Life and Career

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  • Topic: Geoffrey Chaucer, Edward III of England, Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence
  • Pages : 2 (432 words )
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  • Published : February 24, 2002
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Life and Career

The known facts of Chaucer's life are fragmentary and are based almost entirely on official records. He was born in London between 1340 and 1344, the son of John Chaucer, a vintner. In 1357 he was a page in the household of Prince Lionel, later duke of Clarence, whom he served for many years. In 1359–60 he was with the army of Edward III in France, where he was captured by the French but ransomed.

By 1366 he had married Philippa Roet, who was probably the sister of John of Gaunt's third wife; she was a lady-in-waiting to Edward III's queen. During the years 1370 to 1378, Chaucer was frequently employed on diplomatic missions to the Continent, visiting Italy in 1372–73 and in 1378. From 1374 on he held a number of official positions, among them comptroller of customs on furs, skins, and hides for the port of London (1374–86) and clerk of the king's works (1389–91). The official date of Chaucer's death is Oct. 25, 1400. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Geoffrey Chaucer was born in London, the son of a successful wine merchant. After probably spending many of his childhood days in London's Vintry, his father did not send him to apprenticeship school, but rather to the aristocratic house of the countess of Ulster. There he trained as a page and learned the mannerisms and skills of the ruling class. He continued to be engaged in...
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