The Good Wife's Guide (Le Ménagier de Paris): A Medieval Household Book by Gina L. GrecoThe Good Wife's Guide (Le Ménagier de Paris): A Medieval Household Book by Gina L. Greco

The Good Wife's Guide (Le Ménagier de Paris): A Medieval Household Book

Edited and translated byGina L. Greco, Christine M. Rose

Paperback | January 8, 2009

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In the closing years of the fourteenth century, an anonymous French writer compiled a book addressed to a fifteen-year-old bride, narrated in the voice of her husband, a wealthy, aging Parisian. The book was designed to teach this young wife the moral attributes, duties, and conduct befitting a woman of her station in society, in the almost certain event of her widowhood and subsequent remarriage. The work also provides a rich assembly of practical materials for the wife's use and for her household, including treatises on gardening and shopping, tips on choosing servants, directions on the medical care of horses and the training of hawks, plus menus for elaborate feasts, and more than 380 recipes.

The Good Wife's Guide is the first complete modern English translation of this important medieval text also known as Le Ménagier de Paris (the Parisian household book), a work long recognized for its unique insights into the domestic life of the bourgeoisie during the later Middle Ages. The Good Wife's Guide, expertly rendered into modern English by Gina L. Greco and Christine M. Rose, is accompanied by an informative critical introduction setting the work in its proper medieval context as a conduct manual. This edition presents the book in its entirety, as it must have existed for its earliest readers.

The Guide is now a treasure for the classroom, appealing to anyone studying medieval literature or history or considering the complex lives of medieval women. It illuminates the milieu and composition process of medieval authors and will in turn fascinate cooking or horticulture enthusiasts. The work illustrates how a (perhaps fictional) Parisian householder of the late fourteenth century might well have trained his wife so that her behavior could reflect honorably on him and enhance his reputation.

Title:The Good Wife's Guide (Le Ménagier de Paris): A Medieval Household BookFormat:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.35 inPublished:January 8, 2009Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801474744

ISBN - 13:9780801474743

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Table of Contents

Introduction. Maid to Order: The Good Wife of Paris
The Book: Backgrounds, Narrator, Genre, Sources
Contexts: Conduct Books and Household Books
Glossing the Tale of Griselda: The Model Wife and Marriage in Le Ménagier de Paris
Translation Protocols

The Good Wife's Guide: The English Text of Le Ménagier de Paris
Introductory Note to Articles 1.1-1.3
Prayers and Orderly Dress (1.1)
Behavior and Attire in Public (1.2)
The Mass, Confession, the Vices and Virtues (1.3)
On Chastity (1.4)
Devotion to Your Husband (1.5)
Obedience (including the Story of Griselda) (1.6)
The Care of the Husband's Person (1.7)
The Husband's Secrets (1.8)
Introductory Note to Article 1.9
Providing Your Husband with Good Counsel (including the Story of Melibee) (1.9)
Introductory Note to Article 2.1
Le Chemin de povreté et de richesse (2.1)
Horticulture (2.2) 2
Choosing and Caring for Servants and Horses (2.3)
Introductory Note to Article 3.2
Hawking Treatise (3.2)
Menus (2.4)
Recipes (2.5)

Glossary of Culinary Terms

Editorial Reviews

"In a new, highly readable, and lively translation of an important medieval document, Gina L. Greco and Christine M. Rose have done a wonderful job of maintaining the integrity of the original text while rendering it into colloquial English. As a result, The Good Wife's Guide is eminently teachable. It is a cultural artifact in its own right, one that compiles a wide range of very different kinds of material, from moral exhortations to stories to practical instructions on household topics such as gardening and hawking to recipes-all brought together for a very specific purpose. It offers great insight into how both medieval books and households were put together."—Laurie A. Finke, Kenyon College