Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer (/ˈɔːsər/; c.1340s – 25 October 1400) was an English poet and author. Widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages, he is best known for The Canterbury Tales.[1] He has been called the "father of English literature", or, alternatively, the "father of English poetry".[2] He was the first writer to be buried in what has since come to be called Poets' Corner, in Westminster Abbey.[3] Chaucer also gained fame as a philosopher and astronomer, composing the scientific A Treatise on the Astrolabe for his 10-year-old son Lewis. He maintained a career in the civil service as a bureaucrat, courtier, diplomat, and member of parliament.

Geoffrey Chaucer
Portrait of Chaucer (19th century, held by the National Library of Wales)
Bornc.1340s
Died25 October 1400(1400-10-25) (aged 56–57)
Resting placeWestminster Abbey
Occupation
EraPlantagenet
Spouse(s)
(m. 1366)
Children
Parents
  • John Chaucer (father)
  • Agnes de Copton (mother)
Signature

Among Chaucer's many other works are The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, The Legend of Good Women, and Troilus and Criseyde. He is seen as crucial in legitimising the literary use of Middle English when the dominant literary languages in England were still French and Latin. His contemporary Thomas Hoccleve hailed Chaucer as "the firste fyndere of our fair langage". Almost two thousand English words are first attested to Chaucercian manuscripts.