Chaucer’s influence

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  • Intro

    A decade after Chaucer’s death in 1400, Thomas Hoccleve composed this long poem to the future King Henry V using Chaucer’s rhyme royal, the seven-line rhyming verse. In it, the Prince is instructed on the subjects of governance, virtue and vice. Earlier writers would have chosen Latin or French.

     

     

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    Hoccleve held Chaucer in great esteem, and on the left describes him as The firste fyndere of our faire langage and my worthy maistir. The implication is that English at last has a worthy literary standard. The portrait is Chaucer, and his right hand points to the line in the poem which explains why the illustration has been inserted: Þat to putte othir men in remembraunce, Of his p[er]son (To remind other men of his person or appearance).

     

    Thomas Hoccleve, Regiment of Princes, 1412.

    Shelfmark: Harley MS 4866, ff.87v–88.

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