Geoffrey Chaucer

Date of birth: 1340 — Date of death: 1400

Poet. Son of John Chaucer (c.1312-1366), a prosperous London merchant, and Agnes Copton. Chaucer had married Philippa Roelt by 1366. Phillippa's sister, Katherine, was to become the third wife of John of Gaunt (1340-1399). The most famous of Chaucer's poems - The Canterbury Tales - reveals the influence of Italian poets such as Petrarch and Dante on his work. Chaucer visited Italy in 1372. He was appointed the clerk of the king's works by Richard II in 1389.