The most famous medieval author was Geoffrey Chaucer

There ware many famous medieval authors

* John Gower- Confesso Amantis

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But by far the most famous was Geoffrey Chaucer who was the author of the Canterbury tales. Often regarded as the father of English literature he was born in London in 1340 the son of a vintner. Chaucer’s literary activity is often divided into three periods. The first period includes his early work (to 1370), which is based largely on French models; Chaucer’s chief works during this time are the Book of the Duchess, an allegorical lament written in 1369.

Chaucer’s second period (up to c.1387) is called his Italian period because during this time his works were modelled primarily on Dante and Boccaccio. Also among the works of this period are the unfinished Legend of Good Women, a poem telling of nine classical heroines, which introduced the heroic couplet (two rhyming lines of iambic pentameter) into English verse;

To Chaucer’s final period, in which he achieved his fullest artistic power, belongs his masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales (written mostly after 1387). This unfinished poem, about 17,000 lines, is one of the most brilliant works in all literature. The poem introduces a group of pilgrims journeying from London to the shrine of St. Thomas � Becket at Canterbury. To help pass the time they decide to tell stories. Together, the pilgrims represent a wide cross section of 14th-century English life.

Medieval styles of literature

Most of the literature in the early middle ages was religious; monks would make copies of the bible featuring ornate decorative calligraphy, as very few people knew how to read or right there was little point in publishing books and novels.

However towards the end of the 14th century Authors began to create poetry and plays. Although these plays still contained a high religious content, they were still a step towards the literary freedom that occurs today

Society in the middle ages

The middle Ages saw several fierce contests for the Crown, culminating in the Wars of the Roses, which lasted for nearly a century. The conflict was finally ended with the advent of the Tudors, the dynasty that produced some of England’s most successful rulers and a flourishing cultural Renaissance. The history of England all throughout the middle Ages is one, long, almost uninterrupted set of conflicts engendered by the attempt to convert feudalism into monarchy.

On the one hand are attempts to consolidate the power of the monarch over the power of feudatories; on the other hand is the resistance to monarchical aggrandizement and the subsequent assertion of privileges by feudatories over the monarch. The high point of monarchical power was attained during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307); the low points of monarchical power were scattered all throughout medieval English history: the reigns of John, Edward II, and Richard II being the bleakest.

* Rich

The rich of medieval England lived in large manor estates stretching for mile upon mile. They would charge peasants rent to live in their land, use their oven and hunt. The rich would eat dear, boar, hare and rabbit as well as trout and salmon. They would drink ale and malt

* Poor

Lived on land owned by lords of the manor. Often lived in wooden shacks or stone boxes. They would sleep on straw beds covered with a woollen blanket if lucky. The poor would eat, Maslin bread a mixture of Rye and Barley. They would also live on a broth of beans; if lucky the peasants may catch a hedgehog or squirrel

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