Medieval thought emphasized the integration of thinking and feeling, an integration central to literary representations of mind, body, and emotion, and to the idea of reading as affective. Chaucer’s romance writings are profoundly concerned with the power of affect on minds and bodies, particularly in relation to the psychology of love and loss. Such affect is treated extensively in the Book of the Duchess, the Knight’s Tale, Troilus and Criseyde, and the Legend of Good Women, and is central to Chaucer’s depiction of female subjects. This essay explores Chaucer’s emphasis on the embodied nature of being in the world and his treatment of the relationship between thinking and feeling. It explores how ideas of mind, body, and affect resonate with women’s literary culture and with the crucial roles of women as thinking and feeling subjects in Chaucer’s works, and how women readers might have engaged with these representations.


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pp. 11-30
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