GEOFFREY CHAUCER (1343–1400) is often credited as the father of English literature and the first writer to privilege the vernacular over Latin or Anglo-French in England. A diplomat and court official he gained the patronage of John of Gaunt for whom he wrote the Book of the Duchess, a lament for Gaunt’s first wife Blanche. Chaucer translated and adapted many of the European courtly romances, giving his own distinctive interpretation. His tragedy Troilus and Criseyde remains one of the most moving poetic romances of literature, but it is for his Canterbury Tales with their entirely original English setting and mixture of bawdy humour and romance that he is best remembered. Buried in Westminster Abbey, his tomb became the first in what is now known as Poets’ Corner.
About The Canterbury Tales (from Wikipedia):
The Canterbury Tales (Middle English: Tales of Caunterbury) is a collection of over 20 stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century, during the time of the Hundred Years’ War. The tales (mostly written in verse, although some are in prose) are presented as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return.