Chaucers Life,career, masterpiece and Contribution presented by Amy Zhang 20094210408
His family name derives from the French chausseur, meaning "shoemaker"; Financially secure, if not elite. Agnes Copton, who, in 1349, inherited properties including 24 shops in London from her uncle, Hamo de Copton.
Life Around 1366, Chaucer married Philippa (de) Roet. She was a lady-in-waiting to Edward IIIs queen. It is uncertain how many children Chaucer and Philippa had, but three or four are most commonly cited. She is presumed to have died in 1387.
Major WorksAround this time, Chaucer is believed to have written The Book of the Duchess in honour of Blanche of Lancaster, the late wife of John of Gaunt, who died in 1369.
Career Since Chaucer was a public servant, his official life is very well documented, with nearly five hundred written items testifying to his career. The first of the "Chaucer Life Records" appears in 1357, in the household accounts of Elizabeth de Burgh, the Countess of Ulster, when he became the noblewomans page through his fathers connections.
Career In 1359, in the early stages of the Hundred Years War, Edward III invaded France and Chaucer travelled with Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence, Elizabeths husband, as part of the English army. In 1360, he was captured during the siege of Rheims. Edward paid ￡ 16 for his ransom, a considerable sum, and Chaucer was released.
Career Chaucer travelled to Picardy the next year he was married as part of a military expedition in 1373. On this trip, he was introduced to medieval Italian poetry, the forms and stories of which he would use later.
Career His career as a writer was appreciated came when Edward III granted Chaucer "a gallon of wine daily for the rest of his life" in 1374. Chaucer obtained the very substantial job of Comptroller of the Customs for the port of London, which he began on 8 June 1374. He must have been suited for the role as he continued in it for twelve years, a long time in such a post at that time. While still working as comptroller, Chaucer appears to have moved to Kent, being appointed as one of the commissioners of peace for Kent, at a time when French invasion was a possibility. He also became a Member of Parliament for Kent in 1386.
Career His life goes undocumented for much of the next ten years, but it is believed that he wrote (or began) most of his famous works during this period. He is thought to have started work on The Canterbury Tales in the early 1380s.
Career On 12 July 1389, appointed the clerk. A sort of foreman organising most of the kings building projects. It may have been a difficult job, but it paid well: two shillings a day, more than three times his salary as a comptroller. Chaucer was also appointed keeper of the lodge at the King’s park in Feckenham, which was a largely honorary appointment. He was granted an annual pension of twenty pounds by Richard II in 1394. It is believed that Chaucer stopped work on the Canterbury Tales sometime towards the end of this decade.
Major WorksIn 1378, Richard II sent Chaucer as an envoy (secret dispatch) to the Visconti and to Sir John Hawkwood in Milan.It has been speculated that it was Hawkwood on whom Chaucer based his character the Knight in the Canterbury Tales.
Life It is believed that Chaucer stopped work on the Canterbury Tales sometime towards the end of this decade. In 1399, Chaucers name fades from the historical record. The last few records of his life show his pension renewed by the new king, and his taking of a lease on a residence within the close of Westminster Abbey on 24 December 1399.
The first poet to have been buried inPoets Corner of Westminster Abbey.
Contribution The part played by Chaucer in the development of the English language has often been overrated. He neither corrupted it, as used to be said, by introducing French words which it would otherwise have avoided, nor bore any such part in fixing it as was afterwards played by the translators of the Bible. When he was growing up, educated society in England was still bilingual, and the changes in vocabulary and pronunciation which took place during his life were the natural results of a society, which had been bilingual with a bias towards French, giving an exclusive preference to English. Chaucers service to the English language lies in his decisive success having made it impossible for any later English poet to attain fame, by writing alternatively in Latin and French. The claim which should be made for him is that, at least as regards poetry, he proved that English was "sufficient."