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Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343-1400)
The greatest English poet of the Middle Ages, Chaucer is best known for "The Canterbury Tales" and the contribution to English literature that he made by writing his verses in English instead of Latin which was the norm at the time.

Contrary to what you might expect, Chaucer was recognized during his lifetime and influenced other poets of the 1400s. He was not just a poet. He was a page to Elizabeth, Countess of Ulster, a hostage in France during military action in 1359-60, a diplomat, a customs official, a justice of the peace, knight of the shire in Kent, and served in Parliament for one session in 1386. Three years later, under Richard II, Chaucer was appointed Clerk of the King's Works in charge of construction and renovation. His last official post was as deputy forester of the royal forest of North Petherton, Somerset. He was born in London, married Philippa in his early twenties and had two sons, Lewis and Thomas. He is buried in Westminister Abbey.

Geoffrey Chaucer (ca. 1343-1400) "The Canterbury Tales", text indexed by tale.

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