In this enthralling work of historical speculation Terry Jones investigates the mystery surrounding the death of Geoffrey Chaucer over six hundred years ago. A diplomat, and brother-in-law to John of Gaunt - one of the most powerful men in the kingdom - Chaucer was celebrated as his country's finest living poet, rhetorician and scholar: the pre-eminent intellectual superstar of his time. And yet nothing at all is known of his death...In 1400 his name simply disappears from the record. We don't know how he died, where or when; there is no official confirmation of his death and no chronicle mentions it; no notice of his funeral or burial. He left no will and there's nothing to tell us what happened to his estate. He didn't even leave any manuscripts. How could this be? What if he was murdered? What if he and his writings had become politically inconvenient in the seismic social shift that occurred with the overthrow of the liberal Richard II by the reactionary, oppressive regime of Henry IV. Would the dogs of suppression, unleashed by Archbishop Arundel, have been snapping at the heels of a dangerous poet?
Written with a team of international Chaucer scholars, Terry Jones' daring and controversial hypothesis is the introduction to a remarkable reading of Chaucer's writings as evidence that might be held against him, interwoven with a brilliant portrait of one of the most turbulent periods in English history, its politics and its personalities. Combining revelatory scholarship with the flair for narrative that marks all his work, the result is an absorbing synthesis of history and literary analysis that is sure to be essential reading for years to come.