Chaucer supposed that he was in company with a party of
pilgrims going to Canterbury to pay their devotions at the shrine of
Thomas à Becket. The party assembled at an inn in Southwark, called the
Tabard, and there agreed to tell one tale each, both in going and
returning. He who told the best tale was to be treated with a supper on
the homeward journey. The work is incomplete, and we have none of the
tales told on the way home.
A Canterbury Tale.
A cock-and-bull story; a romance. So called from Chaucer's
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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