Chaucer was great but had limited connection to Ireland

A letter from Gerald Morgan:

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 5:46 am
Letter to the editor

I am glad to see a letter in the Belfast News Letter (‘Irish language has been part of island’s culture for 2000 years,’ April 2, see link below) acknowledging the greatness of Chaucer (c.1343-1400) as an English poet, and perhaps a reference to Chaucer’s knowledge of Italian (Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarch) might also have been helpful.

But I know of no other connection between Chaucer and Ireland apart from the fact that he was a member of the household of Elizabeth de Burgh, 4th Countess of Ulster (1332-1363) and first wife of Lionel of Antwerp, second son of Edward III, in 1357-1360.

I may be out of touch with the latest scholarship on this matter and it would be good to know if more has come to light in this dark period of Chaucer’s life (1360-1366).

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Gerald Morgan, Probationer Senior Lecturer, Trinity College Dublin (2008-2010)

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