25 October, 1400: Death of GEOFFREY CHAUCER

GEOFFREY  CHAUCER (London, c. 1343 – 25 October, 1400 ) known as the Father of English literature  is  considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages and was the first poet to be buried in the area now known as Poets’ Corner , in Westminster Abbey.

While he achieved fame during his lifetime as an author, philosopher, and astronomer, he  maintained an active career in the civil service as a bureaucrat, courtier  and diplomat. Today his  best known work  is The Canterbury Tales, a collection of stories told by fictional pilgrims on the road to the cathedral at Canterbury.

Chaucer’s work was crucial in standardizing  the London Dialect of the Middle English language and legitimizing its literary use at a time when the dominant literary languages in England were French and Latin. His achievement for the language can be seen as part of a general historical trend towards the creation of a vernacular literature after the example of Dante in Italy.

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