The three medieval texts that make up Jankyn's Book of Wikked Wyves have formed a vital part of Chaucerian research for more than half a century. Integrated here for the first time, these texts now form a cornerstone volume of the Chaucer Library series.
Near the end of her prologue, Chaucer's Wife of Bath tells how her fifth husband, Jankyn, a clerk of Oxford, taunted her by reading from a collection of antifeminist tracts. The contents of Jankyn's book include three texts that enjoyed wide distribution in the later Middle Ages: Walter Map's "Dissuasio Valerii," Theophrastus's "De Nuptiis," and Jerome's "Adversus Jovinianum." The first two are reproduced in their entirety in this volume, with selections from the third.
The editors examine Jankyn's book from many angles, including the extensive manuscript sources from which it may be reconstructed, background information for its literary appreciation, and Chaucer's use of the materials. The publication of this volume, the fourth in the Chaucer Library, represents a major event for medievalists.
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