The Life of
Geoffrey Chaucer
Sahana Premkumaar, Ryan Rahman, Pranav Subramanian
Early Life
Born - c. 1343 to John Chaucer & Agnes Copton (most likely in
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
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
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
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
Chaucer’s Tomb at Westminster Abbey
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Picture Sources