A Bibliography of Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer was born in the early 1340's, in approximately 1343. Little is known about Chaucer's early life. According to Microsoft Encarta, "there is relatively strong evidence to support the fact that he attended one of the three grammar-schools: either St. Paul's, St. Mary-le-Bow's, or St. Martin-le-Grand's. The next reliable bit of data places him, at around the age of fourteen, as a page in the household of the wife of Prince Lionel, the third son of Edward III. He apparently held this position for a long time" (Mirosoft)

According to Grose, "Chaucer's first foray into the King's Business appears in October of 1360, when he couriered letters from the Calais to England during peace negotiations there. For this service he held the official title of clerk of the king attached to the person of Prince Lionel. In this way, Chaucer began to service to his king. In 1368, Chaucer was awarded a royal pension for life, indicating a long and valued service to his liege" (Grose 23). He served as sort of jack-of-all-trades.

The only known facts about Chaucer's life between 1358 and 1367 are that he was imprisoned in France during the Hundred Years War and was ransomed in March 1360, for rather large sum. In this time Chaucer also married Philippa Roet, lady-in-waiting to the queen. She bore at least two children.

Between 1368 and 1367, Chaucer undertook nearly a dozen diplomatic missions to Flanders, France and Italy. Many were important; indeed many were so secret that they were not mentioned in the histories of the time at all. In 1381, Chaucer was sent to deal with marriage negotiations between Richard II and the daughter of the French King granted the title of "Knight of the Shire," an important Parliament post, and later (1389) was installed as the Clerk of the King's Works at Westminster, the Tower, and other property in south England. In 1399 he settled in Westminster. However he did not live long to enjoy his retirement. Geoffrey Chaucer died on October 25, 1400.

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