The Prioress of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

20 May 1999

Parallel Texts

The Prioress' Portrait

118: Ther was also a nonne, a prioresse,
119: That of hir smylyng was ful symple and coy;
120: Hire gretteste ooth was but by seinte loy;
121: And she was cleped madame eglentyne.
122: Ful weel she soong the service dyvyne,
123: Entuned in hir nose ful semely,
124: And frenssh she spak ful faire and fetisly,
125: After the scole of stratford atte bowe,
126: For frenssh of parys was to hire unknowe.
127: At mete wel ytaught was she with alle:
128: She leet no morsel from hir lippes falle,
129: Ne wette hir fyngres in hir sauce depe;
130: Wel koude she carie a morsel and wel kepe
131: That no drope ne fille upon hire brest.
132: In curteisie was set ful muchel hir lest.
133: Hir over-lippe wyped she so clene
134: That in hir coppe ther was no ferthyng sene
135: Of grece, whan she dronken hadde hir draughte.
136: Ful semely after hir mete she raughte.
137: And sikerly she was of greet desport,
138: And ful plesaunt, and amyable of port,
139: And peyned hire to countrefete cheere
140: Of court, and to been estatlich of manere,
141: And to ben holden digne of reverence.
142: But, for to speken of hire conscience,
143: She was so charitable and so pitous
144: She wolde wepe, if that she saugh a mous
145: Kaught in a trappe, if it were deed or bledde.
146: Of smale houndes hadde she that she fedde
147: With rosted flessh, or milk and wastel-breed.
148: But soore wepte she if oon of hem were deed,
149: Or if men smoot it with a yerde smerte;
150: And al was conscience and tendre herte.
151: Ful semyly hir wympul pynched was,
152: Hir nose tretys, hir eyen greye as glas,
153: Hir mouth ful smal, and therto softe and reed;
154: But sikerly she hadde a fair forheed;
155: It was almoost a spanne brood, I trowe;
156: For, hardily, she was nat undergrowe.
157: Ful fetys was hir cloke, as I was war.
158: Of smal coral aboute hire arm she bar
159: A peire of bedes, gauded al with grene,
160: And theron heng a brooch of gold ful sheene,
161: On which ther was first write a crowned a,
162: And after amor vincit omnia.

Middle English: Virginia Etext Project


There was also a nun, a prioress,
Who, in her smiling, modest was and coy;
Her greatest oath was but "By Saint Eloy!"
And she was known as Madam Eglantine.
Full well she sang the services divine,
Intoning through her nose, becomingly;
And fair she spoke her French, and fluently,
After the school of Stratford-at-the-Bow,
For French of Paris was not hers to know.
At table she had been well taught withal,
And never from her lips let morsels fall,
Nor dipped her fingers deep in sauce, but ate
With so much care the food upon her plate
That never driblet fell upon her breast.
In courtesy she had delight and zest.
Her upper lip was always wiped so clean
That in her cup was no iota seen
Of grease, when she had drunk her draught of wine.
Becomingly she reached for meat to dine.
And certainly delighting in good sport,
She was right pleasant, amiable- in short.
She was at pains to counterfeit the look
Of courtliness, and stately manners took,
And would be held worthy of reverence.
But, to say something of her moral sense,
She was so charitable and piteous
That she would weep if she but saw a mouse
Caught in a trap, though it were dead or bled.
She had some little dogs, too, that she fed
On roasted flesh, or milk and fine white bread.
But sore she'd weep if one of them were dead,
Or if men smote it with a rod to smart:
For pity ruled her, and her tender heart.
Right decorous her pleated wimple was;
Her nose was fine; her eyes were blue as glass;
Her mouth was small and therewith soft and red;
But certainly she had a fair forehead;
It was almost a full span broad, I own,
For, truth to tell, she was not undergrown.
Neat was her cloak, as I was well aware.
Of coral small about her arm she'd bear
A string of beads and gauded all with green;
And therefrom hung a brooch of golden sheen
Whereon there was first written a crowned "A,"
And under, Amor vincit omnia.

