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Chaucer: Ackroyd's Brief Livesby Peter Ackroyd
Synopses & Reviews
In the first in a new series of brief biographies, bestselling author Peter Ackroyd brilliantly evokes the medieval world of England and provides an incomparable introduction to the great poet’s works.
Geoffrey Chaucer, who died in 1400, lived a surprisingly eventful life. He served with the Duke of Clarence and with Edward III, and in 1359 was taken prisoner in France and ransomed. Through his wife, Philippa, he gained the patronage of John of Gaunt, which helped him carve out a career at Court. His posts included Controller of Customs at the Port of London, Knight of the Shire for Kent, and King's Forester. He went on numerous adventurous diplomatic missions to France and Italy. Yet he was also indicted for rape, sued for debt, and captured in battle.
He began to write in the 1360s, and is now known as the father of English poetry. His Troilus and Criseyde is the first example of modern English literature, and his masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales, the forerunner of the English novel, dominated the last part of his life.
In his lively style, Peter Ackroyd, one of the most acclaimed biographers and novelists writing today, brings us an eye-opening portrait, rich in drama and colorful historical detail, of a prolific, multifaceted genius.
The first in a series of concise biographies profiles the eventful life of master fourteenth-century English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, offering a richly detailed multifaceted account of Chaucer's colorful life as a courtier, diplomat, and literary luminary, who was also indicted for rape, sued for debt, and captured in battle. 30,000 first printing.
About the Author
PETER ACKROYD is the author of the recent bestselling books London and the award-winning Life of Thomas More. His early works include The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde, which received the Somerset Maugham Award; Hawksmoor, winner of both the Whitbread Novel of the Year and the Guardian Fiction Award; and Chatterton, which was short-listed for the Booker Prize. His most recent novel, The Clerkenwell Tales, is a thriller set in medieval London, which was inspired by his Chaucer short biography. He lives in London, England, and is completing his Shakespeare biography and a new novel.
Table of Contents
The Londoner — A courtly training — The diplomat — An Italian connection — The civil servant — The court of the boy king — A nest of troubles — Bloody revolt — The affairs of Troy — Residence in Kent — The tales of Canterbury — Last years.
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