Late 14th‐cent. unfinished masterpiece by Chaucer. The General Prologue presents portraits of diverse pilgrims congregated at the Tabard inn (Southwark), including a battle‐worn Knight, sweetly pretentious Prioress, and emaciated scholar‐Clerk. They lighten the journey to Thomas Becket's shrine at Canterbury by exchanging twenty‐four tales, which range from high romance set in ancient Greece (Knight) to low comedy in contemporary England (Miller, Reeve).
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Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343—1400) poet and administrator