CHAUCER, GEOFFREY°


CHAUCER, GEOFFREY°
CHAUCER, GEOFFREY° (1340?–1400), English poet. His major work, The Canterbury Tales, written during the final phase of his career (c. 1390), includes one story based on a blood libel . The Prioress's Tale, which reflects contemporary prejudices, is the story of a widow's child murdered by Jews because he sings the hymn to the Virgin, "Alma redemptoris mater," when passing through the "Jewes Street" of some Asian city on his way to school. The Jews cut his throat and cast him into a pit, but he is miraculously enabled to continue singing, and in this way his body is discovered. The sequel is that all the Jews of the city are tortured and then massacred. Chaucer refers in his tale to the story of hugh of Lincoln, one of the earliest blood libels in Europe, which was first heard of in the middle of the 12th century. However, Chaucer himself could not have known Jews in England, since they had been expelled a hundred years before his poem was written, though he may have visited some Jewish quarters on his travels to Italy in 1372–73. Elsewhere, in his Tale of Sir Thopas and in The Hous of Fame (c. 1380), he speaks of Jews with a degree of respect. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: H. Michelson, Jew in Early English Literature (1926), 43–45; J.C. Wenk, in: Medieval Studies, 17 (1955), 214–9. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: S. Delany (ed.), Chaucer and the Jews (2002), containing recent essays by literary critics and historians; ODNB online. (Harold Harel Fisch)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Chaucer, Geoffrey — (?1340 1400)    Little is known about Chaucer s life but that he was the son of a rich London wine merchant and that he was a page in the household of Prince Lionel, later duke of Clarence, for many years. In 1359 60 he was with the army of… …   British and Irish poets

  • Chaucer, Geoffrey — (ca. 1340 1400)    The greatest poet of medieval English literature, and the first widely influential poet since Anglo Saxon times to write mainly in English rather than French. He is enduringly famous as the author of the Canterbury Tales, a… …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Chaucer, Geoffrey — ► (1340 1400) Poeta inglés. Autor de obras poéticas, como El libro de la duquesa (1369). Su obra maestra es Los cuentos de Canterbury (1386 1400), narraciones inspiradas en el Decamerón. * * * ( 1342/43, ¿Londres?, Inglaterra–25 oct. 1400,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Chaucer,Geoffrey — Chau·cer (chôʹsər), Geoffrey. 1340? 1400. English poet regarded as the greatest literary figure of medieval England. His works include The Book of the Duchess (1369), Troilus and Criseyde (c. 1385), and his masterwork, The Canterbury Tales (1387… …   Universalium

  • CHAUCER, GEOFFREY —    the great early English poet, and father of English poetry, the son of a vintner and taverner, born probably in London, where he lived almost all his days; when a lad, served as page in the royal household; won the favour and patronage of the… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Chaucer — Chaucer, Geoffrey …   Enciclopedia Universal


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