The Wife of Bath and her Tale

The Wife of Bath and her Tale

Geoffrey Chaucer

c.1430–1440

England

Manuscript

The Wife of Bath is one of Chaucer's most striking creations, the prologue to her tale occupying more space than the tale itself, as she tells the pilgrims all about her husbands' abilities in the bedroom, about her own desires and fears, and challenges the misogynist traditions of male-dominated religious scholarship and writing. At the end of her Prologue, she tells the story of how, after a violent row about her husband Jankyn's anti-feminist book of 'wikked wives', the couple were reconciled, and the disputes over power and 'maistrie' between them resolved. The Friar comments that 'this is a long preamble of a tale!' (line 12 of this page), and on this page the Wife of Bath finally gears up to tell her tale, an Arthurian romance which also hinges on the question 'What do women most desire?'

Comments

Ivory panels with romance scenes
Ivory panels with romance scenes
A book of family reading and allegiance
A book of family reading and allegiance
Sloth's favourite stories
Sloth's favourite stories
The God of Love on campaign
The God of Love on campaign
The eagle and child and the Stanley family
The eagle and child and the Stanley family
Chaucer's <em>Canterbury Tales</em>
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
A lover's confession
A lover's confession
Moralizing a romance story
Moralizing a romance story
The Wife of Bath and her Tale
The Wife of Bath and her Tale
Romance scenes in a psalter
Romance scenes in a psalter