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Life and Times Of Geoffrey Chaucer Geoffrey Chaucer, the worlds greatest poet, lived in fourteenth century Europe. Like most great people he too was influenced by something, French poetry, which I will Prove. Europe at that time was not rich or poor, happy or sad; it was mixed with wealth and poverty. Chaucers literary works broke away from conformity and set the stage for the beginning of English literature. Chaucers travels through Europe, mostly on the Kings business, or civil service, shaped his writing, offering his readers of today a brief glimpse into the world in which he lived. Geoffrey Chaucer lived from approximately 1340 to 1400. Born the son of a London vintner, he remained a Londoner for most of his life, leaving the city only on the Kings business.The city of London was Chaucers environment for most of his life. Aside from brief visits into other countries or cities of England, he remained in the city, and its affects on his life were immense. London at the time was very different from the London we know today. It was a walled city, guarded against invasion, but long enough time had passed since such a threat had approached that the defenses had loosened. Houses perched upon the walls, and Chaucer in fact, lived for a time in a house built over Aldgate, (one of the gates of the city). (Norton 76) London was a city less then three-Quarters of a mile in size: it ran east and west along the Thames less than one and a half miles, and extended northwards less then half a mile. Over 20,000 people were packed into this small area; the diversity of the inhabitants was overwhelming. Londoners ranged from wealthy to impoverished, from small to large, shoemakers to blacksmith to minstrel to priest. It had stone buildings mingled with tile, wood, and thatch. While the major streets were fairly wide, small shops and stands often spread out into the road, effectively narrowing it by up to half its original width. London Bridge, the ...

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