The English-Speaking Union

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ESU Happy Hour Series

Wednesday, April 21 from 4:00-5:00 PM (EDT)
Chaucer: A European Life
Professor Marion Turner

Marion Turner is Professor of English Literature at Oxford University, where she is a Fellow of Jesus College. In her talk, Marion will be discussing the extraordinary life of Geoffrey Chaucer, a man who lived through the worst pandemic humanity has ever seen and made his way in the world in a time of radical change. A merchant's son, prisoner of war, diplomat, MP, and pioneering poet, Chaucer lived through rebellions, usurpation, and conflict. While past biographers have often focused on Chaucer's Englishness, he was, in fact, a great internationalist. Marion will talk about his journeys all over the continent, his innovative use of European poetry, and his life in cosmopolitan fourteenth-century London, a place where spices from as far afield as Indonesia were on sale. This is the story of one of the most unusual and brilliant imaginations in literary history. 


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