Geoffrey Chaucer

[Geoffrey Chaucer] Father of English poetry, born London, England, c.1340; died there, 1400. Serving as a page at court, he was later sent to Italy on a diplomatic mission, which greatly influenced his literary career. His "Canterbury Tales" supply a miniature of English poetry up to date, and of medieval literature, enriched and enlarged by a personal element and a general criticism of life at that time. Closely associated with anti-Lollards, he was orthodox in religion. He defended the Church against age-long calumnies in "The Franklin's Tale" and "The Parson's Tale," but he depicted the Plantagenet world as it was: where the churchman type was gross he represented it grossly; he did not attempt to make it better. Chaucer's genuine major poems are the first 1705 lines of "The Romaunt of the Rose"; "The A.B.C."; the "Book of the Duchess"; the "Complaint of Pity"; "Anelida and False Arcite"; "Trollus and Cressid"; the "Parliament of Fowls"; the "House of Fame"; the "Legend of Good Women"; and the "Canterbury Tales."

New Catholic Dictionary

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