Chaucer was born into a good family and from an early age served as a page and servant to English nobles. He fought in Edward III's wars against France, and for much of his life was patronized by John of Gaunt, the wealthiest and most powerful noble of his age. Chaucer spent some time in Italy and became familiar with the works of the early renaissance writers. Some of the stories in the Canturbury tales are similar to those published a few decades earlier by Italian writers.
Chaucer did not begin writing The Canterbury Tales until late in his life. It is a collection of stories told by a group of interesting characters, including a knight, a yeoman, a nun, a clerk, a lawyer, a wife, and several others, who are traveling together to visit the tomb of Saint Thomas a Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. It was not completed at the time of his death, but even so, is one of the great classics of English literature.
|Birth of Chaucer|
|Page in the home of a noblewoman.|
|Fought for Edward III in France|
|Wrote a eulogy for the wife of John of Gaunt.|
|Traveled to Italy, became acquainted with Italian authors.|
|Held several 'civil servant' positions in London.|
|Started work on The Canterbury Tales|
|Death of Chaucer|
|Poets and Statesmen in||Back Matter by books/lord/westminster/_back.html|
|Chaucer—Bread and Milk for Children in||English Literature for Boys and Girls by H. E. Marshall|
|Geoffrey Chaucer in||Great Englishmen by M. B. Synge|
It is a company of pilgrims such as this that Chaucer paints for us, he himself being of the company.
in English Literature for Boys and Girls
in Great Englishmen
|Royal family member, and early patron of Chaucer.|
|Reigned for nearly 50 years. Invaded France, and won the Battles of Crecy and Calias.|
|Famous historian of mediaeval France, especially regarding the Hundred Years War. Served as secretary to Philippa of Hainault.|
|Renaissance poet and writer who republished and popularized many Roman and Greek classics.|
|Third son of Edward III, and father of Henry Bolingbroke. Extremely influential 14th century noble.|