Geoffrey Chaucer was born c.1340 the son of a London wine merchant. He received an excellent education at several London schools. In 1357 he became page to the Countess of Ulster and came into contact with his patron John of Gaunt , Duke of Lancaster. Two years later, he fought in France, was captured and ransomed in 1360.

By 1366 Chaucer married Philippa de Roet, a noble lady in the service of the Queen. A year later King Edward III granted him a life pension. Chaucer was sent abroad for diplomatic errands in 1370. Later in his life he visited France and Italy again. In 1374 he was appointed Controller of the Customs in London where he lived in a house over Aldgate. Chaucer succeeded in retaining royal favours with short interruptions for the rest of his life. He was Clerk of the King's Works and Deputy Forester. In 1386 he was elected Knight of the Shire for Kent. Chaucer died on October 25, 1400 and was buried in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey.

Among Chaucer's larger poems there are: The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, The Parliament of Fowls, The Legend of Good Women, Troilus and Criseyde, The Canterbury Tales. Twenty-two of his short poems have come down to us. Among his prose works we find The Treatise of the Astrolabe and his translations Boece (Boethius' De consolatione philosophiae) and The Romaunt of the Rose.

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Geoffrey Chaucer