Modern English: gopher://

My Commentary on the Prioress' Portrait

By both definition and the narrator's declaration we know that she is a nun, and by her title the head of a priory of nuns, though it does not say whether that the priory was subordinate to an abbey, which it conceivably could have been. Regardless, Cynthia C. Werthamer suggests that Chaucer's description of the Prioress is hardly befitting a nun, and instead suggests that the Prioress is a woman on whom Chaucer had a romantic crush. The words "symple and coy", translating a number of ways by various modern sources (but curiously "coy" seems never to be translated as "coquettish"; perhaps that meaning is too modern?) - but usually to the end effect "modest and sweet" -- are words that could come straight out of a romance, which Werthamer indicated Chaucer's audience would recognize (Werthamer,

This notion, that the portrait of the Prioress was in some ways like a courtly romance heroine, has been challenged: "Joseph A. Dane challenges in "The Prioress and Her Romanzen," the claims of critics that "Eglentyne" is a typical romance name are the result of mistranslation. Yes, Dane holds, the name does appear in the twelfth- and thirteenth-century collection Romanzen and Pastourellen, but these "romanzen" are not romances in the traditional sense. Dane admits that Jean Renart's thirteenth-century Guillame de Dole stars Romanzen inserts containing "Aiglentine" as a character, but says "none of these songs is what we would call a romance, though they are sung by characters in a romance" (221)" (K. Braden Phillips,

The Prioress's greatest oath was "Seinte Loy", this tells us she was neither prone to ribaldism nor taking the Lord's name in vein. Curiousity bids me investigate who this saint was. Werthamer suggests merely "a handsome courtier before he turned to religion", which was not enough information for my taste. My search took me to: . With a 52% confidence, this search engine plowed through the catholic church's exhaustive index suggesting that "St. Eloy" (as the name has elsewhere been translated) is equivalent to St. Eligius. Phillips confirms this, noting that Eligius was a popular saint, but wondering whether the prioress would make any oaths at all ( Regardless, this is the Catholic Church's official word on St. Eligius:

Eligius (also known as Eloi) was born around 590 near Limoges in France. He became an extremely skillful metalsmith and was appointed master of the mint under King Clotaire II of Paris. Eligius developed a close friendship with the King and his reputation as an outstanding metalsmith became widespread.
With his fame came fortune. Eligius was very generous to the poor, ransomed many slaves, and built several churches and a monastery at Solignac. He also erected a major convent in Paris with property he received from Clotaire's son, King Dagobert I.
In 629, Eligius was appointed Dagobert's first counselor. Later, on a mission for Dagobert, he persuaded the Breton King Judicael, to accept the authority of Dagobert.
Eligius later fulfilled his desire to serve God as a priest, after being ordained in 640. Then he was made bishop of Noyon and Tournai. His apostolic zeal led him to preach in Flanders, especially Antwerp, Ghent, and Courtai where he made many converts.
Eligius died on December 1, around 660, at Noyon. He is the patron of metalworkers and his feast day is December 1.
The use of one's talents and wealth for the welfare of humanity is a very true reflection of the image of God. In the case of St. Eligius, he was so well liked that he attracted many to Christ. His example should encourage us to be generous in spirit and kind and happy in demeanor.


The Prioress is called "madame Eglentyne". She is one of the few named pilgrims of the Tales. Being as "Eglentyne" is not a name common in this day, I chose to see if I could find any particular meaning to the name. Werthamer suggests "sweet briar" and asserts the names appearance in several popular romances. However, "Brian M. Scott's web version of A Dictionary of English Surnames [], "Eglentyne" comes from the Old French aiglentine, which is in turn derived from the Latin aculenta ("prickly")." But Phillips then concedes that "this 'prickly' origin is also associated with the sweet briar, sometimes referred to as "eglantine" or "eglentine." (Phillips,

