Geoffrey Chaucer: The Legend of Good Women

(2088 words)

Chaucer’s Legend of Good Women, widely regarded as the most problematic of his dream visions, exists in thirteen manuscript witnesses which contain nine surviving narratives and two versions of the prologue from what was once a larger work, according to Chaucer’s own words (see Cowen and Kane). He referred to the poem both as “the Seintes Legende of Cupide” (MLT, 61) and “the Book of the XXV. Ladies” (Ret, 1086), names superseded in modern editorial practice which has established the title by which we refer to the poem today.

A palinode written in response to the tragic story of the double sorrow of Troilus and Criseyde, the poem announces that its purpose is t…

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Collette, Carolyn. "The Legend of Good Women". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 May 2009
[, accessed 28 May 2015.]