Geoffrey Chaucer was born around the
year 1343 AD into a world that was going through much political and social change. This dynamic
is reflected throughout his work and his life events. He was born into a middle-class family of
a wealthy wine merchant so he had much opportunity to study Latin as well as English. Chaucer
fought for King Edward III, and was captured and then ransomed later. He married in 1366, and
pursued a public life, eventually holding jobs as Italian diplomat, Customs official, and a Justice
of the Peace.
varied experiences gave him a broad opportunity to find much to write about, and he wrote through his
entire lifetime, even when he held prestigious positions. In fact, Chaucer was unable to finish
the Canterbury tales as he intended, but he worked on the tales exclusively after his wife died in 1386
until his death in 1400.