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Medieval and Classical Library

Geoffrey Chaucer
(c. A.D.1342-1400)

Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #25

Composed by the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, probably sometime around 1385-86.

The text of this edition is based on that published in THE COMPLETE WORKS OF GEOFFREY CHAUCER, vol. III (Ed: W.W. Skeat; 2nd Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1900). This text is in the PUBLIC DOMAIN in the United States.

This electronic edition was edited and prepared by Douglas B. Killings (DeTroyes@EnterAct.COM), November 1996. Proofreading by Diane M. Brendan (DMB10001@AOL.COM), December 1996.

[ Preparer's Note ]



The prologue of this work is extant in essentially two versions, commonly referred to as the "A-Text" and the "B-Text". The "B- Text" is generally considered Chaucer's final version, and is here incorporated into the main text. However, because the earlier "A-Text" differs substantially in many parts from the "B- Text", it has been added to this edition as an Appendix.

There are two recognized systems of line numbering for this work, and critics have long debated as to which is the more appropriate. The most common method is to number the lines from the beginning of the "B-Text" Prologue. However, some critics assign numbers from the beginning of each section. This electronic text principally follows the former convention; however, line numbers from the beginning of each section have also been added, and are indicated by PARENTHESIS (XXXX).


Bensen, Larry D. & F.N. Robinson (Ed.): "The Riverside Chaucer" (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1987). Contains original versions of the entire Geoffrey Chaucer corpus. A "must" for any student. NOTE: The paperback edition is not available in the United States, but is available in the United Kingdom and (sometimes) Canada.
Stone, Brian (Trans.): "Geoffrey Chaucer: Love Visions" (Penguin Classics, London, 1983). Contains Modern English versions of "The Book of the Duchess", "The House of Fame", "The Parliament of Fowles", and "The Legend of Good Women".
Chaucer, Geoffrey: "Troilus and Criseyde" (Trans. by Nevill Coghill; Penguin Classics, London, 1971). Modern English version.
Chaucer, Geoffrey: "The Canterbury Tales" (Trans. by Nevill Coghill; Penguin Classics, London, 1951, 1977). Modern English version.