In the enotes text, it says Chaucer 'corresponded with French poet Descartes'. They lived in different centuries - how can this be true? 

1 Answer | Add Yours

robertwilliam's profile pic

robertwilliam | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

Well spotted! Our bad, I'm afraid: I'm fairly sure this is a mistake. As you point out, Rene Descartes was born in 1596, and Chaucer in around 1340, the two men lived in entirely different times - and Chaucer certainly didn't write to Descartes.

The writer means, in fact, Eustache Deschamps, a (not very well known) medieval French poet who in 1385 wrote to Chaucer, calling him 'great translator' and noble'. 

Sorry for the confusion!


We’ve answered 317,730 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question