Renaissance heroes

Gill Othen gill at
Fri Aug 8 15:03:25 EDT 2003

Reply to: Robyn Starkey <rohina at>
Subject: Re: Renaissance heroes

What do you mean? She [The Wyf of Bath] got married 5 times, surely that's
supportive of
family values. ;)

LOL! Does she ever mention children, though? She certainly didn't maintain
the culturally-reccommended behaviour of a married woman!

>> We can argue about whether the portraits in Chaucer's GP
are of individuals or types (I incline towards the latter, because of the
indefinite article "a monk", not "the monk"), but the point I was trying to
make was not that there are not distinctive individuals, but that being a
distinctive individual is not the be-all and end-all that it is perceived
to be in modern times. Individual people can still have collective values.<<

No, other things mattered too (though I don't really get the "a monk"
argument - after all, you might start describing me by saying I am "a
teacher", and you'd be right.) However, family did not subordinate
everything else as, for example, it would have done in China or Japan of
thesame period.

>> I would argue quite strongly that there isn't the huge change you imply
from early Chaucer to
the later works, but again, that's probably an issue of a different

In literary terms there is surely a very significant change. I tend to see
an attitudinal change too.

I always assumed Caprona was Edwardian because that's the time period in
Chrestomanci's world. Is there any indication that he time-travels to visit
the families? Also, they have cars, so I thought it was like an alternate
Italy which had kept closer to its renaissance origins.

Yes, I'd forgotten about the cars - though horse-drawn carriages are de
rigeur for formal events. (Paper horses.....) However, in most other
respects it's more Renaissance than Edwardian, isn't it? Or possibly
Baroque, thinking about the visit to the palace.


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