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Geoffrey Chaucer and the Canterbury Tales

Geoffrey Chaucer is best known as the author of The Canterbury Tales and is often referred to as the "Father of English Literature". Chaucer made a crucial contribution to English literature in using English at a time when court poetry was still usually written in Anglo - Norman or Latin. Not much is known about Chaucer's life. He was probabily born in London, and we know he travelled to Italy more than once. It is possible that he met Giovanni Boccaccio and Petrarca, but we don't know for certain. Chaucer probabily started work on The Canterbury Tales in the 1380, but he never completed them. The work is a collection of stories told by fictional pilgrims on their way to the cathedral at Canterbury. The liveliness of the stories the pilgrims tell and the variety of vharacters taking part in the pilgrimage sets it apart from other literature of the period. Chaucer drew on real life for his cast of pilgrims: the many jobs Chaucer held during his lifetime probabily exposed him to many of the types of people he depicts in the Tales. He gives us a rich and vivid portrayal of English medieval life. Two editions of The Canterbury Tales were produced by William Caxton,the person who is credited with standardizing the English language through printing. Chaucer was buried in Westminster Abbey.

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