Next Owen takes us, via Chaucer's capture at the siege of Rheims, to his involvement in arranging the marriage of King Edward III's son Lionel in Milan and his missions to Genoa and Florence. By scrutinising his encounters with Petrarch, Boccaccio, and the mercenary knight John Hawkwood - and with vividly evocative descriptions of the Arezzo, Padua, Florence, Certaldo, and Milan that Chaucer would have encountered - Owen reveals the deep influence of Italy's people and towns on Chaucer's poems and stories. Much writing on Chaucer depicts a misleadingly parochial figure, but as Owen's enlightening short study of Chaucer's Italian years makes clear, the poet's life was internationally eventful.
The consequences have made the English canon what it is today.
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