The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Brosnahan, Leger. "The Authenticity of And Preestes Thre." 16 (1982): 293-310.
The half-line "and preestes thre" (24) in the General Prologue has caused a number of scholars to advance various explanations which will reduce the 31 pilgrims to the stated 29. Careful examination of the pattern of portraits in the General Prologue suggests that the Second Nun's portrait was interrupted and the rest of the line filled with the phrase "and preestes thre." Removing this half-line on the basis that it is a scribal filler simplifies the Prioress's entourage, reduces the number of pilgrims, and better conforms to the pattern of the other portraits in the General Prologue.
Hirsh, John C. "The Politics of Spirituality: The Second Nun and the Manciple." 12 (1977): 129-46.
Political references in Chaucer's "Legend of St. Cecile" indicate his concern over the Great Schism. When Cecilia urges Valerian and Tiberce to steadfast deaths, she becomes the center of attention, suggesting that she is a figure of the unified church. Like the Second Nun's Tale, the Manciple's Tale deals with the relationship between life and religion and defends the Manciple from the Host's suggestion that the Manciple is a thief.
Rosenberg, Bruce A. "The Contrary Tales of the Second Nun and the Canon's Yeoman." 2 (1968): 278-91.
Though the Second Nun's Tale seems to reveal little complexity or artistry, when read in conjunction with the Canon's Yeoman's Tale, it demonstrates both. St. Cecile's story may be read in terms of alchemy: her body (base material) must be "mortified" so that her soul (the perfect thing) may ascend to heaven. Chaucer also develops a contrast between sight and blindness. Cecilia can see spiritually, but the Canon's Yeoman sees only physically. The link between these two tales is that they show two polarities.