294. Isabel Davis on Sexuality and Marriage in Chaucer

Posted on 28 January 2018

Peter is joined by Isabel Davis to discuss marriage, sex and chastity in Chaucer, focusing on the Wife of Bath's speech.

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Further Reading

Chaucer and Fame, ed. Isabel Davis and Catherine Nall (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2015).

Writing Masculinity in the Later Middle Ages (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)

Love, Marriage and Family Ties in the Later Middle Ages, ed. I. Davis, M. Müller and S. Rees Jones (Turnhout: Brepols, 2003).

• ‘“The Trinite is our everlasting lover”: Marriage and Trinitarian Love in the Later Middle Ages’, Speculum, 86:4 (2011), 914-63.

• 'Piers Plowman and the Querelle of the Rose: Marriage, Caritas and the Peacock's "pennes"', New Medieval Literatures, 10 (2009), 49-86.

• 'On the Sadness of not being a Bird: The Representation of Abraham and Late Medieval Marriage Ideologies in William Langland's Piers Plowman', in Medieval Domesticity: Home, Housing and Household in Medieval England, ed. P.J.P. Goldberg and M. Kowaleski (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).

• 'Men and Margery: Negotiating Medieval Patriarchy', in A Companion to the 'Book of Margery Kempe', ed. K.J. Lewis and J.H. Arnold (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2004), pp. 35-54.

Comments

Thomas Mirus 4 February 2018

Nice job. I had already read the Wife of Bath's Tale (for the Tolkien Professor's Faerie and Fantasy course: http://tolkienprofessor.com/lectures/courses/faerie-and-fantasy/) but your discussion of the nuances and ironies in Chaucer's portrayal inspired me to go ahead and pick up my copy of the Canterbury Tales and start reading it from front to back. (I'm still in the introduction where they give an in-depth guide to pronunciation, but I hope I'll get to the actual text eventually...)

Thanks Thomas! I really enjoyed making this podcast with Peter Adamson. I'm glad it sent you back to read Chaucer. 

David Johnsons 22 July 2021

The character of Wife of Bath is variant is various aspects. Chaucer had full control on his writings. Its just a masterpiece in English Literature.

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