abstract: This article reads the Legend of Good Women alongside two late-fourteenth-century conduct texts for women, the Livre du Chevalier de La Tour Landr y and the Ménagier de Paris . It argues that the dysphoric emotional states felt by the Legend ’s women not only make erotic love illegible as an ennobling emotional experience, but also embody disturbing states of obstructed agency that threaten to undo established affective relations between the aesthetics of love and the social. In contrast, contemporary conduct texts for women construct emotion in ideologically satisfying ways by writing women good in their roles as wives and household managers, thereby providing a clearly legible alternative to fin’ amor and its definitions of noble subjectivity.
The Chaucer Review – Penn State University Press
Published: Jan 9, 2017