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Wykked Wyves and the Woes of Marriage
Misogamous Literature from Juvenal to Chaucer
Wykked Wyves and the Woes of Marriage
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Katharina M. Wilson - Editor
Elizabeth M. Makowski - Editor
SUNY series in Medieval Studies
Price: $53.50 
Hardcover - 206 pages
Release Date: September 1990
ISBN10: 0-7914-0062-X
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-0062-3

Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 206 pages
Release Date: August 1990
ISBN10: 0-7914-0063-8
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-0063-0

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

The distrust and hatred of matrimony is a recurring theme in Western literature. In this volume, Wilson and Makowski show that in their repeated imagery, continuous themes, and rhetorical devices, misogamous texts closely parallel and reflect economic and demographic shifts, and theological and legal innovation. Analysis of the literature demonstrates a link between the growing secularism and careerism of the late middle ages and the reduction of women's social status and public options.

"The chief virtue of the study is that it makes accessible for the first time a huge and miscellaneous tradition which is absolutely crucial to medieval scholarship and to both medieval and general feminist studies. Because it is focused on texts, meticulously paraphrasing them, it provides a lucid witness to the facts of the tradition, to the prevailing winds of influence, and to the shifts in the tradition as the writer fits it to his personal cultural agendas. It is impressively researched and the logic of its historic and literary analysis is so impeccable that the contrast between pristine method and nasty content is sometimes delightful." -- Elizabeth P. Armstrong, University of Cincinnati

Katharina M. Wilson is Associate Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Georgia. Elizabeth M. Makowski is in the Department of History at Columbia University.

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Table of Contents



I. Classical Antecedents

Marriage law and custom in Imperial Rome
Misogyny and mirth: Juvenal's Sixth Satire as prototype

II. Ascetic Misogamy

Eschatology, dualism, and virginity in the patrisitc period
St. Jerome's Adversus Jovinianum as radical critique

III. Philosophic Misogamy

The great and lesser silence: The reemergence of anti-marriage literature in the twelfth century
Secularism and satire in the work of Abelard, John of Salisbury, Walter Map, Hugh of Folietto, Peter of Blois, and Andreas Fieschi

IV. General Misogamy

Canon Law, comedy, and clausura in the late Middle Ages
Wykked Wyves: A tradition reasserted in De conjuge non ducenda, Quinze joies de mariage, and the Wife of Bath's "Prologue"


Abbreviations of Frequently Cited Works



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