In the first in a new series of brief biographies, bestselling author Peter Ackroyd brilliantly evokes the medieval world of England and provides an incomparable introduction to the great poet's works. Geoffrey Chaucer, who died in 1400, lived a surprisingly eventful life. He served with the Duke of Clarence and with Edward III, and in 1359 was taken prisoner in France and ransomed. Through his wife, Philippa, he gained the patronage of John of Gaunt, which helped him carve out a career at Court. His posts included Controller of Customs at the Port of London, Knight of the Shire for Kent, and King's Forester. He went on numerous adventurous diplomatic missions to France and Italy. Yet he was also indicted for rape, sued for debt, and captured in battle. He began to write in the 1360s, and is now known as the father of English poetry. His Troilus and Criseyde is the first example of modern English literature, and his masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales, the forerunner of the English novel, dominated the last part of his life. In his lively style, Peter Ackroyd, one of the most acclaimed biographers and novelists writing today, brings us an eye-opening portrait, rich in drama and colorful historical detail, of a prolific, multifaceted genius.
About the Author
Peter Ackroyd is the author of "Thames"; "London: The Biography"; "Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination" several successful novels; and the Ackroyd's Brief Lives series.
Simon Vance has recorded over four hundred audiobooks and has earned over twenty "AudioFile" Earphones Awards, including for his narration of "Scaramouche" by Rafael Sabatini. He is also the recipient of five coveted Audie Awards, including one for "The King's Speech" by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi, and he was named an "AudioFile" Best Voice of 2009.
"Listeners can feel the rhythm pulsing in Chaucer's words." ---AudioFile