This article considers the ways in which John Bossewell draws upon Chaucer's Wife of Bath's Tale, Book of the Duchess, and Legend of Good Women in his Workes of Armorie to examine complex questions about the construction and maintenance of English masculine identity. The ways in which Bossewell uses the Legend in dialogue with the Wife of Bath's Tale and the Book of the Duchess serve, at least superficially, to promote a subordinated, passive model of femininity that works as an enhancing foil for chivalric English masculinity. However, the Chaucerian material he includes works in ways almost inexorably contrary to his aims.

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