In the Canterbury Tales Chaucer associates different models of wifehood with different geographic regions: unruly wives are associated with England, while virtuous wives are associated with the European Continent. In pairing geographic location with wifehood, Chaucer joins concepts that were, in his era, highly unstable: English culture underwent developments leading to rethinking the island kingdom's relation to the Continent, while marriage underwent changes that reconceptualized the conjugal relationship and what constituted a good wife. The English and continental wives of the Tales highlight this flux and instability. Through figures like Custance and Goodelief, Chaucer engages in open-ended thought experiments regarding what characterizes England, the Continent, and a good wife. Identifying Chaucer's interest in geography and wifehood sheds particular light on the Man of Law's Tale as a tale not only invested in English/continental relations, but also in contemporary developments in love, marriage, and wifehood.

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