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Title: Chaucer's Legendary Good Women
Author: Percival, Florence
Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Publication Date: 2005
Paperback; ISBN: 9780521020824
Volumes: 1; Pages: 352
List Price in Paper: $65.00 Our price: $65.00
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Chaucer's Legend of Good Women is a testament to the disparate views of women prevalent in the Middle Ages. Dr. Percival contends that the complex medieval notion of Woman informs the structure of the poem: in the Prologue Chaucer praises conventional ideas of female virtue, while in the Legends he demonstrates a humorous skepticism, apparently influenced by a contemporary antifeminist tradition. This is a comprehensive account of the Legend's interpretative puzzles, which does not ignore the element of political writing and adds to a close and nuanced reading of the text an examination of literary, historical and social contexts.ContentsIntroductionPart I. Chaucer's Good Woman1. The good woman: the daisy2. Alceste: the good woman of legend3. The good woman: a legendary beast?Part II. The God of Love4. The God of love5. The accusation6. The defence: tyrants of Lombardy7. The defence: Matere and EntentePart III. The Palinode: The Legends of a Good Woman8. Ariadne: the ladies and the critics9. Medea: the ladies and their reputations10. Cleopatra: legend of Cupid's saint11. Dido: composite woman12. Lucrece: too good to be true?13. Phyllis and inherited male perfidyPart IV. The Legend as Courtly Game: Epilogue.