Denver writer Josiah Hatch III has a lot in common with Geoffrey Chaucer, of Canterbury Tales fame. And it's not just that Hatch's new book, A Journey to St. Thomas: Tales for Our Time, models itself very purposefully and masterfully on that seminal work of storytelling.
Chaucer was perhaps the perfect model of the Renaissance man, even if he pre-dated that era and in some ways helped to bring it about. He's come down through the ages as a poet, even called the Father of English Poetry by some scholars, but in his own time, he was a man of politics and civil service, dabbling in philosophy and astronomy, too.
Such is the man whose work Hatch studied both at Princeton and later at Oxford as a Marshall Scholar, where he delved into Anglo-Saxon and Middle English with the relish of a Chaucerian disciple. "I loved my time in academics," Hatch says, "but in the end I went to Washington, D.C., which I considered sort of a halfway house for liberal arts majors. I loved the humanities, and if I had my druthers, I'd have sat in it like a warm bathtub."