Wikipedia:WikiProject Poetry/The Canterbury Tales task force

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    Welcome to The Canterbury Tales task force! We are a group dedicated to improving the coverage on Wikipedia of articles related to the collection of stories by Geoffrey Chaucer. If you have any questions or want any general advice, please ask at the main poetry talk page. If you are interested in helping, feel free to add yourself to the list of participants near the bottom of this page.

    Please visit the talk page for current discussions about project structure!



    This task force covers all articles related to The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. Any articles that are included under the task force should have |TheCanterburyTales=yes under the WikiProject Poetry banner in the talk page, and will then appear in [[Category:The Canterbury Tales task force articles]].

    Main article[edit]

    Individual Tales[edit]

    Other articles[edit]



    {{Chaucer}} • {{The Canterbury Tales}}

    Mini style sheet[edit]

    Naturally, the articles within our purview should follow the standards of Wikipedia's Manual of Style (WP:MOS). This section emphasizes a few of its points, and clarifies other conventions particular to The Canterbury Tales which are not covered in the MOS.

    English ties[edit]

    All articles about Geoffrey Chaucer and his works should be written in British English (per MOS:TIES). Dates should be displayed dd mmm yyyy — that is, in the form 17 April 1387 (per WP:STRONGNAT); the template {{Use dmy dates}} should appear near the top of all articles.

    Capitalization and emphasis[edit]

    Titles of major works are capitalized and italicized; titles of short works are capitalized and enclosed in double quotes (per WP:Manual of Style#Capital letters & WP:Manual of Style#Italics; see MOS:CT for capitalization details). Note that elements of The Canterbury Tales have special conventions, described below. For convenience, all titles are given below as categorized and spelled in Benson (1987), and with the recommended emphasis:

    The Canterbury Tales
    The Book of the Duchess
    The House of Fame
    Anelida and Arcite
    The Parliament of Fowls
    Troilus and Criseyde
    The Legend of Good Women
    A Treatise on the Astrolabe
    The Romaunt of the Rose

    In all cases, the initial "The" is part of the title, but may be removed for grammatical purposes:

    Green tickY Correct: The Canterbury Tales; Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
    Red XN Incorrect: The Canterbury Tales; the Canterbury Tales; the Canterbury Tales; Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales
    Green tickY Correct: "The Complaint unto Pity"; Geoffrey Chaucer's "Complaint unto Pity"
    Red XN Incorrect: The "Complaint unto Pity"; the "Complaint unto Pity"; "the Complaint unto Pity"; Chaucer's "The Complaint unto Pity"

    In some cases, these works have alternate titles, which may be used, if appropriate.

    These are all just instances of basic WP:MOS standards. The following special conventions apply to The Canterbury Tales.

    Conventions for The Canterbury Tales[edit]

    Short form[edit]

    If the main topic of The Canterbury Tales is already firmly established, the shortened form the Tales (with uncapitalized, unitalicized, and grammatically removable "the") is acceptable, but should not be overused.

    Green tickY Correct: the composition of the Tales occupied more than a decade; Boccaccio's Decameron and Chaucer's Tales (Tales = the whole work)
    Red XN Incorrect: the composition of The Tales; the composition of The Tales
    Green tickY Correct: the composition of the prose tales (tales = subset of the Tales)
    Red XN Incorrect: the composition of the prose Tales

    Pilgrim's titles[edit]

    Naturally the proper names of the Canterbury pilgrims are capitalized. But they are almost universally known by their titles which should also be capitalized; here "the" is not part of the capitalized title. Note that persons who are not on the pilgrimage do not receive special capitalization for their titles:

    Green tickY Correct: the Wife of Bath's first husband; Oswald the Reeve tells a story about a miller.
    Red XN Incorrect: the wife of Bath; the Wife of Bath's First Husband; Oswald the reeve; Oswald the Reeve tells a story about a Miller.

    Individual tales[edit]

    Individual tales (and prologues, introductions, and epilogues) are capitalized, but neither italicized nor enclosed in quotes. As with work titles, "The" is part of the title, but grammatically removable. When any of these 4 key words is used alone in place of the full title of a specific tale (or prologue, etc.), it is capitalized.

    Green tickY Correct: The Wife of Bath's Tale
    Red XN Incorrect: the Wife of Bath's tale; the Wife of Bath's Tale; The Wife of Bath's Tale; "The Wife of Bath's Tale"
    Green tickY Correct: as the Wife of Bath makes clear both in her Prologue and her Tale
    Red XN Incorrect: as the Wife of Bath makes clear both in her prologue and her tale
    Green tickY Correct: The tale of Palamon and Arcite, based on the Tesseida of Boccaccio, is related by the Knight in his Tale. (Correct but awkward: "The story of Palamon..." would be an improvement.)
    Red XN Incorrect: The Tale of Palamon and Arcite; The Tale of Palamon and Arcite; ...related by the Knight in his tale.

    Presumed authorial units[edit]

    Like individual tales, the 10 Fragments (numbered I-X) and 9 Groups (lettered A-I) are capitalized, but not italicized or enclosed in quotes. The 2 parts of Group B are indicated with superscripts (Group B1 and Group B2).


    Please add yourselves to this list using the template {{User|Username}} to indicate your participation in the task force. Note that members who appear to be inactive for an extended period may be removed to avoid confusion and to ensure the list of members is up to date.

    1. MasterOfHisOwnDomain (talk · contribs)
    2. Phil wink (talk · contribs)
    3. Wrad (talk · contribs): I wrote most of the parts of the Canterbury Tales article that are actually cited.
    4. kdammers (talk · contribs)
    5. Audacity (talk · contribs) No promises, but I loved reading the Tales for school
    6. DCI2026 (talk · contribs) Excited to assist in this effort; I cannot promise intense levels of activity but will focus primarily on article improvement. Note: relatively inactive at present; however, this situation is only temporary and I should be more available after this week.



    • Larry D. Benson, ed. (1987). The Riverside Chaucer (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

    Online meta-bibliographies[edit]