Werthamer then continues to discuss the Prioress's physical description, which he accuses Chaucer of taking straight from French romances, using "every cliche in the book." From "Hir nose tretys, hir eyen greye as glas, Hir mouth ful smal, and therto softe and reed" we know that "Her nose was fine; her eyes were blue as glass; Her mouth was small and therewith soft and red" (See parallel texts above. Note, however, this modern translation asserts that the Prioress had blue eyes, as is also used at . Werthamer and Riverside assert grey eyes, but the later confesses to uncertainty. Blue seems to make for a curious translation. Unfortunately, seems to be obsolete and makes no explanation, so the decision can not be easily researched. A search of shows that the university has abandoned their own translation in favour of Michael Murphy's at ; this translation restores the meaning as "grey".) Werthamer also notes "her forehead, which technically shouldn't even be visible in a nun's habit, is fair and broad, a style so fashionable that women in Chaucer's day used to pluck their hairlines to make their foreheads larger." This is thought is echoed by Elizabeth G. Melillo, Ph.D. ( ). Phillips makes no note of the style, but agrees that the Prioress's "forehead should've been better covered" and "her appearance is that of a typical romance heroine." Phillip adds, "the Prioress 'was nat undergrowe,' ['was not undergrown'] which suggests to some that she was a glutton" (

Phillips quotes Richard Rex in regard to her "bedes" ["beads"]: "'The appropriateness of the colors red and green for a nun's rosary may be taken from the use of red throughout the Middle Ages to symbolize caritas, or Christian love, and martyrdom, and the use of green to symbolize faith, hope, and charity...[Ambiguity] stems from the use, in secular contexts, of red--the color of the rose (and of coral)--as a symbol for ardent or carnal love, and the use of green to symbolize inconsistency or "doubilnesse"' (62-64). Rex admits that 'coral rosaries appear frequently in medieval wills, attesting to their popularity.'" (

Werthamer finds the Prioress' large gold brooch to be intriguing as jewelry would have been forbidden in the convent. More interesting is the inscription "amor vincit omnia" meaning "love conquers all." It is not clear how Chaucer wanted us to interpret this. "In the original motto, Virgil referred to earthly love, but it was used by the medieval church to mean God's love." As a prioress, one would assume she would think only of this second meaning, but it has been suggested that the double entendre is intentional. Melillo takes it even further suggesting that Chaucer only means courtly love because the brooch should have carried "a verse from the scriptures or liturgy." Phillips puts forth a number of explanations to the extent that it can take either one meaning, or the other, or both, or even John M. Steadman's claim that Chaucer refered to "a specific nunnery--that of St.Leonard's, located in Middlesex. In Steadman's article 'The Prioress' Brooch and St.Leonard,' he explains that St. Leonard is known for his freeing acts, while the brooch's motto (specifically, the word vincit) is associated with the concept of bondage. Steadman claims that 'Chaucer is exploiting an analogy between literary and hagiological tradition' and points out the ironic tempeerament of 'the opposition between St. Leonard's conventional association with liberation and the suggestion of bondage inherent in the word vincit' (353)" (

Much ado has also been made of the dogs and her table manners, but it is late and I have four times exhausted the 500 words required of this one character, so I shall call it quits now.

My Commentary on the Prioress' Tale

The Prioress' Tale is set in "Asye" (1)(Asia). Richard Rex puts forth "It has been suggested [by John C. Hirsh] that "Asye" refers to Asia Minor, and that the 'great citee' in this tale is Jerusalem."(2) Chaucer tells us "Amonge Cristene folk a Jewerye", by which we know the town to have had a Jewish getto.

Chaucer also tells us this getto was "Sustened by a lord of that contree / For foule usure and lucre of vileynye" ("Established by a rich lord of the state / For usury and gain of ill renown."(3)) This is not an unlikely scenario. Christians were forbidden by the Church from taking those offices which handled money. Jews also had proscriptions against usury and interest:

Usury is like slow-working poison.

Shemot Rabbah, 31, 6.

Is it not enough that the poor man is poor? Must thou also, O lender of money, seek to exact interest from him?1

Shemot Rabbah, 31, 12.

1If he must borrow to pay taxes, he would therefore be forced to pay a double tax.

