This first, and some would say greatest, poet of the English language stands before the gateway of the early modern age. He lived at a time when the elite languages of former conquerors, French and Latin, were both giving way to English - no longer just the vernacular of the common people, but increasingly the language of the court, the law, and of literature. Richard West weaves a fascinating picture of this extraordinary man, whose character has puzzled lovers of his comic masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales . How did he remain so apparently cheerful and serene, through one of the cruellest eras of history? As a child he survived the Black Death, later he fought in France during the Hundred Years War, served as a diplomat in Italy, and became an MP at the angry beginnings of the Protestant Reformation, the Peasants' Revolt and the overthrow of Richard II.
|Publication date:||1st December 2001|
|Publisher:||Robinson Publishing an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group|
|Categories:||Biography: historical, political & military, Literary studies: poetry & poets, Literary studies: classical, early & medieval,|
Richard West is a journalist and writer who contributes regularly to The Times Literary Supplement and the Spectator. He has written many books, including a much-admired biography of Daniel Defoe, and is married to the writer Mary Kenny.More About Richard West