William Caxton's Canterbury Tales

Edited by Barbara Bordalejo

This edition presents a simplified version of the Research Edition published by Scholarly Digital Editions in October 2003, which may be purchased using the link on the left. It contains transcriptions and images of copies of each of Caxton’s two editions of the Canterbury Tales, held at the British Library, here identified as Caxton 1 and Caxton 2. The link 'Use this Edition' on the left takes you to the first page of Caxton 1. The images are of the Royal copy of the first edition (167.c.26, IB. 55009) and the Grenville copy of the second edition (G.11586, IB. 55094). Full descriptions of these copies are given by Dan Mosser in his Digital Catalogue of the pre-1500 Manuscripts and Incunables of the Canterbury Tales. The digitization of these both books was carried out in 2002 by a team led by Mr Masaaki Kashimura from the HUMI Project (Keio University), under the direction of Professor Toshiyuki Takamiya.

This publication contains transcriptions that were originally based on the ones produced by myself for my De Montfort University doctoral thesis, using in part the transcripts referred to in the next paragraph. These were later revised by members of the Canterbury Tales Project team to bring them to publication standard. For this version, dating from August 2012, corrections supplied by Dr Satoko Tokunaga were also introduced in the text. This version also presents a revised interface, prepared by Peter Robinson of the University of Saskatchewan.

The transcriptions of fragment VII (the Shipman’s Tale, Link 24, the Prioresse’s Tale, Link 25, the Tale of Thopas, Link 28, the Tale of Melibee, Link 29, the Monk’s Tale, link 30, the Nun’s Priest’s Tale and link 31) were initiated by the Canterbury Tales Project’s team at Brigham Young University, led by Professor Paul Thomas. The transcriptions of the Wife of Bath’s Prologue and the General Prologue are revised versions of the texts published in CD-ROM by Robinson and Solopova. Since the original publication of the transcriptions contained in this publication, two more Canterbury Tales Project CD-ROMs have become available: the Miller’s Tale on CD-ROM and the Nun’s Priest’s Tale on CD-ROM. All the transcriptions were carried out following the Canterbury Tales Project guidelines, which were published in The Wife of Bath’s Prologue on CD-ROM and the Occasional Papers II.

Barbara Bordalejo, University of Saskatchewan
August 2012

Further reading

Norman Blake and Peter Robinson, eds. The Canterbury Tales Project: Occasional Papers Volume II, Oxford: Office for Humanities Communication. 1996

Barbara Bordalejo. “The Collational Formula of Caxton’s Second Edition of the Canterbury Tales,” in ANQ; 16, 4; pp. 8-10. 2003

Barbara Bordalejo. “The Manuscript Source of Caxton's Second Edition of the Canterbury Tales and its Place in the Textual Tradition of the Tales.” PhD. De Montfort. 2002.

Barbara Bordalejo, ed. Caxton’s Canterbury Tales: The British Library Copies. Leicester: Scholarly Digital Editions. 2003.

Dan Mosser. A Digital Catalogue of the pre-1500 Manuscripts and Incunables of the Canterbury Tales. Scholarly Digital Editions, Birmingham. 2010.

Peter Robinson, ed. The Wife of Bath's Prologue on CD-ROM. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1996.

Peter Robinson, ed. The Miller’s Tale on CD-ROM. Scholarly Digital Editions: Leicester. 2003.

Elizabeth Solopova, ed. The General Prologue on CD-ROM. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2000.

Paul Thomas, ed. The Nun’s Priest’s Tale on CD-ROM. Scholarly Digital Editions: Leicester. 2006.