Chaucer’s Italy

Richard Owen

‘A fascinating insight into Chaucer’s world.’
Mary Hollingsworth, author of Princes of the Renaissance

‘Very readable and well-paced – covers an amazing amount of ground.’ ­­
Marion Turner, author of Chaucer: A European Life

‘Richard Owen performs the remarkable feat of showing us Italy through Chaucer’s eyes. It’s a wonderful evocation of the vibrant intellectual, commercial, and cross-cultural exchanges at the height of the Middle Ages – and the perfect read for a getaway break to Florence, Genoa, or Milan.’
Ross King, author of The Bookseller of Florence

‘Inherently interesting, deftly written, impressively organised and presented.’
Midwest Book Review


Chaucer enjoyed numerous international sojourns over the course of his eventful life, but there was one part of Europe that influenced his work like no other: Italy. Tracing Chaucer’s journeys and his links to destinations such as Florence, Certaldo, Arqua, Pavia, and Milan, Richard Owen introduces us to the princes, knights, and authors with whom Chaucer mixed.

Richard Owen’s illuminating new account leaves no doubt that, without the influence of Italian luminaries such as Francesco Petrarch and Giovanni Boccaccio, the English canon ‘fathered’ by Chaucer would never have existed as we know it.

RICHARD OWEN was The Times Rome correspondent for fifteen years. He was previously the paper’s correspondent in Moscow, Brussels, and Jerusalem. Owen has written several works of non-fiction, including Crisis in the Kremlin and, with Haus, DH Lawrence in Italy, Hemingway in Italy, and Lady Chatterley’s Villa.

Read Richard’s piece on Chaucer and religion in the Tablet.

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