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Geoffrey Chaucer with Henry Eliot - 32 Londoners 2014

Henry Eliot on GEOFFREY CHAUCER - Poet, b.1343, London

On May the 1st 2014, the EDF Energy London Eye hosted a unique event where each of its 32 capsules was given over to a talk by a well-known authority on a famous Londoner. To commemorate the occasion, this podcast series has been made of all the talks.

Geoffrey Chaucer was the son of a London vintner, who became a senior civil servant, a diplomat, a lawyer, a philosopher, an astronomer, a courtier and one of the greatest poets ever to write in the English language. His extraordinary and voluminous literary output earned him the title, the 'Father of English Literature'. Many English words are first attested in his works, including accident, cinnamon and scissors. His greatest achievement is the monumental Canterbury Tales, a rambunctious poem sequence that still entertains readers over 600 years later. Chaucer was the first poet to be buried in Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey.

Henry Eliot is a literary walker. He is co-editor of Curiocity, a map-magazine of unusual experiences in London. In September 2013 he devised a William Morris pilgrimage from Southwark to Red House for the National Trust, and in 2012 he organised a recreation of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales from London to Canterbury.