Almost thirty years ago, in her introduction to the Legend of Good Women in The Riverside Chaucer, Mary Shaner observed that the Legend has “attracted more serious and sympathetic study than heretofore” and projected that further study may provide “both more appropriate ways of reading and interpreting it and a clearer sense of its value in the canon of Chaucer's work.”1 Shaner's projection proved prophetic: beginning in the mid-1980s, criticism on the Legend took off in multiple directions, from feminist readings to historicist studies, from source studies to studies in poetics and form.2 While this recent critical attention would imply that the Legend has assumed its fitting place in Chaucer's oeuvre, something about this poem remains unsettling to critics. In 2006, Carolyn Collette observed that the Legend “seems either to intrigue or annoy its modern readers—but rarely, if ever, to satisfy them.”3 More recently, Kathryn Lynch...

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