The Wife of Bath: A Biography

Book Cover
Average Rating
Princeton University Press, 2023.
Available Online


Loading Description...

Also in this Series

Checking series information...

More Like This

Loading more titles like this title...

Other Editions and Formats

More Details


Reviews from GoodReads

Loading GoodReads Reviews.


APA Citation, 7th Edition (style guide)

Marion Turner., & Marion Turner|AUTHOR. (2023). The Wife of Bath: A Biography . Princeton University Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation, 17th Edition (style guide)

Marion Turner and Marion Turner|AUTHOR. 2023. The Wife of Bath: A Biography. Princeton University Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities (Notes and Bibliography) Citation, 17th Edition (style guide)

Marion Turner and Marion Turner|AUTHOR. The Wife of Bath: A Biography Princeton University Press, 2023.

MLA Citation, 9th Edition (style guide)

Marion Turner, and Marion Turner|AUTHOR. The Wife of Bath: A Biography Princeton University Press, 2023.

Note! Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy. Citation formats are based on standards as of August 2021.

Staff View

Go To Grouped Work

Grouping Information

Grouped Work IDb9661bbd-bfe8-172e-098e-b8e9a4eeca66-eng
Full titlewife of bath
Authorturner marion
Grouping Categorybook
Last Update2024-01-17 19:14:33PM
Last Indexed2024-04-20 05:33:14AM

Book Cover Information

Image Sourcecoce_google_books
First LoadedFeb 25, 2023
Last UsedApr 17, 2024

Hoopla Extract Information

stdClass Object
    [year] => 2023
    [artist] => Marion Turner
    [fiction] => 
    [coverImageUrl] =>
    [titleId] => 16556257
    [isbn] => 9780691206028
    [abridged] => 
    [language] => ENGLISH
    [profanity] => 
    [title] => The Wife of Bath
    [demo] => 
    [segments] => Array

    [pages] => 344
    [children] => 
    [artists] => Array
            [0] => stdClass Object
                    [name] => Marion Turner
                    [artistFormal] => Turner, Marion
                    [relationship] => AUTHOR


    [genres] => Array
            [0] => Biography & Autobiography
            [1] => Feminist
            [2] => Literary Criticism
            [3] => Literary Figures
            [4] => Medieval
            [5] => Subjects & Themes
            [6] => Women

    [price] => 1.49
    [id] => 16556257
    [edited] => 
    [kind] => EBOOK
    [active] => 1
    [upc] => 
    [synopsis] => "A Financial Times Best Summer Book" "A New Yorker Best Book We've Read This Year" "Shortlisted for the History Book of the Year Prize, History Reclaimed" "Winner of the History Reclaimed Book of the Year Prize" "A BBC History Magazine Book of the Year" "A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year" Marion Turner is the J.R.R. Tolkien Professor of English Literature and Language at the University of Oxford, where she is a Professorial Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall. Her books include the prize-winning biography Chaucer: A European Life (Princeton). 
	From the award-winning biographer of Chaucer, the story of his most popular and scandalous character, from the Middle Ages to #MeToo

Ever since her triumphant debut in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, the Wife of Bath, arguably the first ordinary and recognisably real woman in English literature, has obsessed readers-from Shakespeare to James Joyce, Voltaire to Pasolini, Dryden to Zadie Smith. Few literary characters have led such colourful lives or matched her influence or capacity for reinvention in poetry, drama, fiction, and film. In The Wife of Bath, Marion Turner tells the fascinating story of where Chaucer's favourite character came from, how she related to real medieval women, and where her many travels have taken her since the fourteenth century, from Falstaff and Molly Bloom to #MeToo and Black Lives Matter.

A sexually active and funny working woman, the Wife of Bath, also known as Alison, talks explicitly about sexual pleasure. She is also a victim of domestic abuse who tells a story of rape and redemption. Formed from misogynist sources, she plays with stereotypes. Turner sets Alison's fictional story alongside the lives of real medieval women-from a maid who travelled around Europe, abandoned her employer, and forged a new career in Rome to a duchess who married her fourth husband, a teenager, when she was sixty-five. Turner also tells the incredible story of Alison's post-medieval life, from seventeenth-century ballads and Polish communist pop art to her reclamation by postcolonial Black British women writers.

Entertaining and enlightening, funny and provocative, The Wife of Bath is a one-of-a-kind history of a literary and feminist icon who continues to capture the imagination of readers. "The history of women in the Middle Ages is fraught with uncertainties, especially when it comes to source material and authorship; Turner unfurls this complexity in elegant, quietly angry prose, grounded in deep scholarly research. . . . Turner's biography of Alison of Bath demonstrates the stunning resonance of medieval prejudice in the present."---Erin Maglaque, New York Times Book Review "Those who foreground alternative voices must reach for innovative forms and reworkings of genre. Turner does this brilliantly, allowing Alison of Bath to speak for the legions of contemporary women otherwise silenced by history."---Daisy Hay, Financial Times "Turner's immensely entertaining 'biography' will make you fall in love with the Wife of Bath, whom she crowns 'the first ordinary woman in English literature.' . . . Wonderfully accessible and briskly entertaining."---Ron Charles, Washington Post "Turner writes from a feminist perspective, but she is not a presentist-the kind of person who faults the past for failing to live up to the standards, or some people's standards, of the present. . . . You are grateful for Turner's thoroughness. She is especially adept at drawing meaning not only from characters' similarities but also from their differences."---Joan Acocella, The New Yorker "An intriguing combination of the fantastically bawdy and the deadly serious. . . . Thrilling."---Katy Guest, The Guardian "A wonderful biography."---Mary Wellesley, The Telegraph "This engrossing academic study helps you appreciate why, nearly eight centuries after Chaucer brought her to life, this funny, sexually confident middle-aged woman remains a titan of literature."--
    [url] =>
    [pa] => 
    [subtitle] => A Biography
    [publisher] => Princeton University Press
    [purchaseModel] => INSTANT