Pilgrimage: The completed Canterbury Tales

For more than 600 years,  The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer’s brilliant collection of medieval stories, has remained unfinished.  This book, in modern idiomatic prose, is the only completed version of Chaucer’s most popular work — a collection that will surprise, teach, challenge, shock, and make you laugh. 


Book Details

Weight 27.2 oz
Dimensions 6.5 × 1.8 × 9.2 in



Will Dreamly Arts Publishing

Publish Date

FALL, 2021



About The Author

Michael Herzog

Michael Herzog

Michael B. Herzog was born in Romania in the last year of WW II, grew up in post-war Germany and immigrated to the US at the age of nine. He earned a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington and spent forty-five years as a professor and administrator at Gonzaga University. A Danforth Fellow, he has won multiple teaching awards, has written scholarly articles as well as two plays based on medieval poems, and served as Chief of Staff to the President at Gonzaga. While he was teaching the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer for more than three decades, he became increasingly fascinated with the life and art of this pre-eminent medieval poet of England, and began the long process of creating a novel that would capture the spirit and the reality of this remarkable courtier and poet while honoring the work and legacy of an individual who both captured and shaped English culture more than any other author before Shakespeare. Professor Emeritus Herzog is currently working on “completing,” in modern English prose, Chaucer’s unfinished masterwork: “The Canterbury Tales.”

Well-traveled medieval pilgrims were often covered in tokens of the pilgrimage sites they had visited, much like the station wagons of the 1960s would have flaunted stickers from Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, etc.  Below is a medallion pilgrims might have received when they prayed at Becket’s tomb in Canterbury.  This one is an artistic rendering of the sacred shrine, as found in this manuscript in 2015.

The translator and editor of this only complete version of Chaucer’s great work, Michael B. Herzog, Professor Emeritus of  English, Gonzaga University, has devoted the first five years of his retirement to re-introducing modern readers to Geoffrey Chaucer and the wonderful art of Chaucer’s storytelling.  

Throughout history, believers of every kind have made pilgrimages to sacred sites.  In Medieval England, the most popular pilgrimage destination was Canterbury, the centerpiece of whose magnificent cathedral was an extraordinary, lavishly-decorated tomb that held the bones of St Thomas á Becket.  

In Geoffrey Chaucer’s late 14th century Canterbury Tales, a random collection of pilgrims who meet in London agree to make the three day horseback trip to Canterbury together and to tell stories to each other, with the best tale to be acknowledged by the reward of a dinner for the teller, at the expense of the other pilgrims.  

To the frustration of modern readers, Chaucer had finished perhaps only three-quarters of his masterpiece when he died in 1400.  But then, in 2015, a miracle.  In an archeological dig near London’s Westminster Abbey the book you now hold in your hand was found, the only complete version of the Tales.  

Here, for the first time ever, readers can meet all thirty fascinating, raucous,  endearing, unabashed pilgrims, enjoy each of their intriguing, surprising and uncensored tales; and discover to which of them the Host awards the prize for telling the best story.


“Having already reimagined the life of Geoffrey Chaucer as historical fiction in This Passing World, Michael Herzog turns his considerable talent to the Canterbury Tales, translating this cherished collection of stories into accessible modern English while also filling in the missing tales. What emerges is a splendid mix of scholarship and literary invention.” Jess Walter, New York Times Best Selling Author

“Herzog’s expansion of Canterbury Tales is wonderfully readable. His use of contemporary language makes Chaucer accessible to new readers and non-specialists, while his deft storytelling will delight scholars of all casts. The addition of new tales and new interactions among pilgrims mirror the humor and subtlety of Chaucer’s original material. Indeed, there is a seamless flow from beginning to end. The functions, titles and roles of these travelers might seem antiquated to contemporary readers, but their tales, both Herzog’s and Chaucer’s originals, reveal something universal about vice and virtue, about human nature and human sexuality, about the power of stories where the truth will out. Herzog has achieved his purpose in this completed Canterbury Tales: to help readers “appreciate the genius of this medieval poet.”” Janis Haswell, Ph.D., Professor Emerita of English

“After 600 years, Michael Herzog has completed the unfinished Canterbury Tales in a style entirely consistent with Chaucer’s work. Surprising, entertaining, poignant, imaginative, and delightful. This translation brings a rich new coloring and texture and energy to the original and lures us into what Chaucer, better than anyone, reveals about the human psyche. Bravo!!!:” — Patrick Burke, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy

“The idea of Pilgrimage is terrific, and it is executed with real skill. I admire the inventiveness and reach of combining the extant tales with the new ones.. Very impressive; a genuine pleasure to read.” — Chris Anderson, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of English


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