Pumpkins Large and Small

"Take thou no interest or increase." (Lev. 25, 36)
Rab Kahana entered the Academy while Rab was competing his discourse. He head Rab mention the word "pumkins" several times, and asked the other Disciples regarding it. They answered: "Thus spoke Rab: 'If a man goes to gardener and wishes to buy small pumpkins for a zuz, and the gardener says: "wait until later and I will give you just as many large pumkins for your zuz," the buyer may accept the proposition only if there are already large pumpkins in the garden. But if they are all still small, he is forbidden to accept the larger size later under the market price.'"

Baba Metzia, 64.

Mark the blind folly of the usurer. If a man were to call him a scoundrel he would fight him to the death. And yet he takes pen, ink and paper, and in the presence of witnesses solemnly writes himself down a rogue, and a denier o Israel's God.

Baba Metzia, 71a.

The usurer breaks all the commandments; his sin is as flagrant as murder.

Shemot Rabbah, 31.

If a man borrow of another, and merely because he is his debtor, greets him in the street, he does a wrong act. He is guilty of paying usury in words.

Baba Metzia, 75b.

Usury is like the bite of a poisoned snake; it is a small thing in itself, but its deadly effects are far-reaching.

Shemot Rabbah, 31.

Far better that a man should take a small sum and trade with it, and earn his bread with difficulty, than get rich by money-lending. There is a taint clinging to the trade which no one who values comeliness and dignity of life will ignore.

Wayyikra, Rabbah, 3.

Newman, Louis J., ed., The Talmudic Anthology, (Behrman House, Inc.: New York, 1947) pp. 522-523.

But there was no legal authority to prevent Jews from filling these offices which the Christians could not. In fact, the Jews were often welcomed for that very purpose, to act as a buffer between the peasant and the feudal rulers. The Jews were responsible for collecting the taxes and they should also therefore be the target of the debtor's ire. As for the perceived greed of the Jews, that was an unfortunate side effect of the Jewish culture. For example, whereas a Christian might eat any meat, a Jew would only eat the meats from certain animals that have been properly prepared. So whereas a Christian might go to the cheapest or most convenient butcher, a Jew must go to a Jewish butcher. And so forth, such that money that entered the Jewish community was prone to stay among the Jewish community.

Nor did enmity between Jews and Christians end with merely matters of money. Though it may have been inaccurate when Chaucer penned "Hateful to Crist and to his compaignye," the Talmud was not without teachings which would help to provoke antipathy:
If a man tell thee: I am God, he lies. I he tell thee, I am the Son of Man, he will end by regretting it. If he says: I shall ascend into Heaven, he merely makes this utterance, but he cannot fulfil it.

Y. Taanit, 2, 1. See Numbers 23:19.(4)

I am first; I have no Father. I am last; I have no brother. And beside Me, there is no God; I have no son.

Shemot Rabbah, 29, 5.

How foolish of heart are the falsifiers! They say that God has a son. Behold, God permitted not Abraham to sacrifice his son. Does it stand to reason that He would permit His own son to be executed, without turning the world into chaos?

Aggat Bereshit, 31. Kimchi's Commentary to Psalm 82(5), Cambridge Edition.

R. Simeon ben Lakish said: Why has God's seal the word: Emet (Truth)? Because: Aleph is the first letter, Mem is the middle, and Tav, the last; as much as to say: "I the Lord am first," for I did not take over the rule from another; "And beside Me there is no god," for I haev no partner; "and with the last I am He" (Isaiah 44:6(6), and 41:4(7)), for I shall not hand it over to another.

Y. Sanhedrin, 18a.

The Kingdom of Edom (Rome) will in the days to come make use of a coinage of clay (perhaps a defective religion).

Tanhuma Terumh, 6.

If the priests are without morality, who will donate to their churches?

Bereshit Rabbah, 26, 5.

A Galilean Sectary said: "Woe to ye, O Pharisees! Ye write in the Bill of Divorce, first the name of the Emperor and then, at the end, ye mention Moses." They answered: "Woe unto thee, O Galilean Sectary! Thy Bible has the name Pharaoh on the same page as the Name of God, and Pharaoh's name is written first."

