Chaucer Goes Online with "Canterbury Tales"
Poet Geoffrey Chaucer has made a pilgrimage to the Internet after
the British Library published on its website the entire first two editions of his 14th
century classic, "The Canterbury Tales"
The digitisation of the work, a collection of 24 stories written in Middle English and told
by pilgrims on their way to Canterbury Cathedral, coincides with the anniversary of
Chaucer's death on October 25, 1400.
"The Canterbury Tales" has been a bestseller and one of the most loved books in the
English language since it was first printed by William Caxton in the 1470s.
"With these digital copies users can explore (Caxton's) early editions in their entirety
and study not only the text but the development of printing techniques and illustration,"
British Library spokeswoman Kristian Jensen said.
Told by pilgrims from all layers of society travelling to the shrine of the murdered Saint
Thomas a Becket, the tales, written between 1387 and 1400, range from the romantic
to the bawdy and are marked by timeless insights into human nature.