Walking to Canterbury by Jerry Ellis
A Modern Journey Through Chaucer's Medieval England

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Synopsis

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. 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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Jerry Ellis

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Jerry Ellis is the author of Walking to Canterbury: A Modern Journey Through Chaucer's Medieval England, Bareback! One Man's Journey along the Pony Express Trail, Marching through Georgia: My Walk with Sherman, and Walking the Trail: One Man's Journey Along the Cherokee Trail of Tears.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Ballantine Books. 320 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Action & Adventure.

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 Ellis, a free-lance writer who is part Cherokee Indian, journeys on foot from Oklahoma to his hometown of Fort Payne, Alabama—symbolically retracing the 900-mile path his ancestors took on their forced odyssey out of the southern states in 1838.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Walking to Canterbury: A Mode...

Kirkus Reviews

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(Pilgrims, writes Ellis, wore scallops to display their piousness.) Moreover, it seems a strange oversight that a writer who constantly references his love of the wilderness and his Cherokee ancestry has very little negative to say about the fact that the forests and wolves that were the mainstay...

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Publishers Weekly

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In late summer of 1989, Ellis, an unsuccessful Hollywood screenwriter suffering from midlife blues, set out to walk in reverse the 900-mile Trail of Tears traversed in 1838 by Cherokee Indians being herded by soldiers, in frigid winter, from their Southeast homeland to a reservation in what is no...

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Publishers Weekly

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Ellis, a mystically inclined journalist of English and Cherokee descent, re-creates the Canterbury Tales' central journey on foot in this informative but unsatisfying follow-up to Walking the Trail: One Man's Journey Along the Cherokee Trail of Tears.

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