M. Yadaim, chap. 4.

The Food Laws

A Roman soldier asked R. Abba: "Why is it said about God: 'He hath given "tereph" (food) unto them that fear Him' (Psalm 111:5(8)). Should it not be written: 'He hath given Tereph to the dogs'?" R. Abba replied: "Tereph is not the same as Terephah which is given to the dogs. If you ask why this word was chosen to signify food, I will explain it thus: God hath given the laws regarding food, as well as His other laws, to those who reverence Him, not to those who, like yourself, have no regard for them."1

Zohar, i, 121.

1The Zohar doubtless means a Christian soldier, and indicates that those who are unwilling to bear the burden of God's Laws cannot be considered in the same category as those who fear Him. God tests the respect of men for Him by commanding them to obey certain laws, for which they know no reason. See Isaiah 66:17(9)

The Incorruptible Magistrate

Ima Shalom, the sister of Rabban Gamaliel, wished to put to the test a certain non-Jewish magistrate who had let it be known that he accepted no bribes. She brought to him a gift of a golden candlestick, and later, appearing before him, said: "I wish to secure an equal share in my father's estate." The judge ordered it thus. Her brother protested: "But according to the Law of Moses, a daughter does not receive an equal share with a son." The judge replied: "Since you have been exiled from Jerusalem, a new law has come into force, whereby a daughter shares equally with a son."

R. Gamaliel sent him a valuable white ass, and asked for a retrial. The magistrate declared: "I have read further in the new law, and find written therein: 'I came not to detract from the Law of Moses, nor to add to it.' And in the Law of Moses, it is written that a daughter may not share equally with a son in the father's estate."

Ima Shalom remarked: "May thy light shine as a candle!"

Rabban Gamaliel retorted: "Nay, the ass kicked the candle over."1

Shabbat, 116.

1Since R. Gamaliel, the brother-in-law of R. Eliezer be Hyrcanus, lived at the end of the first century, it is not clear whether at this early time there were Christian judges in Palestine. The "incorruptible" magistrate, howeve, of this story, may have been an arbitrator, or unofficial judge.

Newman, Louis J., ed., The Talmudic Anthology, (Behrman House, Inc.: New York, 1947) pp. 73-74.

Thus the Jews and the Christians were not likely to come to any understanding between each other.

It has been questioned whether this antisemitism is Chaucer's or the Prioress's and if the latter, whether it was approved of by Chaucer or Chaucer's narrator. Of this we may argue until we are blue in the face, but allow me to present an uneducated and unprofessional opinion. Chaucer was living in a country barren of Jews who had been exiled from the country by King Edward in 1290. In the absence of Jewish people to humanitize their race and in the absence of any wide spread multiculturalist movements, antisemitism was most likely an issue that was taken for granted. For Chaucer to throw the Jews into the story may not really say much of anything about Chaucer beyond the time he lived in. The Jews were not really an issue in the story. For many people, they would hardly have more tangible reality than monsters under the bed or in the closet. Even unto modern times we find people so ignorant in their perceptions of Jews that to tell the person you are a Jew, they will ask in sincerity to see your horns and tale. It seems to me upon reading the tale, the Jews, as they were used, were just a prop to move the story of the child and his miracle along. His contemporaries would not likely have questioned or thought much of the Jews in it.(10)

Melillo points out "The Prioress refers to a small boy 'in Asia', but her later references to Hugh of Lincoln make him appear to be the basis of her tale. The story of Little Hugh, who was 'martyred' in 1255, would have been familiar to the audience. This child, who is murdered by the Jewish Koppin, was a popular topic for ballads. In some version, he was said to actually have been scourage and crucified."(11)

