A number of people have read parts of this book, have patiently engaged in conversations about its ideas, or have been an inspiration in both direct and indirect ways. Many of these people, including some I have never met, are acknowledged in the footnotes to this study; among and in addition to these colleagues, I am especially grateful on various fronts to Abbe Blum, Julia Epstein, Thelma Fenster, Sheila Fisher, Janet Halley, Stan Hansen, Marsh Leicester, Mary Poovey, Libby Potter, Ellen Rose, and Eve Sedgwick. For careful and generous readings of the entire manuscript, I thank Arlyn Diamond and Carolyn Dinshaw. For her enthusiasm and expertise in matters pertaining to the publication of the book, I thank Doris Kretschmer. For their help in cheerfully producing a finished manuscript, I thank Carol Wilkinson and Mary Ann Carr.
The completion of this study was made possible by the sabbatical leave granted to me by Haverford College, and support for indexing was provided by the Faculty Development Fund given to the College by John Whitehead. I am also grateful to the College for a regular supply of undergraduates willing to read and talk about Chaucer with me. Various presses and journals have kindly granted me permission to include previously published materials here. Part of the introduction is taken from "The Feminization of False Men in Chaucer's Legend of Good Women ," in Janet Halley and Sheila Fisher, eds., Seeking the Woman in Late Medieval and Renaissance Writing (University of Tennessee Press). Chapter 8 is a revised version of "The Powers of Silence: The Case of the Clerk's Griselda," published in Mary Erler and Maryanne Kowaleski, eds., Women and Power in the Middle Ages (University of Georgia Press). The first part of Chapter 2 originally appeared in Women's Studies , and the second part in Exemplaria . Finally, a shorter version of Chapter 3 appeared as "The Death of Blanche and the Life of the Moral Order" in Thought .