Geoffrey Chaucer ‘The Nun’s Priest’s Tale’

The three priests accompanying the nuns got merged into one – or at least only one of them gets to tell his story after a long and depressing tale of the Monk, which the editors of the NAEL mercifully chose to skip. It’s apparently a series of stories in one of the favourite medieval genres “Lo, How the Mighty Have Fallen”, or historical examples of riches-to-rags (or even worse) cases. The Knight tells him politely that he kind of runs on, and the Host less politely says his stories are not “worth a butterfly” and asks him to try another subject, but the Monk takes offence and stops altogether. Then the Nun’s Priest begins the story about a poor widow who lived in a small cottage with her two daughters, trying to survive on subsistence farming – they have three pigs, two cows and one sheep. To be continued!

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