Writer : Geoffrey Chaucer

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Who was Geoffrey Chaucer?

Geoffrey Chaucer, the "Father of English literature," was a renowned English poet, philosopher, and diplomat. Born in the 14th century, Chaucer's most famous work is "The Canterbury Tales," a collection of stories that showcase his exceptional storytelling abilities. His contributions to English language and literature continue to inspire and shape the literary world.

Biography Of Geoffrey Chaucer

The celebrated English poet Geoffrey Chaucer penned the famous 'The Canterbury Tales. ' His literary contributions during the 14th century marked him as the Father of English literature, a pioneer in vernacular Middle English. Chaucer's works remain crucial in understanding medieval English society and its literary landscape.


Geoffrey Chaucer Biography
Birth and Death Date London, United Kingdom
Early Life Philippa Roet
Education William Shakespeare, Karl Marx, C. S. Lewis
Known For Alice Chaucer, Duchess of Suffolk
Notable Works The Nun's Priest's Tale
Troilus and Criseyde
The Book of the Duchess
Sir Thomas
The House of Fame
Parlement of Foules
The Legend of Good Women
The Canterbury Tales
General Prologue
The Wife of Bath's Tale
The Knight's Tale
The Pardoner's Tale
The Miller's Tale

Early Life and Education

Geoffrey Chaucer was born in London, England. He was the son of John Chaucer, a wealthy vintner, and Anne Chaucer. He attended St. Paul's Cathedral School, where he gained an appreciation for the classic works. It was unusual, considering English schools at the time heavily favoured Latin and French texts.

His family's connections played a significant role in shaping his early life. Through his father's connections, Chaucer held various positions, including serving as a noblewoman's page, courtier, diplomat, civil servant, and even scrap metal collector.

These early experiences exposed him to different aspects of society and gave him a valuable understanding of human character. He is best known for his masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales. It showcases his keen observational skills and command of various literary genres.

Family and Children

Geoffrey Chaucer's personal life, particularly his family and married life, is a backdrop to the seminal works he produced during the Middle Ages. Born into a family of wealthy London wine merchants around 1343, Chaucer would grow up under the influence of the city's vibrant, cosmopolitan culture.

In 1366, he married Philippa de Roet, a lady-in-waiting to Edward III's queen. Their union appears to be more of a social arrangement than one born of passion, typical of the era's customs.

Chaucer's children provide a glimpse into his role as a father:

  • Thomas Chaucer: Thomas followed in his father's footsteps, engaging in public service. He served as a member of Parliament and enjoyed a lucrative career.
  • Elizabeth Chaucer: Less is known about Elizabeth, but she became a nun at Barking Abbey, dedicating her life to spiritual service.
  • Agnes Chaucer: Like Elizabeth, Agnes's life was one of quiet dedication as she joined a convent.
  • Lewis Chaucer: Notably, Geoffrey wrote "Treatise on the Astrolabe" for his little son Lewis. It's an instructional piece, evidencing Chaucer's interest in science and desire to educate his child.

Poetic Career

Geoffrey Chaucer is best known for his work, "The Canterbury Tales," which ranks as one of the greatest poetic works in English literature.

Chaucer's career started in public service, working in various administrative roles. He served as a bureaucrat, courtier, and diplomat and was in charge of large construction projects. His experiences in public service greatly influenced his writing.

Chaucer's most famous work, "The Canterbury Tales," is a collection of stories told by a diverse group of pilgrims on their journey to Canterbury. This work showcased Chaucer's mastery of narrative, humour, and social commentary. It played a significant role in establishing English as a major literary language, as Chaucer was one of the first English poets to write extensively in the vernacular.

In addition to "The Canterbury Tales," Chaucer wrote other notable works such as "Troilus and Criseyde", "The Nun's Priest's Tale" and "Book of the Duchess," further showcasing his versatility and talent as a poet. Other notable works are:

  • The Nun's Priest's Tale
  • Troilus and Criseyde
  • The Book of the Duchess
  • Sir Thomas
  • The House of Fame
  • Parlement of Foules
  • The Legend of Good Women
  • The Canterbury Tales
  • General Prologue
  • The Wife of Bath's Tale
  • The Knight's Tale
  • The Pardoner's Tale
  • The Miller's Tale

Awards And Recognition

While specific awards during Chaucer's time were unavailable, his contribution to English literature cannot be underestimated. Today, he is often referred to as the "father of English literature", and his works continue to be studied and celebrated.


Geoffrey Chaucer's life journey concluded in the year 1400. Although the exact date remains wrapped in a mystery, historical records rely heavily on October 25th as the day he passed away. His last breath was drawn in London. It's widely considered that he died of natural causes.

Info Sources: Wikipedia, Biography