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Geoffrey Chaucer led a busy official life as an esquire of the royal court as the administrator of the customs for the port of London as a participant in important diplomatic missions and in a variety of other official duties Before William Shakespeare Geoffrey Chaucer was the distinguished English poet and still retains the position as the most significant poet to write in Middle English Chaucer was born in 1342 but historians are uncertain about his exact date of birth Geoffreys well-to-do parents John Chaucer and Agnes Copton possessed several buildings in the vintage quarter in London Not much is known about Geoffreys school career but most historians feel that he was fluent in Latin and Greek Chaucer first appears in public records in 1357 as a member of the house of Elizabeth Countess of Ulster This was a conventional arrangement in which sons of middle-class households were placed in royal service so that they may obtain a courtly educationSingman 76 Two years later Chaucer served in the army under Edward II and was captured during an unsuccessful offensive at Reims although he was later ransomed Chaucer served under a number of diplomatic missions By 1366 Chaucer had married Philippa Pan who had been in service with the Countess of Ulster Chaucer married well for his position for Philippa Chaucer received an annuity from the queen wife of Edward II Chaucer himself secured an annuity as yeoman of the king and was listed as one of the kings esquiresGeoffrey Chaucer pursued many occupations during his life soldier diplomat intelligence officer construction supervisor Controller of Customs and member of Parliament Norman Yet it is for his literary accomplishments that he has achieved enduring fame Chaucers first published work was The Book of the Duchess a poem of over 1300 lines that is an elegy for the Duchess of Lancaster The Catholic Encyclopedia For this first of his important poems which
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