"Bernard Grebanier, in 'The Truth About Shylock' (New York: Random House, 1962, pp.24-25), provides the true story of Hugh of Lincoln: 'Hugh was the son of a widow named Beatrice. One day while playing ball, Hugh ran after the ball and by accident fell into the cesspool in the yard of a house belonging to a Jew. There his body remained for 26 days. Unluckily, it happened that during these days a great many Jews from other towns had convened at Lincoln for important festivities .... On the day after,.. the body of the child, having risen to the surface of the cesspool, was discovered. The Jews must have been only too well aware of what havoc that little corpse could cost them; understandably, they lost their heads and foolishly tried to dispose of the body elsewhere. Three days later, a woman passing the place where little Hugh's corpse had been laid, saw the body. Inflamed by the suggestions of John of Lexington, canon of Lincoln Cathedral, the population at once accused the Jews of ritual murder.'"(12)

Chaucer's version of this tale is distinct from the analogs in a number of ways. Most notably, there is the grain and the death of the Jews.

The "greyn" upon Hugh's "tonge", which appeared in no previous analogs and as "a gem, a pebble, a lily, and an unspecified mystical object" in other versions of the tale, may have been a sweetening herb, a biblical allusion, naturally and liturgically rich, the Host, or salt.(13)

The death of the Jews is interesting in that other versions of the tale usually teach charity and mercy and therefore the Jews are usually pardoned and often converted. Richard Rex also raises the question of how they are punished. Chaucer tells us "Therefore with wilde horse he did hem drawe, And after that he heng hem by the lawe." We are told of no trial which would have been expected by British law; "the use of torture, either to extract confession or in satisfaction of judgment, had no place in fourteenth-century English law, and that by the time of Edwar III's reign summery executions were unlawful. We do not know whether this drawing by horses meant simply that they were dragged or that they might have been quartered. In either case, the punishment certainly would have been beyond the jurisdiction of a provost to enact.(14)


1. All reference's to Chaucer in the original Middle English (unless otherwise indicated) are from Chaucer, Geoffrey, author, Larry D. Benson and F.N. Robinson, eds., The Riverside Chaucer: Third Edition, (Houghton Mifflin Company: Lawrenceville, New Jersey 1987), pp. 209-212. Return

2. Rex, Richard, "Wild Horses, Justice, and Charity in the Prioress's Tale," Papers on Language and Literature, (Southern Illinois University: Edwardsville, Illinois, Fall 1986), 22:4, p. 348. Return

3. All reference's to Chaucer in Modern English (unless otherwise indicated) are from Chaucer, Geofrey, The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale, (Litrix Reading Room, 1998), Return

4. "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?" (Numbers 19:23). The Holy Bible, (American Bible Society: New York), p. 145. Return

5. "God standeth in congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. I have said, Ye are gods; and most of you are children of the Most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations." (Psalms 82). The Holy Bible, ibid, p. 533. Return

6. "Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his Redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no God. (Isaiah 44:6). The Holy Bible, ibid, p. 639. Return

7. "Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he." (Isaiah 41:4). The Holy Bible, ibid, p 637. Return

8. "He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant." (Psalms 111:5). The Holy Bible, ibid, p 551. Return

9. "They that sanctify themselves and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord. (Isaiah 66:17). The Holy Bible, ibid., pp. 654-655. Return

10. See also some notes about early European antisemitism at Return

11. Melillo, Elizabeth G., Ph.D., Chaucer's Prioress, (1996), . There is also a version of Hugh's tale at . Return

12. Melillo, ibid. See also the discussion at

Interestingly, the Catholic Church seems to have indulged in some revisionism in regard to this saint:
Hugh of Lincoln was the son of William, Lord of Avalon. He was born at Avalon Castle in Burgundy and was raised and educated at a convent at Villard-Benoit after his mother died when he was eight. He was professed at fifteen, ordained a deacon at nineteen, and was made prior of a monastery at Saint-Maxim. While visiting the Grande Chartreuse with his prior in 1160. It was then he decided to become a Carthusian there and was ordained. After ten years, he was named procurator and in 1175 became Abbot of the first Carthusian monastery in England. This had been built by King Henry II as part of his penance for the murder of Thomas Becket.

