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The way must have opened quickly for Chaucer, who could both tell stories and compose songs.

The countess was French, so French poets such as Guillaume de Machaut and Eustache Deschamps provided an early inspiration, and Chaucer’s earliest poems, , rest on a heavy French base.

The same change occurs in Troilus after the absence of Criseyde.

Through his trials Troilus learns, as have Dante and Petrarch before him, that loving a real woman is the only real love. The pretext for storytelling in Boccaccio is a plague in Florence which sends a group of ten nobles to the country to escape the Black Death. Each day’s tales are grouped around a common topic or narrative subject.

Once the Miller has established the principle of “quiting,” each tale generates the next.Here Chaucer makes a case for the preeminence of story, an idea that he explored to great effect in .The inhabitants of the House of Fame are asked whether they want to be great lovers or to be remembered as great lovers, and all choose the latter: the story is more important than the reality. By 1374 Chaucer was firmly involved in domestic politics and was granted the important post of controller of customs taxes on hides, skins, and wool.Dating Chaucer’s works is difficult but scholars generally assume that his dream-vision poem is an indictment of courtly love staged as an allegory with birds corresponding to social classes: the hunting birds (eagles, hawks) represent the nobles, the worm eaters (cuckoos) represent the bourgeois, the water fowl are the merchants, and the seed eaters (turtledoves) are the landed farming interests. Chaucer had to keep the records himself as well as oversee the collectors.These were prosperous times for Chaucer; his wife had gotten a large annuity, and they were living rent free in a house above the city gate at Aldgate.

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