Abstract

In the construction of his authorial persona, Chaucer sought to identify himself with genres of literature that may have been associated with female readership in the medieval cultural imagination, including vernacular devotional writing (Pseudo-Origen's De Maria Magdalena), conduct literature (the Tale of Melibee), and hagiography (the Introduction to the Man of Law's Tale). By exploiting the cultural resonances of these stereotypically women's genres, Chaucer positioned himself as a writer for an emerging bourgeois audience and distinguished his works as compassionate and socially productive.

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