Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400)
Most portraits were drawn years after his death. This one was
drawn during his life by Thomas Hoccleve, who may have met him.
v Chaucer was an author, philosopher, bureaucrat, courtier (dvoran), diplomat, alchemist, and astronomer, writing a scientific treatise (pojednávanie) on the astrolabe, a tool for predicting the movements of the sun and planets.
14th century, English astrolabe
v Because of his career in government, we have many documents about his life, whereas other poets of his day are much more mysterious.
v The name Chaucer derives from the French chausseur, meaning ‘shoemaker’, however his father was a wealthy vintner (someone who makes wine) in
v He’s considered the father of English literature. He was instrumental in the rise of the English language in writing, at a time when French and Latin were standard.
v He’s most famous for writing The Canterbury Tales.
v In 1359 he joined the English Army as they invaded
beginning the 100 Years War. He was captured in the Siege of Rheims, and King
Edward III paid a ransom of £16
to free him. King Edward later rewarded Geoffrey with “a gallon of wine a day,
for the rest of his life,” we assume for his literary works. France
v In 1366 he married Philippa (de) Roet. They had three or four children.
v Working for the king, Chaucer travelled widely, meeting other famous writers, such as Petrarch and Boccaccio.