Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 8704
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Mann , Jill.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Wife-Swapping in Medieval Literature [in order to understand better the relationships among Dorigen, Arveragus, and Aurelius, the author considers the exchange of wives between friends in a number of earlier medieval texts, including the Latin poem "Lantfrid and Cobbo," the many versions of "Amis and Amiloun," the thirteenth-century romance "Athis and Prophilias," Boccaccio's story in the "Decameron" concerning Titus and Gisippus, the story of Rollo and Resus in Walter Map's "De Nugis Curialium," and Giovanni Fiorentino's story of Stricca and Galgano in his fourteenth-century collection "Il Pecorone"].
  • Source: Viator 32, ( 2001): Pages 93 - 112.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Chaucer, Geoffrey, Poet- Canterbury Tales- Franklin's Tale Exchange of Women in Literature Homosociality in Literature Lantfrid and Cobbo, Latin Poem Literature- Verse Male Friendship in Literature Marriage in Literature Wives in Literature Women in Liter
  • Geographic Area: General
  • Century: 10- 11- 12- 13- 14
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  • Abstract: This article responds to a recent claim by Felicity Riddy that the "gentilesse" exhibited by Arveragus and Aurelius in Chaucer's Franklin's tale is inaccessible to women, since it is class-based and gender-based, and that Dorigen's sexuality is "property which the men propose to pass backwards and forwards between them in order to establish their status." Assuming that the background for this analysis lies in modern work on the exchange of women as a means of creating homosocial bonds between men, it surveys the numerous medieval narratives which deal with the exchange of a woman from one man to another. In all these narratives, women are erased, marginalized, or degraded in the interest of male friendship or moral solidarity. The Franklin's Tale forms a striking contrast to this medieval tradition: it is the marriage between Arveragus and Dorigen, not male friendship, that is the important relationship, and it is Dorigen's "trouthe," not her husband's, which is of paramount importance. [Reproduced from the journal website: http://brepols.metapress.com/content/121213/?p=afdbc79947a4444b9739ff05942fde63&pi=0]
  • Author's Affiliation: University of Notre Dame
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2001.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00835897
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