Geoffrey Chaucer

(2096 words)

Geoffrey Chaucer was born in the early 1340s, probably the only son of John and Agnes Chaucer, who were wine merchants in London. This made Chaucer a member of the relatively well-off merchant class which paved the way for him to mix with members of court, the landed gentry and nobles, as well as merchants and wealthy traders throughout his life. At the age of about 14 Chaucer became a page in the household of the Countess of Ulster, who was the wife of Lionel, one of the sons of the then monarch, Edward III. A few years later Chaucer was a member of Lionel's retinue in France, where he was captured (in Reims) and then ransomed in 1360. It is likely that Chaucer returned to France in the same year, but by 1362 he was probably back in …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
Rudd, Gillian. "Geoffrey Chaucer". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5164, accessed 03 September 2014.]

Articles on Chaucer's works

  1. General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales
  2. Manciple's Tale
  3. Retraction
  4. The Book of the Duchess
  5. The Canterbury Tales
  6. The Cook's Tale
  7. The Franklin's Tale
  8. The Friar's Tale
  9. The Legend of Good Women
  10. The Nun's Priest's Tale
  11. The Pardoner's Tale
  12. The Physician's Tale
  13. The Second Nun's Tale
  14. The Squire's Tale [The Squire's Tale]
  15. The Wife of Bath's Tale
  16. Troilus and Criseyde