Who Murdered Chaucer?

Who Murdered Chaucer? : A Medieval Mystery

3.88 (364 ratings by Goodreads)
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In this 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 pre-eminent 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 confirmtion 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? What if he and his writings had become politically inconvenient in the seismic social shift that occurred with the overthrow of the liberal Richard II by the reactionary, oppressive regime of Henry IV. Would the dogs of suppression, unleased by Archbishop Arundel, have been snapping at the heels of a dangerous poet?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.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 158 x 236 x 40mm | 1,179.35g
  • Methuen Publishing Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 120 colour and b&w illustrations
  • 0413759105
  • 9780413759108
  • 91,406

About Terry Jones

Educated at Oxford, Terry Jones worked in theatre, wrote revues and scripts for the BBC before becoming one of the creators of Monty Python. He has written many books, including 'Who Murdered Chaucer?' (Methuen), 'Chaucer's Knight' (Methuen), 'Crusades', 'Medieval Lives' and 'Barbarians', and children's books such as 'The Knight and the Squire'. He lives in London.show more

Review quote

*"This is a refreshing and engaging book that despite its controversial conclusions manages to restore the life and spirit of the period." Peter Ackroyd, The Times* "Fascinating, highly readable and authoritative." The Scotsman* "Remarkable...a miraculous blend of history and literary reappraisal that is both light-hearted and entertaining." Good Book Guide* "A meaty, hugely enjoyable read... Let's hope that it will stimulate many readers to revisit Chaucer's writings, read about the background, and make up their own minds." Independent*show more

Rating details

364 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 27% (100)
4 42% (153)
3 24% (87)
2 5% (17)
1 2% (7)
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