Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer, one of the greatest English poets, whose masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales, was one of the most important influences on the development of English literature. His life is known primarily through records pertaining to his career as a courtier and civil servant under the English kings Edward III and Richard II.

The son of a rich London wine merchant, Chaucer could’ve attended the Latin grammar school of Saint Paul's Cathedral and may have studied law at the Inns of Court. In he was page to the countess of Ulster, Elizabeth, the wife of Prince Lionel, third son of Edward III; there, he would have learned the ways of the court and the use of arms. Chaucer was an esquire to Edward. He married PhilippaRoet, a lady-in-waiting to the queen and afterward in the service of John of Gaunt, who was duke of Lancaster and Edward's fourth son. Chaucer served as controller of customs for London from and clerk of the king's work, in which post he was responsible for maintenance of royal buildings and parks. Chaucer moved from London to a country residence (probably Greenwich), where he was justice of the peace and representative to Parliament.

Chaucer wrote for and may have read his works aloud to a select audience of fellow courtiers and officials, which doubtless sometimes included members of the royal family. The culture of the English upper class was still predominantly French, and Chaucer's earliest works were influenced by the fashionable French poets Guillaume de Machaut and Jean Froissart and by the great 13th-century dream allegory Le Roman de la Rose, by the French poets Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun. The common theme of these works is courtly love.

Posted 2011-01-29 and updated on Jun 08, 2011 12:38pm by crisd

 Jun 08, 2011 12:38pmThat saves me. Thanks for being so sesnible! by Tessica
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