Hardly comparable to Geoffrey Chaucer, John Gower, or William Langland as a writer, Thomas Usk nonetheless can tell us much about them, especially Chaucer (and his masterpiece Troilus and Criseyde), and about the London scene in which they all played roles, especially during the turbulent 1380s amid the developing crises of the monarchy of Richard II.

Thomas Usk was a scrivener, largely self-taught, and a Londoner all his life. His birth date is unknown, and his origins were modest. He emerged into view in 1382 when he was appointed as the clerk to the London Goldsmiths' Company and entered the tortuous political factionalism of that decade as the “familiar clerk” (so the chronicler Walsingham calls him) and ally …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Shoaf, R. Allen. "Thomas Usk". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 August 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4505, accessed 10 October 2015.]