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3. Women’s Voices: Margery Kempe, the Wife of Bath and the Prioress
About this Lecture
In the last module, we ended by looking at some of the female representations of love in the Medieval period – and this is where we pick up in this module. We begin by looking at a poem preserved in John Grimestone’s sermon notebook, ‘Love me brouthte. And love me wrouthte’. After that, we turn to the Book of Margery Kempe, a remarkable 14th-Century autobiography which describes one woman’s descent into the “snare of lechery”. Lust is further explored in the character of the Wife in Bath in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: we have already noted her “natural inclinations” in the previous module; here, however, we look in more detail at her multiple marriages and her experience with “love’s mischance”.
This course explores the theme of love from the earliest English literature to the present day – from authors that you have likely heard of, such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Byron and Keats, to authors that are perhaps less well-known. This is a course that celebrates love in all it forms and between all kinds of people.
John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.
Cite this Lecture
McRae, J. (2018, August 15). Love Through the Ages - Women’s Voices: Margery Kempe, the Wife of Bath and the Prioress [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/love-through-the-ages/women-s-voices-margery-kempe-the-wife-of-bath-and-the-prioress
McRae, John. "Love Through the Ages – Women’s Voices: Margery Kempe, the Wife of Bath and the Prioress." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/love-through-the-ages/women-s-voices-margery-kempe-the-wife-of-bath-and-the-prioress