In England in 1874, Queen Victoria had been on the throne for thirty-seven years and showed no inclination to leave.
Nor do I think it likely that at the age of seventy and more, I will write anything of any great value...The best of what a writer has to say is said to people of his own generation....I have made the most of what gifts nature gave me. I have completed the pattern I have tried to make of my life. I have fulfilled myself, and I am ready to call it a day.
Canterbury was the shrine of Thomas a Becket, murdered in 1170 in the cathedral, and the destination of Chaucer's storytelling pilgrims. It was a fitting burial place for a teller of tales.