This article explores the prologue to the “Plowman's Tale,” an apocryphal inclusion to Chaucer's canon that participated in the construction of an expansive, productive, Chaucerian persona characteristic of early print editions of Chaucer's works. By reading this tale as if it really were an authentic part of the Canterbury Tales, this essay recontextualizes Chaucer by placing his authentic works alongside such anonymous inclusions, and argues that we can better understand the uncertain nature of the Tales themselves, and the complex status of their authentic author, by paying closer attention to such apocryphal texts.

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