Chaucer and The Canterbury Tales Room

Welcome to the room dedicated to Geoffrey Chaucer and The Canterbury Tales. After your tour through Chaucer's life, you will be directed to other sites that you may wish to visit. At these sites you can learn more about Chaucer and read the Canterbury Tales on line.

A Timeline of Chaucer's Life

ca. 1340-45Geoffrey Chaucer is born in London to Agnes and John Chaucer, wealthy property owners.
1357Chaucer serves as a page to the Countess of Ulster.
1359-60Chaucer serves in the French army for King Edward III.
ca. 1366Chaucer and Philippa Roet marry.
ca. 1368-80Chaucer writes The Book of the Duchess and then Saint Cecilia. He later uses these works in the Second Nun's Tale and some of the Monk's tales.
ca. 1372-73The King sends Chaucer to Italy (specifically Genoa and Florence) where he learns of the writings of Boccaccio, Petrarch and Dante.
1374Edward III appoints him Controller of the Customs and Subsidies on Wool for the port of London.
ca. 1378-82Chaucer writes The House of Fame and The Parliament of Fowls.
ca. 1382-87He writes Troilus and Criseyde, Palamoun and Arcite (the Knight's Tale), and The Legend of Good Women.
1385-86Chaucer is appointed Justice of the Peace for Kent and then is elected to Parliament.
ca. 1387-92He writes the General Prologue and some of the Canterbury Tales.
1389He is appointed Clerk of the King's Works by Richard II.
ca. 1392-1400Chaucer writes the Canterbury Tales.
1400Chaucer dies and is buried in Westminster Abbey.

The Canterbury Tales

Chaucer's The Legend of Good Women began with a personal prologue of which Chaucer was a character. It is believed that work may have been inspiration for Chaucer to write another larger, varied piece. There is also speculation that Chaucer lived in Greenwich, and may have been able to see many pilgrams on their way to Canterbury to the shrine of St. Thomas a Becket. These may have combined to inspire him to write the Canterbury Tales.

(from The Mind and Art of Chaucer and Modern Critical Interpretations: Geoffrey Chaucer's The General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales)

Other related sites:

To visit other sites dedicated to Chaucer, click here or here.

To visit another site and read the Canterbury Tales on line, click here.

The Wife of Bath's Tale is also available on line. To visit that website, click here.

To continue your tour, click on one of the rooms below:

Return to Main Hall
The Old English Poetry Room
The Arthurian Legends Room
The Shakespeare Room
Curator's Corner (a bibliography)