Geoffrey Chaucer

Books by Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer was a 14th-century poet who had a huge impact on English literature and whose books remain a staple for students studying it. Although traditionally dubbed “the father of English literature,” his poems are neither as hierarchical, nor as isolationist (or, indeed as boring!) as that title might suggest. He is one of the great comic poets in the English language.

If you’re looking for a biography of Chaucer, we recommend Chaucer: A European Life by Marion Turner, a professor of English at Oxford University. She spoke to us about Chaucer and his most famous work, The Canterbury Tales.

We also have an interview dedicated to Troilus and Criseyde, an earlier Chaucer poem, with the late Jenni Nuttall, who taught at Oxford and sadly died in January 2024. She describes Troilus and Criseyde as “an extraordinary piece of storytelling . . . one of the very greatest instances of moment-by-moment narration, of looking through different characters’ eyes: falling in love, being happy, betraying someone.”

Interviews where books by Geoffrey Chaucer were recommended

Troilus and Criseyde by Geoffrey Chaucer: A Reading List, recommended by Jenni Nuttall

Troilus and Criseyde has a centuries’ old backstory. Long before Renaissance dramas or realist novels, Chaucer wrote a love story set in a besieged city that was a deep psychological exploration of character and human relationships. Jenni Nuttall, author of Troilus and Criseyde: A Reader’s Guide, shares her reading recommendations after over a decade of teaching the poem to Oxford undergraduates.

© Five Books 2024

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