What did Geoffrey Chaucer do for a living besides writing?

What did Geoffrey Chaucer do for a living besides writing?

Chaucer is most known as a writer, yet he accomplished much of his writing while doing other occupations. According to the text book I use to teach British Literature (Prentice Hall), Geoffrey Chaucer served as a page in a royal house, a soldier, a diplomat, and a royal secretary during his lifetime. He wrote poetry and prose while serving in these capacities.

Chaucer was born about 1343 into a wealthy family that had connections to the English crown. He had two siblings who also lived longer than 30 years - his brother Thomas was born in 1356 and his sister Philippa in 1359. No information is available on how they influenced him to become what we know today as a poet. We can only speculate that they must have been good friends to have survived such a traumatic time in their lives.

In January 1364, when Chaucer was about nineteen years old, his father died. The next month, he entered the service of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, whose son he would later write about in his works. In October of that same year, he traveled to Italy where he spent three years learning foreign languages and customs. Upon his return home in March 1368, he married Elizabeth Forester - she was twenty-one years old and from a wealthy family too. They had three children together: Mary, Joan, and Katherine.

Who are the three chief writers contemporaneous with Chaucer?

Chaucer was well-known among the day's literati, and his company included powerful men like Sir Lewis Clifford, Sir Richard Stury, and Sir John Montagu. Other contemporaneous writers he was friendly with were Thomas Hoccleve, Henry Scogan, Ralph Strode, and John Gower. Of these men, only Gower is considered a true poet.

The best known of Chaucer's writings are the Canterbury Tales, a collection of stories told by traveling pilgrims as they go through England on their way to Jerusalem for Easter. The tales are based on real events that took place between 1351 and 1400, but most were probably written down later than this range of time would suggest. They first appeared in print in 1478 in the book called The Recuyell of the Histories de Troyant.

There are three chief writers contemporary with Chaucer: William Langland, Geoffrey Chaucer, and John Gower. Langland was an English poet who lived in the early 13th century, while Chaucer and Gower are discussed above. It is interesting to note that all three wrote in the form of poems, although their styles differ greatly from one another. Langland's poetry consists of visions written in the first person, whereas Chaucer's are actual narratives told by characters other than the poet himself. Finally, Gower is only counted as one of Chaucer's contemporaries because he published some works after Chaucer's death.

What did Geoffrey Chaucer do?

Geoffrey Chaucer is regarded as one of England's first great poets. He is the author of The Parlement of Foules, Troilus and Criseyde, and The Canterbury Tales, among other works. His writings reveal him to be a keen observer of his period with a knowledge of a wide range of literary genres. Chaucer was born in London around 1343 and died in London in 1400. He began work as a courtier for the English government but was forced to flee from his home country because of his involvement in the conflict between England and France.

Chaucer wrote several poems during his lifetime. They were not published until many years after his death by his daughter. The Canterbury Tales is an unfinished series of stories told by fictional characters who travel across England while staying at an Inn for Lent. It consists of 40 parts, sometimes called "Tales." In addition to poetry, Chaucer wrote plays that have not survived. He also translated French poems into English.

After The Canterbury Tales was completed in 1431, it wasn't published until 1854 when John Keble brought out an edition for the Treasury of Literature. The poem has had a lasting influence on literature and is considered a major milestone in the development of English as a language.

Chaucer is important in establishing the standard form of English as we know it today. His use of iambic pentameter in The Canterbury Tales helped establish this meter as the dominant rhythm in English poetry.

When was Geoffrey Chaucer considered a success as a writer?

Geoffrey Chaucer began working as a civil servant for Countess Elizabeth of Ulster in 1357 and remained with the British court for the rest of his life. His best-known and most praised work was The Canterbury Tales. Written in Middle English, it was not intended for public consumption but rather to be read among friends and colleagues. It is now known that he wrote more than 40 poems and essays including The Parliament of Fowls and The Book of the Duchess.

In 1413 Edward IV awarded Chaucer the post of Clerk of the Pipe, which paid well but required no duties. By this time King Henry V was dead, bequeathing the throne to his son Prince Henry. Concerned about the future survival of his young family, he gave gifts to those he thought would help ensure their prosperity. Among others, he gave Chaucer a gift of £20 (about $300 today) on account of his "merit and service." This is confirmed by letters from the king's secretary Thomas Cromwell containing references to the payment of wages to various servants at court. In addition to his salary of £20 per year, Chaucer also received an extra £10 for each of the four annual terms of parliament that were held during his lifetime.

Chaucer died in London on April 15, 1400, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. He was 49 years old.

What was Chaucer’s upbringing?

Geoffrey Chaucer was born in 1343, most likely in London. The Chaucers were not wealthy, but they were comfortably affluent. More crucially, they knew who to contact. Geoffrey Chaucer's father hired him as a page in the household of the Countess of Ulster in 1357, when he was still in his early teens. He remained there for seven years, until his father found work for him as an esquire (a kind of private soldier) for the English court. This job took Chaucer to various locations across England and Europe.

Chaucer married Philippa Vaux-de-Londres in January 1368. She was a rich merchant's daughter from London. The couple had three children: Mary, John, and Katherine. They too would go on to have notable careers of their own.

Chaucer's first major work, The Canterbury Tales, was written between 1387 and 1400. The story behind its creation is quite interesting. In October 1386, shortly after the publication of The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer was arrested for writing "false news" (that is, rumors). He was released after paying a fine. This event probably prompted him to write some original works instead of copying others' stories.

In April 1387, Chaucer joined the army led by Richard II but was soon discharged because of health problems. In November of that year, his wife died.

About Article Author

Jerry Owens

Jerry Owens is a writer and editor who loves to explore the world of creativity and innovation. He has an obsession with finding new ways to do things, and sharing his discoveries with the world. Jerry has a degree in journalism from Boston College, and he worked as an intern at the Wall Street Journal after graduating.

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