An analysis of how the social diversity of Chaucer's pilgrims, the stylistic range of their tales and the psychological richness of their interaction reflect the crisis of English society in the fourteenth century.
'Written in a lucid and elegant style, Wetherbee's book has lost nothing of its worth during the fifteen years that have elapsed since it was first published. It provides a useful and thought-provoking commentary to the Tales not only for university students or general readers but also for specialists.' Anglia
Chronology; 1. Introduction; 2. The general prologue; 3. Gentles: chivalry and the courtly world; 4. Churls: commerce and the material world; 5. Women; 6. The art and problems of tale-telling; 7. The final tales; 8. Afterword: the reception of The Canterbury Tales.