leave Southwark to travel to a shrine in Canterbury and become the narrators, telling each other stories of chivalrous romance, fable, parable, debate and comedy as they journey. Their accounts of the human condition remain as resonant today as when they were first written.
, considered by many to be both the father of modern English poetry and the father of the modern English novel (for Troilus and Criseyde), also distinguished himself in his lifetime as a civil servant and diplomat under three kings of England. When he was taken prisoner by the French, the King himself contributed to his ransom. When, in later years, the King wished to reward Chaucer for his services to the crown, he was granted — among other favors — the right to demand a daily jug of wine from the pantry of the royal butler. Toward the end of his career, he became a knight o