Day School: Geoffrey Chaucer - Civil Servant and Poet

Ref: C2225735

Geoffrey Chaucer has had an immense influence on British culture during the last six hundred years. We begin by looking at the main events of Chaucer's lifetime (c.1343-1400) and his family background, before turning to contemporary perceptions of society and the groups/types of people of which it comprised which influenced Chaucer in his construction of The Canterbury Tales. The final session brings us back to the 'real' world to consider Chaucer 'the civil servant' and the life he lived in London, Kent and Westminster.

Course aim

To learn about Chaucer, his family, upbringing and professional life as well as contemporary events and some of the ideas that were the background to his writing.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • Students need a level 2 qualification in English to join this course
  • It is assumed that class members will have limited knowledge of Chaucer but have an interest in history and literature.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • State the main events of Chaucer's lifetime.
  • Describe Chaucer's connections with East Anglia and give examples of activities with which he was familiar.
  • Describe the main phases of Chaucer's life from his early years until his death.
  • Explain how contemporary ideas about the structure of society influenced Chaucer's presentation of his Canterbury pilgrims.
  • Discuss Chaucer's working life in London and his retirement from the city.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will be encouraged to share your ideas with the group and contribute to our reflections about others' observations.

What else do I need to know?

  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • Bring a notebook and a pen or pencil to the Day School.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Progress to more focused (structured) museum visits.

Download full course information sheet

Day School: Geoffrey Chaucer - Civil Servant and Poet

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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