Synopses & Reviews
An asset to any study of gender in medieval England, this volume contains three poems that complement each other in their treatments of relations between the sexes. The Floure and the Leafe explores the courtly imagery of the flower and leaf, wherein the flower symbolizes the fickleness and shallow attraction characteristic of men, compared to the evergreen persistence of the leaf, likened to the long-suffering of women. Meanwhile, The Assembly of Ladies recounts the activities of a group of women while describing the differences between the sexes. Finally, the dream poem The Isle of Ladies tells of a male dreamer's interactions with the ladies of an all-female island. All of the poems include contextualizing introductions and helpful glosses; there is also an extensive glossary for the entire volume, rendering the volume useful to not only beginning students of Middle English but also to more advanced students of this topic.