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I THE AUTHOR Id like to say a few words about the author first Chaucer was the son of prosperous upper-middle class parents fought in France acted as a courtier went on diplomatic missions abroad and eventally became Controller of Customs in London In common with all authors of his time his poetry was written for his own personal pleasure and that of a group of friends with no thought of publication which in any event was not then technically possible writing and the study of literature was merely an accepted hobby and accomplishment for those at Chaucers level of society Chaucers writing fall into three periods-the French period 1359-72 including The Boke of the Duchesse 1369 and parts of The Romaunt of the Rose 1370 the Italian period 1372-86 including The House of Fame The Parliament of Fowls Troylus and Cryseyde and The Legend of Good Women and his mature period 1386-1400 from which The Canterbury Tales date Of Chaucers works The Canterbury Tales are by far the best-known probably first conceived in 1386 Chaucer was the first author to write in what was a recognisable English language He wrote in the vernacular the English that was spoken in and around London in his day II SUMMARY OF THE FABLE The Nuns Priest Tale is a fable a simple tale about animals that concludes with a moral lesson It is about a cock and his seven wifes living on a farm belonging to a poor widow The cock has a dream that he is going to be eaten by a dog-like creature but his favourite wife Pertelote dismisses the dream as meaningless and tells him not to be silly Some time later a fox comes into the yard and engages the cock in conversation After flattering the cock about his singing his name is Chanticleer meaning Sing clearly the cock finally persuades him to crow at the top of
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