Geoffrey Chaucer

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Geoffrey Chaucer (pronounced /ˈtʃɔːsər/; c. 1343 – 25 October 1400) was an English author, poet, philosopher, bureaucrat, courtier and diplomat. Although he wrote many works, he is best remembered for his unfinished frame narrative The Canterbury Tales. Sometimes called the father of English literature, Chaucer is credited by some scholars as the first author to demonstrate the artistic legitimacy of the vernacular Middle English, rather than French or Latin.

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Life

Chaucer was born circa 1343 in London, though the exact date and location of his birth are not known. His father and grandfather were both London vintners and before that, for several generations, the family members were merchants in Ipswich. His name is derived from the French chausseur, meaning shoemaker.[1] In 1324 John Chaucer, Geoffrey's father, was kidnapped by an aunt in the hope of marrying the twelve-year-old boy to her daughter in an attempt to keep property in Ipswich. The aunt was imprisoned and the £250 fine levied suggests that the family was financially secure, bourgeois, if not in the elite.[2] John married Agnes Copton, who, in 1349, inherited properties including 24 shops in London from her uncle, Hamo de Copton, who is described as the "moneyer" at the Tower of London.

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