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School of History


20 January 2015

Time: 6:30pm
Venue: ArtsTwo Lecture Theatre, ArtsTwo Building, QMUL

1386 found Geoffrey Chaucer driven from his job, ousted from his home, humiliated in Parliament, and forced into near exile in Kent. This is when Chaucer took his own advice, to “make virtue of necessity.” There he began his greatest work, the Canterbury Tales. In isolation and severance from his familiar London audience, he invented a portable one– his memorable, tale-swapping Pilgrim band.

Paul Strohm’s microbiography tells the story of Chaucer’s worst year and greatest poem. Paul Strohm has been Tolkien Professor at the University of Oxford and Garbedian Professor at Columbia University, and in 2013 was named Honorary Professorial Fellow of QMUL. He has written numerous scholarly books as well as fiction and journalism for general readers. Terry Jones has, in addition to his other activities as author and performer with ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’, written two admired books on Chaucer. Marion Turner, of the University of Oxford, has written Chaucerian Conflict: Languages of Antagonism in Late Fourteenth-Century London, and is currently writing a Chaucer biography of her own.

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