Web Resources by Tale
Canterbury Tales Home Page
Fragment I / Group A
The General Prologue
The Knight's Tale
The Miller's Prologue &
The Reeve's Prologue & Tale
The Cook's Prologue & Tale
Fragment II / Group B1
The Man of Law's
Introduction, Prologue, Tale, & Epilogue
Fragment III /
The Wife of Bath's
Prologue & Tale
The Friar's Prologue & Tale
The Summoner's Prologue
Fragment IV /
Clerk's Prologue & Tale
The Merchant's Prologue,
Tale, & Epilogue
Fragment V / Group F
Squire's Introduction & Tale
The Franklin's Prologue
Fragment VI /
The Physician's Tale
The Pardoner's Introduction,
Prologue, & Tale
Fragment VII /
The Shipman's Tale
The Prioress's Prologue
The Prologue & Tale
of Sir Thopas
The Tale of Melibee
The Monk's Prologue & Tale
The Nun's Priest's Prologue,
Tale, & Epilogue
Fragment VIII /
Second Nun's Prologue & Tale
The Canon's Yeoman's
Prologue & Tale
Fragment IX /
Prologue & Tale
Fragment X /
The Parson's Prologue
The Electronic Canterbury Tales:
Pages in The Electronic Canterbury Tales
Chaucer the Narrator -
Pilgrim and Author
Chaucer's "Orphan" Pilgrims
Frame Tale, Later Continuations,& Apocrypha
Chaucer Texts: What's Available Online?
in / and Popular Culture
& Criteria for Inclusion
The Chaucer Pedagogy Documentation Primer
The Chaucer Pedagogy Page
Need Teaching Ideas &
The Chaucer Pedagogy Page
What's Available Online?
The attentive student or reader must carefully evaluate the
usefulness of every online source, especially when dealing with Chaucer's primary texts in
Middle English and their translations.
1. On the Suitability of Online Texts for Research
In general, since the current academic standard text of
Chaucer's works, The Riverside Chaucer (gen. ed. Larry D. Benson [Boston:
Houghton-Mifflin, 1987]), is not widely available online (except for those schools that
have purchased a site license), anyone using these online versions need to be aware that
they are derived from older critical texts.
That is, most online texts are the editorial reconstructions of earlier
generations of scholars. Robinson's 1957 and Skeat's 1898-1900
editions both have academic credibility, though newer editions are
available in print. Unattributed or undocumented online
editions should be avoided for anything but casual reading.
2. On the Usability of Online Versions &
Translations for Reading
However, these online versions can serve as starting points
for serious reading of Chaucer's texts for those who cannot access The Riverside
- For those coming to Chaucer for the first time,
Library Foundation and Librarius
editions of the Canterbury Tales are (1) translated, (2) helpfully glossed
(that is, the Middle English terms are defined), (3) and available in
The University of Virginia and University of
Michigan Middle English editions, based on Robinson 1957, should be
suitable for undergraduate study, while graduate students
and scholars will be satisfied with the current academic standard, The
3. On Using This Page
I have compiled a listing here of all online versions of
Chaucer's texts and noted their suitability for different levels of study and reading.
If I have missed an online version, please let me know and I'll add
it to the list.
4. Contents of This Page
5. The Recommended Primary Text List
1. The Canterbury Tales in Middle English
Complete Tales in Middle English (Robinson 1957) at the UVa
E-Text Center (1320 kb) or
access the Tales individually by the Table of Contents
Complete Tales in Middle English (Robinson 1957) at the U of Michigan
Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse or access the Tales individually by
2. The Canterbury Tales in Modern English Translation
Scott Gettman's edition of the Canterbury Tales
(Electronic Literature Foundation) is accessible by individual tale & available in a
variety of formats: Middle English, Modern English, Facing Page, & Interpolated
- Glossed (frames; from unknown base text).
- Although unsuitable for formal research or college work, the
ELF is the best online version for younger readers and those unfamiliar with Middle
English. Easily navigable, and the Middle English glosses are very helpful.
Sinan Kökbugur's helpfully glossed hypertext Middle English rendition of the complete Canterbury Tales is available at the Librarius page.
- Use the Table of
Contents in the left frame to click on a specific Tale, and difficult terms and phrases
are glossed in the lower frame.
The Litrix Reading Room translation
of the Canterbury Tales features rhyming couplets.
of Canterbury Tales in Modern English (Boise State) includes the Prologue to the
Second Nun's Tale and the Second Nun's Tale
(from an unknown base text).
3. Other Online Chaucer Texts, Excluding the
Anelida and Arcite
The Boece (Chaucer's
Translation of Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy )
James J. O'Donnell's Latin
edition & commentary on the Consolatio
is available at the UVa E-Text Center.
W.V. Cooper's translation of
Consolation of Philosophy (London: J.M. Dent, 1902) is
available at the UVa E-Text Center.
The Book of the Duchess
The Legend of Good Women
The House of Fame
The Parliament of Fowles
Troilus and Criseyde
The Short Poems Attributed to Chaucer in the
The Unascribed Short Poems Taken to be
A Treatise on the Astrolabe
The Equatorie of Planets
How to Document
Print & Electronic Sources:
The Chaucer Pedagogy
for just the right edition of the Canterbury Tales?
Check out the annotated list below.
Riverside Chaucer, gen. ed. Larry D. Benson (Oxford:
Oxford UP, 1988). Paperback, £11.99
Riverside Chaucer, gen. ed. Larry D. Benson (Boston:
Houghton-Mifflin, 1987). Hardback, $68.50
for the academic standard?
The text that scholars use?
If you want to seriously investigate the works of Chaucer, this
text has all the notes, essays, bibliographies, & textual
variants to set you on your way. It's the best choice for the
serious reader, student, teacher, or researcher.
Hardback ed. is more durable;
paperback is less expensive; and both contain the same material.
you're interested in reading through a concentrated, thematically
rich segment of the Canterbury Tales, you can't do better than the
First Fragment (the General Prologue, the Knight's Tale, The
Miller's Tale, the Reeve's Tale, & the Cook's Tale).
Penguin has published a very nice edition. A great choice for
medieval survey courses.
Tales: The First Fragment, ed. Michael Alexander (New
York: Penguin, 1996).
|The Canterbury Tales: Nine Tales and the General Prologue,
ed. V.A. Kolve & Glending Olson (New York: Norton,
||If you want to
bite off a larger chunk of the Canterbury Tales, this Norton
Critical Edition can't be beaten.
This edition includes the General Prologue
and the tales of the Knight, Miller, Reeve, Cook, Wife of Bath,
Clerk, Merchant, Franklin, Pardoner, Prioress, & Nun's Priest.
Quite a menagerie!
It includes the text, sources, backgrounds, and critical essays to
help you understand the tales in Middle English. A good choice for
If you must use a translation,
the Heiatt & Heiatt is an excellent choice.
It is a "facing page"
translation, with the Middle English on one side and a Modern
translation on the other.
Give yourself or you students a
flavor of the Middle English while reading a fine translation!
||The Canterbury Tales,
ed. and trans. A. Kent Hieatt & Constance Hieatt (New York: Bantam,
|Also Available in
CD, & Large Print!
Canterbury Tales, trans. Nevill Coghill (New York: Penguin, 1989).
||Probably the most widely
known translation of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Nevill Coghill's verse
translation has introduced two generations to these classic tales. First
published in 1951.
It does not include translations of the two
long prose tales, the Tale of Melibee and the Parson's Tale.