English today is the language of the internet and the airlines - the lingua franca of the Earth - on a global scale what Latin and French were to Western Europe for many centuries. The Anglo-Saxon defeat at Hastings in 1066 led to three centuries of linguistic humiliation for the English language. In the 14th century, English was still struggling to be taken seriously in Church, Court and the City. The aftermath of plague coupled with a search for national identity provided a fertile context in the second half of the 1300s for the resurgence of English. Geoffrey Chaucer, a public servant from London, intertwined creative writing skills with wit and the common touch in The Canterbury Tales to propel English to new heights, earning earthly esteem and a final resting place in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey in 1400.