His reputation for holiness and sanctity spread all over England and attracted many to the monastery. He admonished Henry for keeping Sees vacant to enrich the royal coffers. Income from the vacant Sees went to the royal treasury. He was then named bishop of the eighteen year old vacant See of Lincoln in 1186 - a post he accepted only when ordered to do so by the priorof the Grande Chartreuse. Hugh quickly restored clerical discipline, labored to restore religion to the diocese, and became known for his wisdom and justice.

He was one of the leaders in denouncing the persecution of the Jews that swept England, 1190-91, repeatedly facing down armed mobs and making them release their victims. He went on a diplomatic mission to France for King John in 1199, visiting the Grande Chartreuse, Cluny, and Citeaux, and returned from the trip in poor health. A few months later, while attending a national council in London, he was stricken and died two months later at the Old Temple in London on November 16. He was canonized twenty years later, in 1220, the first Carthusian to be so honored. His feast day is November 17.

Or, perhaps not. See an interesting (but short) discussion of this paradox at Return

13. Braden K Phillips offers a number of possible suggestions about the grain and resources for further investigation at Return

14. Rex, Richard, ibid. Return


See also for more information about the Prioress and other relevant information and sites:

August, Paul Halsall, Medieval Sourcebook: Geoffrey Chaucer, d. 1400: Canterbury Tales: Prologue [Parallel Texts],

Chaucer, Geoffry, Larry D. Benson and F.N. Robinson, ed., The Riverside Chaucer: Third Edition, (Houghton Mifflin Company: Lawrenceville, New Jersey, 1987).

Chaucer, Geoffrey, The Canterbury Tales: Prologue, (Litrix Reading Room: 1998),

Chaucer, Geoffrey, The Canterbury Tales: The Prioress's Prologue, (Litrix Reading Room: 1998),

Chaucer, Geoffrey, The Canterbury Tales: The Prioress's Tale, (Litrix Reading Room: 1998),

Condren, Edward I., "The Prioress: A Legend of Spirit, a Life of Flesh," The Chaucer Review,(Pennsylvania State University Press: University Park and London, 1989), 23:3, pp. 192-218.

Dane, Joseph A., "The Prioress and Her Romanzeni," The Chaucer Review, (Pennsylvania State University Press: University Park and London, 1990), 24:3, pp. 219-222.

Daphne, Geoffry Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales: Chaucer's Prioress, (Daphne's Research Paper),

Frank, Hardy Long, "Seeing the Prioress Whole," The Chaucer Review, (Pennsylvania State University Press: University Park and London, 1991), 25:3, pp. 229-237.

Fredell, Joel, "Late Gothic Portraiture: The Prioress and Philippa," The Chaucer Review, (Pennsylvania State University Press: University Park and London, 1989), 23:3, pp 181-191.

Kessler, Brian, Chaucer Webliography (SpacePort Industries UnLimited: [The] Union [of Earth and Hell], New Jersey, May 1999),

Loney, Douglas, "Chaucer's Prioress an Agur's "Adulterous Woman", The Chaucer Review, (Pennsylvania State University Press: University Park and London, 1992), 27:1, pp. 107-108.

Melillo, Elizabeth G., Ph.D., Chaucer's Prioress: Whose bearing and tale regretfully tell us much of the period, (1996),

Phillips, K. Braden, Chaucer's Prioress, (EH 350: Birmingham-Southern College, April 1998),

Pigg, Daniel F., "Refiguring Martyrdom: Chaucer's Prioress and Her Tale," The Chaucer Review, (Pennsylvania State University Press: University Park and London, 1994), 29:1, pp. 65-73.

Ragen, Brian Abel, "Chaucer, Jean de Meun, and Proverbs 30:20," Notes and Queries (N&Q: Oxford, England, September 1988), 35:3, pp. 295-296.

Rex, Richard, "Wild Horses, Justice, and Charity in the Prioress's Tale," Papers on Language and Literature, (Southern Illinois University: Edwardsville, IL, Fall 1986), 22:4, pp. 339-351.

Werthamer, Cynthia C., Barron's Book Notes (tm) on CD-ROM, Windows (tm) Ver 4.2: Canterbury Tales, (World Library, Inc.: Bloomfield, New Jersey, 1993), .

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