Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Canterbury Tales Intervention

by Jack Heerema 

I suffer from a heroic mindset, aggravated by the romance of historical fiction.

There is no twelve-step program. There is no cure. My thought processes have become irrelevant. Is the miller telling his tale in Procol Harum’s Whiter Shade of Pale the same miller who is telling his tale in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales? How can this be! I have clung to the desperate hope that the person who borrowed the Venerable Bede’s Ecclesiastical History will return it. I have never admitted to anyone ever that I have a hard bound copy of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and only I know where to locate Einhard’s Life of Carolus Magnus. I went into complete denial.

I had an extreme violent reaction to this denial by writing a historical fiction novel.

The primary pitfall we heroic sufferers face is superimposing our cultural values, beliefs and sensibilities onto the time frame used as the backdrop for our narratives. Author’s such as Patrick O’Brien have avoided this trap. Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales is a welcoming beacon for navigating the culture, sensibilities, beliefs and values of 14th century England. Those writing about the period are offered a Canterbury Tales Intervention by Geoffrey Chaucer.


 Jack Heerema is the author of Marigold, Our Lady of Thieves’.It follows the life and fortunes of a foundling named Marion, who is rescued from a skip by Sir Kai ap Gruffydd who becomes her guardian and mentor. This story reveals how the sword Excalibur was found and how it came into her possession. On the way she is introduced to Robin Hood and the Valkyrie who would become her closest friends. The synopsis and reviews for the novel can be found at www.jackheerema.ca 

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