chapter
Introduction
Pages 10

The Northumberland text exhibits a writerly redactor not fully willing to remake Chaucer's work but rather someone willing to make some key additions and rearrangements to make sense of the pieces Chaucer left behind. According to some, the Northumberland manuscript is filled with signs that there was little advanced planning in its composition. Rather, the author argues that it reveals a series of interactive moves throughout its composition that attempt to reconcile the disunities in Chaucer's fragmented and incomplete narrative. The map of the tale order in the Northumberland manuscript reveals the unique version of the work witnessed in the text. The agent responsible for the Northumberland text sought to remedy the shortcomings of the work by rearranging and separating Chaucer's two tales, introducing a second tale for the Merchant, and breaking up the Summoner's Tale. Far more tales are told on the way to Canterbury than on the return home.