Three Medieval Views of Women
"La Contenance des Fames," "Le Bien des Fames," "Le Blasme des Fames"
Imprint: Yale University Press
The pairing of one pro-female poem and two anti-female ones deliberately mirrors the medieval polemic concerning women and the misogynic tradition that had prevailed since antiquity. The essay by Gloria Fiero explores this tradition, in the course of describing the manners, morals, domestic arrangements, occupations, and dress of feudal society. Wendy Pfeffer discusses the language and genre of the poems and provides an account of the existing manuscripts of the texts and their variants. The poems, presented with French and English texts on facing pages, are fully annotated and accompanied by extensive explanatory materials. Fourteen illustrations drawn from contemporary medieval sources complement the topics treated. Included also are a selected reading list and bibliography.