A Level English: Stepping into the world of Chaucer…

It is one thing to understand the actual text of The Wife of Bath, but quite another to attempt to comprehend what it would have been like living at the time Chaucer was writing it. And yet, learning about the context in which an artist creates their work is such an important part of truly comprehending it.

Because the context of art is so significant, today we are giving you a brief overview of some of the events that took place during Chaucer’s time. Some of these are just for fun, whilst others might have had a vital influence on Chaucer…

Note: these are not in order of significance/ interest.


This was a significant episode in the reign of Richard II, and one that had dire consequences for his enemies, many of whom suffered for turning against their King. Whilst we don’t know to what extent this influenced Chaucer in any way, the poet involved in the next event may well have done…






What event did you fid most interesting? Do you have any more to suggest? We would love to hear your views! Comment below!


Want to read more? Why not try:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/middle_ages/richardii_reign_01.shtml for information on the reign of Richard II

http://www.bl.uk/learning/timeline/item126562.html to learn more about the first Cooking Manuscript and other works of the time

http://www.shiavault.com/books/middle-english-literature/chapters/3-sir-gawain-and-the-green-knight-c-1375-1400 to read more about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight


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