Geoffrey Chaucer was born in the early 1340s (ca. 1343) to John Chaucer, a vintner and deputy to the king's butler. As a boy, he was a page to the Countess of Ulster. With Chaucer's connections, he traveled around the world. And, with his experiences in court and in the army, he had plenty of material for some of his most well-known works.
Adolphus William Ward writes of Chaucer: "To meet this demand upon his genius, Chaucer was born with many gifts which he carefully and assiduously exercised in a long series of poetical experiments, and which he was able felicitously to combine for the achievement of results unprecedented in our literature. In readiness of descriptive power, in brightness and variety of imagery, and in flow of diction, Chaucer remained unequaled by any English poet, till he was surpassed..." He later sums up his discussion of Chaucer by saying "in his poetry there is LIFE."
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