Chaucer's experience in medieval society as page, soldier, messenger, valet, bureaucrat, foreman, and administrator undoubtedly exposed him to many of the types of people he depicted in the Tales.
Chaucer's first major work, The Book of the Duchess, was an elegy for Blanche of Lancaster, but reflects some of the signature techniques that Chaucer would deploy more deftly in his later works.
After Chaucer, the alliterative meter of Old English poetry would become completely extinct.
Later, a group of poets including Gavin Douglas, William Dunbar, and Robert Henryson were known as the Scottish Chaucerians for their indebtedness to his style.
Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343 – October 25, 1400) was an English author, poet, philosopher, bureaucrat (courtier), and diplomat, who is best known as the author of The Canterbury Tales.
The poetry of Chaucer, along with other writers of the era, is credited with helping to standardize the London dialect of the Middle English language; a combination of Kentish and Midlands dialect.
Chaucer, in his own time, was most famous as a translator of continental works.
Many of the manuscripts of Chaucer's works contain material from these admiring poets.
Chaucer provides a "slice-of-life," creating a picture of the times in which he lived by letting us hear the voices and see the viewpoints of people from all different backgrounds and social classes.
On one such trip to Italy in 1373, Chaucer came into contact with medieval Italian poetry, the forms and stories of which he would use later.
Soon after the overthrow of his patron Richard II, Chaucer vanished from the historical record.
The young Chaucer began his career by becoming a page to Elizabeth de Burgh, fourth Countess of Ulster.
Chaucer's versification suggests that the final -e is sometimes to be vocalized, and sometimes to be silent; however, this remains a point on which there is disagreement.
Chaucer's early popularity is attested by the many poets who imitated his works.
Troilus and Criseyde notwithstanding, Chaucer is almost certainly best known for his long poem, The Canterbury Tales.
No other author of the Middle English period demonstrates the realism, nuance, and characterization found in Chaucer.
Chaucer wrote in continental accentual-syllabic meter, a style which had developed since around the twelfth century as an alternative to the alliterative Anglo-Saxon meter.
In 1359, Chaucer traveled with Lionel of Antwerp, Elizabeth's husband, as part of the English army in the Hundred Years' War.
Modern English is somewhat distanced from the language of Chaucer's poems, owing to the effect of the Great Vowel Shift some time after his death.
Many Chaucer scholars regard the poem as his best for its vivid realism and (in comparison with later works) overall completeness as a story.
Chaucer was the first author to write in English in pentameter, and The Canterbury Tales is his masterpiece of the technique.
Chaucer is also recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary as the first author to use many common English words in his writings.
The later romantic era poets' appreciation of Chaucer was colored by the fact that they did not know which of the works were genuine.
Chaucer, like virtually all other authors of his period, was very interested in presenting a moral to his story.
In 1374, Chaucer became Comptroller of the Customs for the port of London for Richard II.
All things to all people, for a combination of mixed aesthetic and political reasons, Chaucer was held in high esteem by high and low audiences—certainly a boon for printers and booksellers.
After his tour of duty, Chaucer traveled in France, Spain and Flanders, possibly as a messenger and perhaps as a religious pilgrim.