Chaucer’s Age witnessed three kings-Edward III, Richard II and Henry IV
It was the midsummer of English chivalry, which is portrayed in Chaucer’s ‘Knightes Tales’ dealing with successive wars with France and the famous victories of Crecy and Poictiers.
The age underwent pestilence after pestilence ravaging the land.
In 1348-49 came the awful epidemic called the Black Death, which took away the lives almost a third of the entire population. It re-appeared in 1362, 1367 and 1370.
After the Black Death came Plague.
French Wars occurred in which Edward II emerged victorious but Edward’s imposition of heavy taxes on the public causing theft, robbery and the other.
The despotic rule of Richard II aggravated the situation.
Corruption in churches multiplied. Clergymen were leading a godless life, amassing wealth at the cost of the welfare of the people in general.
The ‘Morning Star of the Reformation’ John Wycliffe emerged who with the help of his disciples produced a complete English version of the Bible which was the first translation of the scriptures into any modern vernacular tongue.
The influence of the Italian writers Petrarch (1304-1374) and Boccaccio (1313-1375) could easily be noticed in England. Chaucer’s ‘The Canterbury Tales’ was highly influenced by the writing of ‘Boccaccio’.