- By Jerry Ellis

Walking to Canterbury: A Modern Journey Through Chaucer's Medieval England

  • Title: Walking to Canterbury: A Modern Journey Through Chaucer's Medieval England
  • Author: Jerry Ellis
  • ISBN: 9780345447067
  • Page: 346
  • Format: Paperback
  • Walking to Canterbury A Modern Journey Through Chaucer s Medieval England More than six hundred years ago the Archbishop of Canterbury was murdered by King Henry II s knights Before the Archbishop s blood dried on the Cathedral floor the miracles began The number of pilgr

    More than six hundred years ago, the Archbishop of Canterbury was murdered by King Henry II s knights Before the Archbishop s blood dried on the Cathedral floor, the miracles began The number of pilgrims visiting his shrine in the Middle Ages was so massive that the stone floor wore thin where they knelt to pray They came seeking healing, penance, or a sign from God ChMore than six hundred years ago, the Archbishop of Canterbury was murdered by King Henry II s knights Before the Archbishop s blood dried on the Cathedral floor, the miracles began The number of pilgrims visiting his shrine in the Middle Ages was so massive that the stone floor wore thin where they knelt to pray They came seeking healing, penance, or a sign from God Chaucer s The Canterbury Tales, one of the greatest, most enduring works of English literature, is a bigger than life drama based on the experience of the medieval pilgrim Power, politics, friendship, betrayal, martyrdom, miracles, and stories all had a place on the sixty mile path from London to Canterbury, known as the Pilgrim s Way.Walking to Canterbury is Jerry Ellis s moving and fascinating account of his own modern pilgrimage along that famous path Filled with incredible details about medieval life, Ellis s tale strikingly juxtaposes the contemporary world he passes through on his long hike with the history that peeks out from behind an ancient stone wall or a church Carrying everything he needs on his back, Ellis stops at pubs and taverns for food and shelter and trades tales with the truly captivating people he meets along the way, just as the pilgrims from the twelfth century would have done Embarking on a journey that is spiritual and historical, Ellis reveals the wonders of an ancient trek through modern England toward the ultimate goal enlightenment.

    1 thought on “Walking to Canterbury: A Modern Journey Through Chaucer's Medieval England

    1. This book is really rather hard to classify as it blends travel writing with a generous touch of spiritual reflection as well has loads of historical and literary explanation. The delightful thing is that it does each in just the right amounts that you never feel bogged down or preached at; in fact, it is something of a breath of fresh air and truly uplifting. A reading of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is recommended though not by any means required.

    2. I read this book from the library several years ago. It reminds me a little of Bill Bryson's later works - more information and fewer yucks. It traces the author's walk along the Canterbury trail in about 2000, with reflections on the modern & historic landmarks along the way as well as people with whom he chats as he goes along from pub to flophouse to campground. It wasn't great writing, but it was memorable, and included maps and drawings, which I always appreciate in this type of book.

    3. Author Jerry Ellis is well known for taking very long walks and then writing beautifully about them. He explains in "Walking to Canterbury" that he has ancestral roots in the British Isles and also some Cherokee blood. Ellis had previously undertaken a journey across the Trail of Tears, that had been the route of the forced Cherokee exodus from their homeland at the direction of our government in the 1830s. He had written about this extensive hike in his celebrated book entitled "Walking the Tra [...]

    4. Finally, I made it to Canterbury with Jerry Ellis. I would give this a 3.5 rating. Author's descriptions are well-done, and he incorporates medieval history and literature into the story of a 21st century pilgrimage on foot from London to Canterbury, England. I love British history and literature but the book does not move quickly. So I kept putting it down for long periods of time.

    5. I picked this up because I like to walk, and I wasn't disappointed. Ellis walks for all the right reasons, is open to spontaneous happenings and people along the way, and slips in enough medieval tales that you feel you've learned something without any effort. "Travel and meeting people are how you learn about yourself, the quality of your life, and how you might improve it." Walk on!

