Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 7536
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Frank , Hardy Long.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Seeing the Prioress Whole [While many literary critics seek to psychoanalyze Chaucer’s Prioress, a more productive way to understand her is to examine the role of prioresses in fourteenth-century England. Prioresses were well-respected; they oversaw the daily activities of convents, entertained travelers of all classes, and traveled frequently on business trips. Rather than being childlike, sentimental, or naive, the Prioress is a capable professional woman who deserves respect. The Prioress’s Marian tale is also well-suited to her vocation and may perhaps refer to Chaucer’s own associations with the cult of Notre Dame du Puy. Title note supplied by Feminae.].
  • Source: Chaucer Review 25, 3 ( 1991): Pages 229 - 237.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Chaucer, Geoffrey, Poet- Canterbury Tales- Prioress's Tale Prioress (Literary Figure) Prioresses Women in Active Roles Women in Literature
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 14
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  • Abstract: The portrait of the Prioress that Chaucer presents to his audience shows off all the strengths that would have made the Prioress a perfect candidate for her job. She would have had to oversee the activity of the convent, entertain travellers from all classes, and know how to travel for business and pleasure. The tale she tells also reflects a high level of professionalism. Her tale associates her with the cult of Notre Dame du Puy, an association that connects all the different elements of her character. It is also an appropriate tale for the family Chaucer served. [Reproduced by permission of Peter G. Beidler and Martha A Kalnin Diede, editors of "The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography."].
  • Author's Affiliation: University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1991.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00092002
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