John of Gaunt - Wikipedia
John of Gaunt gives grants to Chaucer and to French knight/poet Otho de to negotate peace and a marriage between Richard and a French princess. c. -. "In the first place," as Professor Mead remarks, "we see that the 24 JOHN LIVINGSTON LOWES entirely out of .. The relation of Chaucer's first four lines ( D. ) to the See Armitage-Smith, John of Gaunt, , for an account of. Alternative Titles: John of Gaunt, duc d'Aquitaine, John of Gaunt, earl of Richmond Castile and Leon based upon his marriage to Constance of Castile inThe Canterbury Tales - Chaucer's Tale of Sir Topaz Summary & Analysis - Geoffrey Chaucer
At the height of his career he was the most powerful man in the kingdom after the king. He was virtually regent for his father, Edward III, in his old age, thus getting the blame for military failures and government corruption.
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He was a soldier and statesman whose career spanned 6 decades and several countries, including England, Belgium, France, Scotland and Castile.
However, by far the most fascinating part of his life is his love life.
Blanche of Lancaster - Wikipedia
John married three times; his wives being two great heiresses and a long-time mistress. Blanche was born sometime before and would go on to marry Sir Thomas Morieux before her death in or The marriage proved very successful, with 7 children being born in just 8 years, 3 of whom survived infancy; daughters Philippa and Elizabeth and a son, Henry of Bolingbroke.
It has always been believed that Blanche died inwhen John of Gaunt was away in France, having moved her young family to Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire, to escape a fresh outbreak of the Black Death, but that she succumbed to the plague while there. However, recent research has discovered that Blanche died at Tutbury on 12th September,more likely from the complications of childbirth than from the plague, following the birth of her daughter, Isabella, who died young.
Her husband was by her side when she died and arranged to have prayers said for the soul of his lost duchess. John of Gaunt arranged for a splendid alabaster tomb and annual commemorations for the rest of his life.
Blanche of Lancaster
Surrender of Santiago de Compostela to John of Gaunt. She had grown up at court with her sister, Philippa, who would later marry Geoffrey Chaucer. John and Katherine would have four children — 3 sons and a daughter — in the years between and However it seems just as likely that they were named after the lordship of Beaufort, which had formerly belonged to Gaunt and to which he still laid claim. Meanwhile, John had not yet done with his dynastic ambitions and, despite his relationship with Katherine, married Constance of Castile in September Blanche and Gaunt had seven children, three of whom survived infancy.
The tomb of Blanche and John of Gaunt in St. Paul's Cathedralas represented in an etching of by Wenceslaus Hollar. The etching includes a number of inaccuracies, for example in not showing the couple with joined hands.
Katherine Swynford: The Story of John of Gaunt and His Scandalous Duchess
Death and commemoration[ edit ] Blanche died at Tutbury CastleStaffordshireon 12 September while her husband was overseas. Her funeral at St. Paul's Cathedral in London was preceded by a magnificent cortege attended by most of the upper nobility and clergy.
John of Gaunt held annual commemorations of her death for the rest of his life and established a joint chantry foundation on his own death. It may have been for one of the anniversary commemorations of Blanche's death that Geoffrey Chaucerthen a young squire and mostly unknown writer of court poetry, was commissioned to write what became The Book of the Duchess in her honour. Though Chaucer's intentions can never be defined with absolute certainty, many believe that at least one of the aims of the poem was to make John of Gaunt see that his grief for his late wife had become excessive, and to prompt him to try to overcome it.
The poem tells the story of the poet's dream.