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Download Chaucer: Ackroyd's Brief Lives Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Chaucer: Ackroyds Brief Lives, by Peter Ackroyd Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (762 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Peter Ackroyd Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In the first in a new series of brief biographies, bestselling author Peter Ackroyd brilliantly evokes the medieval world of England and provides an incomparable introduction to the great poet's works. Geoffrey Chaucer, who died in 1400, lived a surprisingly eventful life. He served with the Duke of Clarence and with Edward III, and in 1359 was taken prisoner in France and ransomed. Through his wife, Philippa, he gained the patronage of John of Gaunt, which helped him carve out a career at Court. His posts included Controller of Customs at the Port of London, Knight of the Shire for Kent, and King's Forester. He went on numerous adventurous diplomatic missions to France and Italy. Yet he was also indicted for rape, sued for debt, and captured in battle. He began to write in the 1360s, and is now known as the father of English poetry. His Troilus and Criseyde is the first example of modern English literature, and his masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales, the forerunner of the English novel, dominated the last part of his life. In his lively style, Peter Ackroyd, one of the most acclaimed biographers and novelists writing today, brings us an eye-opening portrait, rich in drama and colorful historical detail, of a prolific, multifaceted genius. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Not so much an account of the life of Geoffrey Chaucer…as a consideration of his role in shaping England’s national identity.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • Listeners can feel the rhythm pulsing in Chaucer's words. AudioFile
  • “Listeners can feel the rhythm pulsing in Chaucer’s words.”


  • “Ackroy…vividly depicts 14th-century London and the busy life of Geoffrey Chaucer…A splendid introduction to a pivotal figure in the history of English literature.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jim | 1/25/2014

    " My 23rd Great Grandfather told these tales.....It should be made into a film...or 23 1hour episodes....great stuff....but of course....he had a great genes... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Shinae H | 1/21/2014

    " Wonderfully re-written in novel format and not so much poetry, which one might think would make the book less than it's original version-- uh, no, this was done increibly well and the prose reads as a poem. Brilliant. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Julia McHugh | 1/9/2014

    " interesting, I hadn't read this before and see the influence it's had on a lot of other literature I've enjoyed. Not a sit down read for me- more of periodically enjoying one story at a time. Also the only time I've ever seen the word cunt used to describe the female anatomy versus a human being as a whole. funny. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Alex | 1/8/2014

    " If this helps to introduce more people to Chaucer, that's fine. But you really don't have to be Peter Ackroyd to concoct a "Chaucer for Dummies" book like this one. Yes, it's an easy read - so is anything written in short, simple sentences. But it's missing both the music of Chaucer's verse and the elegance of Ackroyd's prose. Were it not for the indiscriminate use of modern english profanities, this'd be a great present for a fifth-grader - it's that kind of "readable book". "

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