The World Wide Web (WWW) continues to grow day after day with more and more valuable information. This is also demonstrated by the fact that there are more and more people going online each day. After going on the Web to get some information on Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, and the King Arthur legends, I came across many sites that got my attention. I choose three of these sites that I thought were both particularly interesting and useful.

The first site that I found was about Geoffrey Chaucer and some classical interpretations of his work called The Canterbury Tales. According to the site, Chaucer was born approximately in 1340, and he began his work on the tales in about 1387. He had also intended for four of his tales to be told by thirty of his pilgrims. But, he only wrote tales for twenty-three of his thirty pilgrims had actually received a story before Chaucer died in 1400. Even after Chaucer’s death, the tales quickly spread throughout England during the fifteenth century.

The site also contained several pictures of early editions of The Canterbury Tales, which I found to be a very interesting part of this site. Some of the pictures that I saw on this site included a picture from a rare book entitled The Poetic Works of Geoffrey Chaucer: A Facsimile of Cambridge University Library. It was published in 1979, and is one of three volumes in the series. Sadly, part of this manuscript was destroyed during the sixteenth century, which may contribute to it being a rare work today. Another rare work that I looked at on this site was written in 1721. This work had three of the tales in it that had never before been printed. The site also contained actual printed text taken from old manuscripts of The Canterbury Tales. An example of this would be the two-volume work by Thomas Tyrwhitt, which was written in 1798. Although it is not rare, it is still part of the special collection of interpretations of the tales. All of these works that are cited on the web site are preserved in the Special Collections department in the Golda Meir Library. Some of them are very rare, which made it even more interesting to see that they are actually available on the net for students and scholars alike to be able to see. Also, although most of the works were written in the twentieth century, some of them were written in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. I think that this site would be great for anyone doing some research on Geoffrey Chaucer and The Canterbury Tales, particularly on the history of Chaucer and his tales themselves.

The second site that I found came from the Harvard Chaucer Page. On this site, I found an list from A – Z of related articles and critical studies on several of the tales in The Canterbury Tales. In addition, there was also some other literature related to Chaucer himself rather than the tales. Some of these essays were only limited to Harvard University students, so I could not check these out. From what I saw, I was very impressed with the quality and style of the writing that was on this web site. I think that this site would also be great for someone who was doing an essay or a paper on Geoffrey Chaucer. You would not only get information on his tales, but you would also get information about other works that Chaucer had written.

The third site that I found contained information about the King Arthur legends. Here, I did some reading on both the history and the legend of King Arthur, as well as the Anglo-Saxons and medieval Britain. I learned that Britain had become self-governing in three different parts by 410. They were in the North (mixed British,) the West (British and Irish,) and the South East (mainly Angles). In addition, I learned that following the collapse of the Roman British government, the next 20 years were the worst recorded time in British history. I also learned about some of the events that took place in the fifth century from the Arthurian timeline. In addition, I learned more about Bede, who was one of the early writers that we read this semester. I think that this site would be beneficial to anyone who is studying the history of medieval Britain, as well as the history of both Bede and King Arthur and his legends.

In conclusion, these three sites, two of which are university sites and one which came from a commercial site, are all excellent sites for finding information on the history of Chaucer and his tales, as well as King Arthur and his legends. The sites are relatively easy to find. I used the search engines Metacrawler and Infoseek to get my information. These three sites are just a handful of the many sites available on these particular topics. Also, these sites are excellent sites to see just before reading the actual texts because it is always nice to know a little bit of history about a story before actually reading it.