The Life of
Geoffrey Chaucer
Sahana Premkumaar, Ryan Rahman, Pranav Subramanian
Early Life
Born - c. 1343 to John Chaucer & Agnes Copton (most likely in
London)
Parents were well-off, owned several buildings in London
Dad (John Chaucer) a wealthy wine merchant
Nice education (probably had some exposure to Latin, Greek, and
classics)
1357 - Became a page to Elizabeth, Countess of Ulster (wife of
King Edward III’s son)
Joined English army’s invasion of France during The Hundred
Years’ War  Taken prisoner during Siege of Rheims; King
Edward III of England paid his ransom in 1360
King Edward III
Middle Life
1366 - Married Philipa de Roet, a lady-in-waiting for king’s wife
1367 – Received life pension from King
Had 4 kids with Philipa (Thomas Chaucer, Elizabeth Chaucy, Agnes and
Lewis Chaucer)
Heavily influenced by his dealings in “exotic” places in Genoa
Began writing poems in 1370
Portrait of Chaucer
Jobs
Page, courtier, member of Parliament (elected in 1386 for Kent),
collector of scrap metal, justice of peace, clerk
June 20, 1367- Appointed as valet for the king
1372 & 1378 - Was sent on diplomatic missions to other nations like
France and Genoa
Exposed to great men like Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio
June 8, 1374 - Appointed as comptroller of customs for wools, skins,
and hides for London; a lucrative job
Held the above post for a dozen years
Worked on some of his most famous works
Chaucer on diplomatic missions
Later Years
1387 - Wrote The Canterbury Tales
Oversaw royal projects & worked with both Edward III
and Richard II (Edward III’s successor)
Death - October 25, 1400
Chaucer’s most famous work
Legacy
Father of English Poetry
First poet to be buried in the “Poet’s
Corner” of Westminster Abbey
Decasyllabic couplet used in The Canterbury
Tales evolved into the heroic couplet,
commonly used for epic and narrative
poetry in English
Pioneered the regular use of iambic
pentameter
Chaucer’s Tomb at Westminster Abbey
Bibliography
Fleming, John. "College Board." AP Central. CollegeBoard, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2014.
<http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/members/homepage/21974.html>.
"Geoffrey Chaucer." BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 01 Dec.
2014.<http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/chaucer_geoffrey.shtml>.
"Geoffrey Chaucer." Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.
<http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/geoffrey-chaucer>.
Laird, Judith. "Biography Of Geoffrey Chaucer." Critical Insights: The Canterbury Tales (2010): 6-10.
Literary Reference Center. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.
<http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lfh&AN=57400606&site=lrc-live>.
Sanna, Ellyn. "Chaucer, Geoffrey." In Harold Bloom, ed. Geoffrey Chaucer, Bloom's BioCritiques.
Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishing, 2002. Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 2
Dec. 2014.
<http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE54&WID&SingleRecord=True>.
Strohm, Paul. "Chaucer, Geoffrey." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2014. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.
<http://www.worldbookonline.com/advanced/article?id=ar108040>.
Picture Sources
http://www.openlettersmonthly.com/issue/wpcontent/uploads/2012/02/KingEdwardIII.jpg
http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/5-geoffrey-chaucergranger.jpg
http://home.gwu.edu/~jhsy/wma-tomb.jpg
http://cdn.rainbowresource.netdna-cdn.com/products/000645.jpg
http://people.umass.edu/eng2/images/auth/chaucer.jpg