    6. This book was really wonderful. It reminded me of the travel books I used to read when I was young-before today's great age of the memoir. Nowadays, books like this are much more focused on the author's inner psychology and issues; with a much tighter packaged premise. In contrast, Ellis' book meanders from Chaucer's pilgrims to the landscape to his own interests and life. Even his reasons for going on the pilgrimage were all over the place. Basically, he is part British and he likes to walk. It [...]

    7. This book seemed promising, but failed to hold my attention after the first chapter or two. A good editor would have been helpful.

    8. In Walking to Canterbury, the author, Jerry Ellis, undertakes a modern pilgrimage from London to Canterbury. There are three major aspects to this book, the first of which is the author's journey. Like Chaucer's pilgrims, Ellis makes the journey on foot, in 7 days, walking during the day and looking for lodging when he reaches a town at the end of the day. Sections of the book focused on the journey read like a travel book with lush and rich descriptions of the landscape and towns.Throughout the [...]

    9. I was so happy to find this book (in a wagon outside a second-hand store in Key West). I have a deep love for Geoffrey Chaucer, and lately I've been reading pilgrimage-themed books, so this seemed perfect.And it was, for a while. But the third theme of the book, besides the pilgrims of The Canterbury Tales and details about mediaeval life in England, is the spiritual journey of the author. After a while, it was too much to take. An example of how overbearing he became: when he reaches the Cathed [...]

    10. An absolutely lovely book -- a combination of travelogue, history lesson, and memoir. This is a mixture that risks either being very boring, or very confusing. Luckily, "Walking to Canterbury" is neither. It is a calm, informative, contemplative journey that travels literally through time and space, and does so with gentle ease and not a drop of judgement against a single character the author meets along the journey. If nothing else, reading this makes me ache to return to England, which is my o [...]

    11. On his journey one of the characters Ellis met:Anders .was a college professor, teaching philosophy and economics."Some people don't understand how the two subjects are fins on the same fish," he said. "They think economics is graphs and numbers. But I try to teach my students to see how they can live life to its fullest, to do all they can with what little they have.Travel and meeting people are how you learn about yourself, the quality of your life, and how you might improve it."

    12. I loved this book so much. I read it in a day and just fell in love with the idea of walking the Pilgrim's Way. I do wonder how truthful the author's encounters were with people mentioned, cuz it seems a bit too perfect for the story. I've been to England and didn't meet people like he met- people who seemed conveniently well versed in Chaucer. But a good read nonetheless and inspiring!!

    13. A light, yet interesting read about an American of British and Cherokee heritage who re-enacts the medieval pilgrimage of walking from London to Canterbury. He has a beautiful way of interweaving sections of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" with his observations of the towns, countryside, and the characters he meets along the way.

    14. I can't seem to leave England. After a visually gorgeous drive through villages around Canterbury and a special evening of song in the cathedral cloisters (all arranged by Kay), and with a life-long (well, nearly) passion for the Thomas Becket story, this book was custom made for me. A great read. Inspiring in several ways.

    15. Honestly, I think this is the worst book I have ever read, it was an assignment for an English class in high school. I will never get the 4-5 hours of my life that it took to read this hunk of crap back. I would rather mainline Drano than read it again!

    16. One of my new favourite books. He weaves little passages of the Canterbury Tales, parallels his pilgrimage with history, and makes you so want to take that pilgrimage yourself.

    17. Interesting story, although at times it became a bit metaphysical, as well as bogged down in history; however, I admit that I'm not particularly interested in Canterbury Tales-era England.

    18. I enjoyed learning how a half-English/half-Native American man made sense of his walk to Canterbury. Delightful way of encountering the older Christian tradition.

    19. Good, but some curious omissions. For example, spends time in Rochester, but hardly mentions its cathedral.

    20. Interesting book. I was never a fan of the canterbury tales but this was a whole different experience. Got a bit new-agey at times but he is native american so.

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