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3 2. Content and tale-order

Dd contains the 'canonical' tales of the Canterbury Tales running from the GP to the CY, but the last part of the manuscript is defective and it is impossible to say how Dd ended. The similarity of Dd to the canon arises because modern editions are based on California, San Marino, Huntington Library MS. El. 26 C 9 (El). The content and order of the tales in El are very close to Dd even though they do not necessarily share the same textual tradition. Scholars usually refer to this order as the El-a order (Manly and Rickert 1940, II, pp. 480). Key textual features of Dd are the inclusion of L13, L14, the extra passages in WBP and the Adam stanza in MO, and the exclusion of Gamelyn. Dd also introduces ME with L15 and SQ with L17. These features are found in other manuscripts traditionally affiliated to Dd, and labelled the a group (Manly and Rickert 1940, II and Blake 1985, p. 150).

The order of the tales runs as follows, and Benson lineation system is here included for comparative purposes only:

Canterbury Tales Benson (1988)
General Prologue (GP) I: 1-858 (A)
Knight’s Tale (KN) I: 859-3108 (A)
Miller’s Prologue (L1) I: 3109-3186 (A)
Miller’s Tale (MI) I: 3187-3720 (A)
Reeve's Prologue (L2) I: 3855-3920 (A)
Reeve's Tale (RE) I: 3921-4324 (A)
Cook's Prologue (L3) I: 4325-64 (A)
Cook's Tale (CO) I: 4365-4422 (A)
Man of Law Head-link (L7) II: 1-98 (B1)
Man of Law's Prologue and Tale (ML) II: 99-1162 (B1)
Wife of Bath's Prologue (WBP) III: 1-856 (D)
Wife of Bath's Tale (WB) III: 857-1264 (D)
Friar's Prologue (L10) III: 1265-1300 (D)
Friar's Tale (FR) III: 1301-1664 (D)
Summoner's Prologue (L11) III: 1665-1708 (D)
Summoner's Tale (SU) III: 1709-2294 (D)
Clerk's Prologue and Tale (CL) IV: 1-1169 (E)
Lenvoye de Chaucere (L13) IV: 1170-1212 (E)
Clerk End-Link (L14) IV: 1212a-g (E)
Merchant's Prologue (L15) IV: 1213-1244 (E)
Merchant's Tale (ME) IV: 1245-2418 (E)
Merchant End-Link and Squire Head-Link (L17) IV: 2419-2440 (E) V: 1-8 (F)
Squire's Tale (SQ) V: 9-672 (F)
Franklin's Tale (FK) V: 709-1624 (F)
Physician's Tale (PH) VI: 1-286 (C)
Physician-Pardoner Link (L21) VI: 287-328 (C)
Pardoner's Prologue and Tale (PD) VI: 329-968 (C)
Shipman's Tale (SH) VII: 1-434 (B2)
Prioress' Prologue and Tale (PR) VII: 453-690 (B2)
Tale of Sir Thopas (TT) VII: 711-918 (B2)
Thopas-Melibeus Link (L28) VII: 919-966 (B2)
Tale of Melibeus (TM) VII: 967-1888 (B2)
Monk's Prologue (L29) VII: 1889-1990 (B2)
Monk's Tale (MO) VII: 1990-2766 (B2)
Nun's Priest's Prologue (L30) VII: 2766-2820 (B2)
Nun's Priest's Tale (NU) VII: 2821-3446 (B2)
Nun’s Priest End-Link (L31) VII: 3447-3462 (B2)
Second Nun's Prologue and Tale (NU) VIII: 1-553 (G)
Canon's Yeoman's Prologue (L33) VIII: 554-719 (G)
Canon's Yeoman's Tale (CY) VIII: 720-1481 (G)