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  Geoffrey Chaucer: The Electronic Canterbury Tales

Daniel T. Kline | U of Alaska Anchorage | Dept of English
Chaucer Pedagogy Page | Chaucer Metapage

Web Resources by Tale 

Electronic Canterbury Tales Home Page

Fragment I / Group A
The General Prologue
The Knight's Tale
The Miller's Prologue & Tale
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 / Group D
The Wife of Bath's Prologue & Tale
The Friar's Prologue & Tale
The Summoner's Prologue & Tale

Fragment IV / Group E
The Clerk's Prologue & Tale
The Merchant's Prologue, Tale, & Epilogue
Fragment V / Group F
The Squire's Introduction & Tale
The Franklin's Prologue & Tale

Fragment VI / Group C
The Physician's Tale
The Pardoner's Introduction, Prologue, & Tale

Fragment VII / Group B2
The Shipman's Tale
The Prioress's Prologue & Tale
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 / Group G
The Second Nun's Prologue & Tale
The Canon's Yeoman's Prologue & Tale

Fragment IX / Group H 
The Manciple's Prologue & Tale

Fragment X / Group I
The Parson's Prologue & Tale
The Retraction

The Electronic Canterbury Tales:
Troilus and Criseyde

Additional Pages in The Electronic Canterbury Tales

Chaucer the Narrator - Pilgrim and Author

Chaucer's "Orphan" Pilgrims

The Frame Tale, Later Continuations,& Apocrypha

Troilus and Criseyde

Electronic Chaucer Texts: What's Available Online?

Chaucer in / and Popular Culture

Headings, Organization, & Criteria for Inclusion

ECT Revision History:
What's New?

The Chaucer Pedagogy Documentation Primer

The Chaucer Pedagogy Page

Need Teaching Ideas & Resources?
The Chaucer Pedagogy Page

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Electronic Chaucer Texts:  
What's Available Online?

Caveat Browser! 

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 Chaucer.

  • For those coming to Chaucer for the first time, the Electronic 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 several formats.

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 Riverside Chaucer.

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

The 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

 The 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 the Table of Contents

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.

Skip Knox's selection 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 Canterbury Tales

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 The 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 Manuscripts

The Unascribed Short Poems Taken to be Chaucerian

A Treatise on the Astrolabe

  • Access the full text of the Astrolabe (Skeat 1872) at the U of Michigan Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse or access the Table of Contents

The Equatorie of Planets

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How to Document
Print & Electronic Sources:
The Chaucer Pedagogy
Documentation Primer



Looking for just the right edition of the Canterbury Tales?
Check out the annotated list below. 

in association with in association with
The Riverside Chaucer, gen. ed. Larry D. Benson (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1988). Paperback, £11.99 The Riverside Chaucer, gen. ed. Larry D. Benson (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1987). Hardback, $68.50
Looking 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.

If 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.
in association with The Canterbury 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, 1989). in association with
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 intermediate students.

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!

in association with The Canterbury Tales, ed. and trans. A. Kent Hieatt & Constance Hieatt (New York: Bantam, 1982).
Also Available in Audio Cassette, Audio CD, & Large Print!
The Canterbury Tales, trans. Nevill Coghill (New York: Penguin, 1989). in association with
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.

Chaucer Pedagogy | The Electronic Canterbury Tales | Chaucer Metapage

 © 1998-2005 Daniel T. Kline & The Kankedort Page All rights reserved

This page was last revised on 12.04.06.