Who Murdered Chaucer?
A Medieval Mystery
Publication Date: December 9, 2004
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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In this spectacular work of historical speculation Terry Jones investigates the mystery surrounding the death of Geoffrey Chaucer over 600 years ago. A diplomat and brother-in-law to John of Gaunt, one of the most powerful men in the kingdom, Chaucer was celebrated as his country's finest living poet, rhetorician and scholar: the preeminent intellectual of his time. And yet nothing is known of his death. In 1400 his name simply disappears from the record. We don't know how he died, where or when; there is no official confirmation of his death and no chronicle mentions it; no notice of his funeral or burial. He left no will and there's nothing to tell us what happened to his estate. He didn't even leave any manuscripts. How could this be? What if he was murdered?
Terry Jones' hypothesis is the introduction to a reading of Chaucer's writings as evidence that might be held against him, interwoven with a portrait of one of the most turbulent periods in English history, its politics and its personalities.
Terry Jones is the author of several acclaimed works on the Middle Ages including Chaucer's Knight, Crusades, and Medieval Lives, the basis for his popular PBS series. A former member of Monty Python, he lives in London.
Terry Dolan is Professor of English at University College, Dublin, and a lexicographer and broadcaster.
Juliette Dor is Professor of Medieval English Literature at the University of Liege.
Alan Fletcher is a lecturer in Medieval English Literature at University College, Dublin.
Robert F. Yeager teaches Old and Middle English literature at the University of West Florida.
"A hugely important book."--Nigel Saul, author of Richard II
"More of a contextual study than a biography, it contains a great deal of valuable material and intriguing speculation."--Jonathan Bate, author of Song of the Earth
"Lighthearted, intelligent, panoramic and defiantly unbeholden to conventional interpretation, [Who Murdered Chaucer?] is based on an impressive array of primary and secondary sources."--Alexander Rose, author of Kings of the North