Whilom ther was dwellynge at OxenfordI can breeze through lines like these:
A riche gnof, that gestes heeld to bord.
Some time ago there was a rich old codgerThe story of a group of pilgrims journeying to Canterbury is merely a framing device. The bulk of the book is the stories that the pilgrims tell to pass the time and to win a prize offered by their host. This allows Chaucer to tell tales as varied as the pilgrims themselves. I've long wanted to read this book, but expected that the middle English would make it a chore.
Who lived in Oxford and who took a lodger.
When I finish the Tales, I plan to read Walking to Canterbury: A Modern Journey Through Chaucer's Medieval England, by Jerry Ellis. This is a LibraryThing recommendation. Normally I'm leery of those "if you like this, you might also like that" recommendations that websites give out, but this one does look very interesting. I picked it up at the library today.