Life[ edit ] Few details are known of Gower's early life. He was probably born into a family which held properties in Kent and Suffolk. In the prologue of the first recension of the Confessio Amantis, he tells how the king, chancing to meet him on the Thames probably circainvited him aboard the royal barge, and that their conversation then resulted in a commission for the work that would become the Confessio Amantis.
Origins[ edit ] Chaucer as a pilgrim from the Ellesmere manuscript Geoffrey Chaucer was born in London sometime aroundthough the precise date and location of his birth remain unknown. His father and grandfather were both London vintners ; several previous generations had been merchants in Ipswich.
His family name derives from the French chausseur, meaning "shoemaker". Career[ edit ] While records concerning the lives of his contemporary friends, William Langland and the Pearl Poetare practically non-existent, since Chaucer was a public servant, his official life is very well documented, with nearly five hundred written items testifying to his career.
The first of the "Chaucer Life Records" appears inin the household accounts of Elizabeth de Burghthe Countess of Ulsterwhen he became the noblewoman's page through his father's connections,  a common medieval form of apprenticeship for boys into knighthood or prestige appointments.
The countess was married to Lionel, Duke of Clarencethe second surviving son of the king, Edward IIIand the position brought the teenage Chaucer into the close court circle, where he was to remain for the rest of his life. He also worked as a courtier, a diplomat, and a civil servant, as well as working for the king from to as Clerk of the King's Works.
Inhe was captured during the siege of Rheims.
Chaucer crest A unicorn's head with canting arms of Roet below: Possibly funeral helm of his son Thomas Chaucer After this, Chaucer's life is uncertain, but he seems to have travelled in France, Spain, and Flanderspossibly as a messenger and perhaps even going on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.
AroundChaucer married Philippa de Roet. It is uncertain how many children Chaucer and Philippa had, but three or four are most commonly cited. His son, Thomas Chaucerhad an illustrious career, as chief butler to four kings, envoy to France, and Speaker of the House of Commons.
Thomas's daughter, Alicemarried the Duke of Suffolk. Thomas's great-grandson Geoffrey's great-great-grandsonJohn de la Pole, Earl of Lincolnwas the heir to the throne designated by Richard III before he was deposed.
Chaucer's "Treatise on the Astrolabe" was written for Lewis.
He became a member of the royal court of Edward III as a valet de chambreyeomanor esquire on 20 Junea position which could entail a wide variety of tasks.
His wife also received a pension for court employment. He travelled abroad many times, at least some of them in his role as a valet.
Two other literary stars of the era were in attendance: Jean Froissart and Petrarch. Around this time, Chaucer is believed to have written The Book of the Duchess in honour of Blanche of Lancasterthe late wife of John of Gaunt, who died in of the plague.
Numerous scholars such as Skeat, Boitani, and Rowland  suggested that, on this Italian trip, he came into contact with Petrarch or Boccaccio. They introduced him to medieval Italian poetrythe forms and stories of which he would use later. Later documents suggest it was a mission, along with Jean Froissart, to arrange a marriage between the future King Richard II and a French princess, thereby ending the Hundred Years War.
If this was the purpose of their trip, they seem to have been unsuccessful, as no wedding occurred. It has been speculated that it was Hawkwood on whom Chaucer based his character the Knight in the Canterbury Tales, for a description matches that of a 14th-century condottiere.
A 19th-century depiction of Chaucer A possible indication that his career as a writer was appreciated came when Edward III granted Chaucer "a gallon of wine daily for the rest of his life" for some unspecified task. This was an unusual grant, but given on a day of celebration, St George's Day, when artistic endeavours were traditionally rewarded, it is assumed to have been another early poetic work.
It is not known which, if any, of Chaucer's extant works prompted the reward, but the suggestion of him as poet to a king places him as a precursor to later poets laureate. Chaucer continued to collect the liquid stipend until Richard II came to power, after which it was converted to a monetary grant on 18 April Chaucer obtained the very substantial job of comptroller of the customs for the port of London, which he began on 8 June His life goes undocumented for much of the next ten years, but it is believed that he wrote or began most of his famous works during this period.
He was mentioned in law papers of 4 Mayinvolved in the raptus of Cecilia Chaumpaigne. What raptus means is unclear, but the incident seems to have been resolved quickly and did not leave a stain on Chaucer's reputation.
It is not known if Chaucer was in the city of London at the time of the Peasants' Revoltbut if he was, he would have seen its leaders pass almost directly under his apartment window at Aldgate. He is thought to have started work on The Canterbury Tales in the early s. He also became a member of parliament for Kent inand attended the ' Wonderful Parliament ' that year.
He survived the political upheavals caused by the Lords Appellantsdespite the fact that Chaucer knew some of the men executed over the affair quite well. On 12 JulyChaucer was appointed the clerk of the king's worksa sort of foreman organising most of the king's building projects.
George's Chapel, Windsorcontinue building the wharf at the Tower of Londonand build the stands for a tournament held in It may have been a difficult job, but it paid well: Chaucer was also appointed keeper of the lodge at the King's park in Feckenhamwhich was a largely honorary appointment.
He was granted an annual pension of twenty pounds by Richard II in The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras.
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Geoffrey Chaucer Biography The story and biography of Chaucer which contains interesting information, facts & the history about the life of one of the famous people of historical importance who lived during Medieval times. + free ebooks online. Did you know that you can help us produce ebooks by proof-reading just one page a day?
Go to: Distributed Proofreaders. Chaucer, by G K Chesterton, free ebook. Lastly, it would be affectation on my part to deny that the very subject forces me to face (or as ostentatiously to avoid) a subject on which I am in a sense expected to be controversial; on which I could not really be expected to be non-controversial.
Geoffrey Chaucer (/ ˈ tʃ ɔː s ər /; c. – 25 October ), known as the Father of English literature, is widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle rutadeltambor.com was the first poet to be buried in Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey..
While he achieved fame during his lifetime as an author, philosopher, and astronomer, composing a scientific treatise on the astrolabe for. A Glossary for the Works of Geoffrey Chaucer (in the Riverside Edition). Each entry consists of, first, in bold face, the word (as it appears in the Middle English Dictionary), its part of speech (also as in MED), its definition, its headword in the Oxford English dictionary, and finally the "KEY" to be used in searches (not yet ready for use).