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Biography of Geoffrey Chaucer Biography

Geoffrey Chaucer

Little is known about Geoffrey Chaucer, the famous author of many poems such as The Canterbury Tales, however official records give us a look at what his life was like.

Geoffrey Chaucer was born as the son of John Chaucer, a vintner (wine merchant), between the years 1340 and 1344 in London, England. The early life and education of Chaucer is unknown. The first written word of him is in 1357 when Chaucer was a page for the household of future duke of Clarence, Prince Lionel. In 1359-60, Chaucer was with the army of Edward III in France, however was captured by the French and ransomed for 16 pounds.

By 1366, Chaucer had married Philippa Roet, who served in the Queen's household, eldest daughter of Flemish knight Sir Paon de Roet and sister of Katherine Swynford. Between 1370 and 1378 Chaucer was sent on diplomatic missions to the Continent, mainly with Italy in 1372-73 and 1378. From 1374 and on he held several official positions, including customs on furs, skins, and hides for the port of London between 1374–86 and also clerk of the king's works in 1389 through 1391.

Geoffrey Chaucer died on October 25, 1400 and was the first poet ever buried in 'Poets Corner' at Westminster Abbey.

Poems by Geoffrey Chaucer

Chaucer's writings helped develop the legitimacy of Middle English. The poetry below are a big reason why.

A Balade of Complaint. A love poem.
Fortune. A debate between plaintiff and Fortune.
Truth. An exploration of truth.
The Canterbury Tales, other poems Download .zip. His greatest work.
Troilus and Criseyde Download .zip. A retelling of the tragic story.