Geoffrey Chaucer's The General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales

By Harold Bloom | Go to book overview
Chronology
ca. 1340-45
Geoffrey Chaucer born, probably in the wine-marketing area of London, Vintry Ward. His parents, Agnes and John Chaucer, are wealthy property owners; John is a prosperous London wine merchant.
1357
Chaucer serves as a page to Elizabeth de Burgh, Countess of Ulster.
1359-60
Chaucer serves in King Edward III's army in France. He is captured, but Edward pays his ransom.
ca. 1366
Chaucer marries Philippa Roet.He begins his association with John of Gaunt, probably through his wife, whose sister, Katherine Swynford, is John of Gaunt's mistress. John Chaucer dies.
1367
As a member of King Edward III's household, Chaucer receives a royal annuity.
ca. 1368-71
Writes The Book of the Duchess.
ca. 1372-80
Writes Saint Cecilia, which later becomes the Second Nun's Tale, and some of the Monk's tragedies.
1372-73
Sent to Genoa and Florence in the service of the King, Chaucer probably becomes acquainted with the writings of Boccaccio, Petrarch, and Dante.He may also have met Petrarch.
1374
Chaucer moves to the house over the gate of Aldgate. Edward III appoints him Controller of the Customs and Subsidies on Wool for the port of London.
1377
Chaucer travels to France on the King's behalf. While he is there, Edward III dies and Richard II becomes king. Richard renews Chaucer's customs appointment and confirms his royal annuity.

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