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Fantastic Fish of the Middle Ages

Medieval Macabre

Medieval Woodcuts Clipart Collection

Mythical Plants of the Middle Ages

Tales of the Middle Ages

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The Lives & Times of the Canterbury Tales Pilgrims


The pilgrims in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales are extremely well-known figures in literature, nearly as much so as the often studied and quoted characters of Shakespeare's plays. This is due, in part, to the historical importance of Squire Geoffrey's most famous work, but even more so to the fact that in his writings Chaucer tells us so much about these fictional travelers. The perfect, genteel Knight, the stout Miller, the white-bearded Franklin, and all the other pilgrims are introduced with such clarity and vivid descriptions that the reader is quick to feel that these people are alive and real. We know how they looked, how they dressed, what they did for a living, what made them happy or sad, how they wore their hair, and even what kind of horses they rode. We can easily picture the Prioress feeding her dogs in the convent, or the Wife of Bath having a good time brow-beating one of her husbands. In the pilgrims are traits that all of us recognize in ourselves or someone else, at one time or another. But, though he gives us details of the pilgrims themselves, there is much Chaucer does not tell us about. If the characters of Canterbury Tales had actually existed, what would their lives and this pilgrimage have been like?


The Wife of Bath, the Friar, and the Knight

Pilgrims Passing To and Fro © 1997-2005 James L. Matterer

Also at

  • Gode Cookery - A collection of Medieval recipes adapted for the modern kitchen, with period receipts, translations, & redactions. Included are graphics, photographs, descriptions of feasts, information on period cookery, & articles.
  • Fantastic Fish of the Middle Ages - The fantastic and incredible fish of the Middle Ages, both real & imagined. Excerpts from a Medieval manuscript are generously accompanied by authentic illustrations of strange & exotic fish, sea monsters, and beasts.
  • Medieval Macabre - Supernatural and fantastic imagery from the Middle Ages - devils, demons, monsters, witches, and death. Four galleries with 120 pictures, along with the Hans Holbein Alphabet of Death.
  • Medieval Woodcuts Clipart Collection - A collection of clipart derived from Medieval woodcuts and compiled in 8 sections: Animals, Creatures, & Beasts; Biblical Scenes & Figures; Birds; Decorative Borders; Decorative Initials; Miscellaneous Images; People & Human Figures; and Plants & Flora.
  • Mythical Plants of the Middle Ages - A short history of the some of the fantastic & fabulous mythical plants our Medieval forebears believed in. With period illustrations. An award winning site, recommended by Infoseek.
  • Tales of the Middle Ages - True stories, fables, & anecdotes from the Middle Ages, with illustrations. Includes information on Daily Life, Food & Drink, Clergy, Religious Art, Myths, and more.

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Pilgrims Passing To and Fro © James L. Matterer