Geoffrey Chaucer has some claim to being the greatest of English poets, as well as the father of our language. Yet there has always lurked a dark secret in his life, a scandal or crime which, from evidence of two different legal documents of his time, has intrigued and mystified scholars for generations, dividing them into warring factions.
In the five days before Prince John of Gaunt's London funeral in March 1399, the body of the great Plantagenet prince is being brought from Leicester Castle for burial in St Paul's. Setting out with it are his family, royal mourners, Katherine Swynford, recently married to him and now his widow, Geoffrey Chaucer, and Adam Scriven, the poet's resentful scrivener or copyist. Not far away, in King's Langley, King Richard II, Gaunt's nephew, who has survived as king only under his protection, plans and manoeuvres to seize Gaunt's huge Lancastrian inheritance and even his body.
Scriven, who is engaged in copying the last Canterbury Tale, wants to use this final occasion to discover and test once and for all the truth about Chaucer's crime. But more is at stake than the poet's reputation: the future of England and Gaunt's royal line.
Publication date: 05/02/2007
Publisher: Petrak Press
|Publication date:||5th February 2007|
Apart from his well-known biographies, the most recent of which, Universal Father, was of Pope John Paul II, Garry O'Connor has published two novels: Darlings of the Gods, which was filmed as a mini-series from his original non-fiction book - 'The mythology of one of the century's most celebrated marriages [of Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh] a brilliantly perceptive portrait', according to the Observer; and Campion's Ghost, about which The Sunday Times wrote, 'That O'Connor manages to re-create figures such as Jonne Donne and Elizabeth I in many complex and unexpected ways is a tribute to his skill. Donne becomes ...More About Garry O'connor