Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343–1400), born in London, England, is often considered the greatest English poet of the middle ages and the ‘father of English literature’. Throughout his life, Chaucer maintained a successful career in the civil service, including roles as a noblewoman’s page, a courtier and a diplomat, and later achieved fame for his extensive body of poetry and philosophy. Perhaps the best known of these is his unfinished work The Canterbury Tales, a collection of stories told by 24 fictional pilgrims in a story-telling competition as they journey to Canterbury to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket.
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