DESCRIPTION: "A noble marquess, As he did ride a hunting," meets Grissell. The story follows that in Chaucer and the Italien ancestors: He marries her or gets her pregnant, abuses her, casts her aside, and finally reunites with her when she stays faithful
EARLIEST DATE: 1877 (Bell); broadside believed to be from before 1590
KEYWORDS: love courting abuse rejection reunion
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Bell-Combined, pp. 73-81, "Patient Grissell" (1 text)
ST BeCo073 (Partial)
NOTES: There is, naturally, no evidence whatsoever that this is traditional, although the tale of Griselda certainly it. Marquis Walter and Griselda are the subject of the "Clerk's Tale" in the Canterbury Tales.
Although the story has had its admirers, most moderns regard it as monstrous. For a discussion of this, see James Sledd, "The Clerk's Tale: The Monsters and The Critics." This was originally published in Modern Philology LI (1953), and is now available in Edward Wagenknecht, Editor, Chaucer: Modern Essays in Criticism, Galaxy, 1959 (I use the sixth printing of 1963), pp. 226-239. The two preceding essays, George Lyman Kittredge's "Chaucer's Discussion of Marriage" and Henry Barrett Hinkley's The Debate on Marriage in The Canterbury Tales," are also worth seeing in this context. - RBW
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