Women are a major subject of Chaucer's writings, and their place in his work has attracted much recent critical attention. Feminizing Chaucer investigates Chaucer's thinking about women, and re-assesses it in the light of developments in feminist criticism. It explores Chaucer's handling of gender issues, of power roles, of misogynist stereotypes and the writer's responsibility for perpetuating them, and the complex meshing of activity and passivity in human experience. Mann argues that the traditionally 'female' virtues of patience and pity are central to Chaucer's moral ethos, and that this necessitates a reformulation of ideal masculinity.
First published [as Geoffrey Chaucer] in the series 'Feminist Readings', this new edition includes a new chapter, 'Wife-Swapping in Medieval Literature'. The references and bibliography have been updated, and a new preface surveys publications in the field over the last decade. JILL MANN is currently Notre Dame Professor of English, University of Notre Dame.