Chaucer was a poet, and is generally looked upon as the first great English poet.
But although Chaucer was a great poet, we know very little about his life.
His father, John Chaucer, was a London wine merchant.
We know nothing at all of Chaucer as a boy, nothing of where he went to school, nor do we know if he ever went to college.
Of what befell Chaucer in France we know nothing, except that he was taken prisoner, and that the King, Edward III, himself gave
It was not so with Chaucer, whom I loved from the first word of his which I found quoted in those lectures, and in Chambers's 'Encyclopaedia of English Literature,' which I had borrowed of my friend the organ-builder.
In fact, I may fairly class Chaucer among my passions, for I read him with that sort of personal attachment I had for Cervantes, who resembled him in a certain sweet and cheery humanity.
Compared with the meaner poets the greater are the cleaner, and Chaucer was probably safer than any other English poet of his time, but I am not going to pretend that there are not things in Chaucer which a boy would be the better for not reading; and so far as these words of mine shall be taken for counsel, I am not willing that they should unqualifiedly praise him.
I loved my Chaucer too well, I hope, not to get some good from the best in him; and my reading of criticism had taught me how and where to look for the best, and to know it when I had found it.
But this was long after I read Macaulay, who was one of my grand passions before Dickens or Chaucer.
It is the assertion, the development, the product of those very different indispensable qualities of poetry, in the presence  of which the English is equal or superior to all other modern literature--the native, sublime, and beautiful, but often wild and irregular, imaginative power in English poetry from Chaucer
to Shakespeare, with which Professor Minto deals, in his Characteristics of English Poets (Blackwood), lately reprinted.
Across the centuries Paul Boielle shook hands with Geoffrey Chaucer