handout: Guillaume de Machaut
Noelle Chamorro, September 19, 2000
Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1377)
Born to commoners, Machaut came from humble origins in the Champagne -Ardenne region of Northern France.
He was educated in theology and letters with a master of arts degree.
He became almoner (secretary) to Jean of Luxembourg, King of Bohemia, in 1323.
Machaut married Jean of Luxembourg’s daughter, Bonne.
His duties as almoner included accompanying the king on his crusades. This experience gave Machaut
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the dissemination of his work throughout Europe, and his decisive influence on subsequent generations of writers and composers testifies to his greatness (Wimsatt 77).
Guillaume de Machaut’s greatest importance probably results from his influence on Chaucer’s works.
The Encyclopedia Brittanica. 12th ed. “Guillaume de Machaut.”
Wimsatt, James. Chaucer and the French Love Poets. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1968.
Wimsatt, James. Chaucer and His French Contemporaries. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991.