50 Facts About Geoffrey Chaucer


Geoffrey Chaucer was an English poet, author, and civil servant best known for The Canterbury Tales.


Geoffrey Chaucer has been called the "father of English literature", or, alternatively, the "father of English poetry".


Geoffrey Chaucer was the first writer to be buried in what has since come to be called Poets' Corner, in Westminster Abbey.


Geoffrey Chaucer maintained a career in the civil service as a bureaucrat, courtier, diplomat, and member of parliament.


Geoffrey Chaucer is seen as crucial in legitimising the literary use of Middle English when the dominant literary languages in England were still Anglo-Norman French and Latin.


Geoffrey Chaucer was born in London most likely in the early 1340s, though the precise date and location remain unknown.


The Geoffrey Chaucer family offers an extraordinary example of upward mobility.


Geoffrey Chaucer's great-grandfather was a tavern keeper, his grandfather worked as a purveyor of wines, and his father John Chaucer rose to become an important wine merchant with a royal appointment.


Several previous generations of Geoffrey Chaucer's family had been vintners and merchants in Ipswich.


In 1324, his father John Geoffrey Chaucer was kidnapped by an aunt in the hope of marrying the 12-year-old to her daughter in an attempt to keep the property in Ipswich.


Geoffrey Chaucer worked as a courtier, a diplomat, and a civil servant, as well as working for the king from 1389 to 1391 as Clerk of the King's Works.


In 1359, the early stages of the Hundred Years' War, Edward III invaded France and Geoffrey Chaucer travelled with Lionel of Antwerp, Elizabeth's husband, as part of the English army.


Geoffrey Chaucer travelled abroad many times, at least some of them in his role as a valet.


Around this time, Geoffrey Chaucer is believed to have written The Book of the Duchess in honour of Blanche of Lancaster, the late wife of John of Gaunt, who died in 1369 of the plague.


Geoffrey Chaucer travelled to Picardy the next year as part of a military expedition; in 1373 he visited Genoa and Florence.


Geoffrey Chaucer must have been suited for the role as he continued in it for twelve years, a long time in such a post at that time.


Geoffrey Chaucer's life goes undocumented for much of the next ten years, but it is believed that he wrote most of his famous works during this period.


Geoffrey Chaucer is thought to have started work on The Canterbury Tales in the early 1380s.


Geoffrey Chaucer became a member of parliament for Kent in 1386, and attended the 'Wonderful Parliament' that year.


Geoffrey Chaucer survived the political upheavals caused by the Lords Appellants, despite the fact that Chaucer knew some of the men executed over the affair quite well.


Geoffrey Chaucer was appointed keeper of the lodge at the King's park in Feckenham Forest in Worcestershire, which was a largely honorary appointment.


Richard II granted him an annual pension of 20 pounds in 1394, and Geoffrey Chaucer's name fades from the historical record not long after Richard's overthrow in 1399.


Geoffrey Chaucer was buried in Westminster Abbey in London, as was his right owing to his status as a tenant of the Abbey's close.


Geoffrey Chaucer was a close friend of John of Gaunt, the wealthy Duke of Lancaster and father of Henry IV, and he served under Lancaster's patronage.


Geoffrey Chaucer seems to have respected and admired Christians and to have been one himself, though he recognised that many people in the church were venal and corrupt.


Geoffrey Chaucer wrote many of his major works in a prolific period when he held the job of customs comptroller for London.


Geoffrey Chaucer translated Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy and The Romance of the Rose by Guillaume de Lorris.


Geoffrey Chaucer wrote in continental accentual-syllabic metre, a style which had developed in English literature since around the 12th century as an alternative to the alliterative Anglo-Saxon metre.


Geoffrey Chaucer is known for metrical innovation, inventing the rhyme royal, and he was one of the first English poets to use the five-stress line, a decasyllabic cousin to the iambic pentametre, in his work, with only a few anonymous short works using it before him.


The status of the final -e in Geoffrey Chaucer's verse is uncertain: it seems likely that during the period of Geoffrey Chaucer's writing the final -e was dropping out of colloquial English and that its use was somewhat irregular.


Geoffrey Chaucer's versification suggests that the final -e is sometimes to be vocalised, and sometimes to be silent; however, this remains a point on which there is disagreement.


Geoffrey Chaucer is recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary as the first author to use many common English words in his writings.


Widespread knowledge of Geoffrey Chaucer's works is attested by the many poets who imitated or responded to his writing.


Many of the manuscripts of Geoffrey Chaucer's works contain material from these poets and later appreciations by the Romantic era poets were shaped by their failure to distinguish the later "additions" from original Geoffrey Chaucer.


Geoffrey Chaucer is sometimes considered the source of the English vernacular tradition.


The large number of surviving manuscripts of Geoffrey Chaucer's works is testimony to the enduring interest in his poetry prior to the arrival of the printing press.


Geoffrey Chaucer's original audience was a courtly one, and would have included women as well as men of the upper social classes.


Yet even before his death in 1400, Geoffrey Chaucer's audience had begun to include members of the rising literate, middle and merchant classes.


Geoffrey Chaucer spent years comparing various versions of Chaucer's works, and selected 41 pieces for publication.


The Workes of Geffray Geoffrey Chaucer, published in 1532, was the first edition of Geoffrey Chaucer's collected works.


Some scholars contend that 16th-century editions of Geoffrey Chaucer's Works set the precedent for all other English authors in terms of presentation, prestige and success in print.


Probably the most significant aspect of the growing apocrypha is that, beginning with Thynne's editions, it began to include medieval texts that made Geoffrey Chaucer appear as a proto-Protestant Lollard, primarily the Testament of Love and The Plowman's Tale.


The compilation and printing of Geoffrey Chaucer's works was, from its beginning, a political enterprise, since it was intended to establish an English national identity and history that grounded and authorised the Tudor monarchy and church.


Speght is the source of the famous tale of Geoffrey Chaucer being fined for beating a Franciscan friar in Fleet Street, as well as a fictitious coat of arms and family tree.


Francis Thynne noted some of these inconsistencies in his Animadversions, insisting that Geoffrey Chaucer was not a commoner, and he objected to the friar-beating story.


Foxe's Geoffrey Chaucer both derived from and contributed to the printed editions of Geoffrey Chaucer's Works, particularly the pseudepigrapha.


The life of Geoffrey Chaucer prefixed to the volume was the work of the Reverend John Dart, corrected and revised by Timothy Thomas.


Geoffrey Chaucer's is the first edition of Chaucer for nearly a hundred and fifty years to consult any manuscripts and is the first since that of William Thynne in 1534 to seek systematically to assemble a substantial number of manuscripts to establish his text.


The Geoffrey Chaucer Review was founded in 1966 and has maintained its position as the pre-eminent journal of Geoffrey Chaucer studies.


Geoffrey Chaucer is one of the main characters in the 2001 film A Knight's Tale, and is portrayed by Paul Bettany.