Introduction: Going Between
Go-betweens: a queen, a prince, a steward, a merchant, a wizard, a witch, ladies-in-waiting, comrades-in-arms, governesses, nurses, tutors, priests, servants, former prostitutes, peddlers, and beggars. Throughout medieval English and Western European literature, from the top to the bottom of the social scale, go-betweens bring couples together for courtship, marriage, a love affair, or simply for sex. These figures are crucial to a wealth of medieval texts—some famous, some little known—and they are an essential component of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde. This book uncovers this tradition, the web of cross-fertilizing texts that ultimately yield Chaucer’s three main characters: the lover, the lady, and the go-between.
KeywordsLove Affair Romance Convention Medieval Literature Opposed Conception Sexual Compliance
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