The Good Wife of Bath
A (Mostly) True Story
by Karen Brooks
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In the middle ages, a poet told a story that mocked a strong woman. It became a literary classic. But what if the woman in question had a chance to tell her own version? Who would you believe?
England, The Year of Our Lord, 1364
When married off aged 12 to an elderly farmer, Eleanor Cornfed, who's constantly told to seek redemption for her many sins, quickly realises it won't matter what she says or does, God is not on her side - or any poor woman's for that matter.
But Eleanor was born under the joint signs of Venus and Mars. Both a lover and a fighter, she will not bow meekly to fate. Even if five marriages, several pilgrimages, many lovers, violence, mayhem and wildly divergent fortunes (that swoop up and down as if spinning on Fortuna's Wheel itself) do not for a peaceful life make.
Aided and abetted by her trusty god-sibling Alyson, the counsel of one Geoffrey Chaucer, and a good head for business, Eleanor fights to protect those she loves from the vagaries of life, the character deficits of her many husbands, the brutalities of medieval England and her own fatal flaw... a lusty appreciation of mankind. All while continuing to pursue the one thing all women want - control of their own lives.
This funny, picaresque, clever retelling of Chaucer's 'Wife of Bath' from The Canterbury Tales is a cutting assessment of what happens when male power is left to run unchecked, as well as a recasting of a literary classic that gives a maligned character her own voice, and allows her to tell her own (mostly) true story.
A Note From the Publisher
Praise for Karen Brooks
'The Darkest Shore is meticulously researched, taking a real historical event, and [Karen Brooks'] academic experience and merging it with exceptional storytelling. The characters are complex and compelling ... a powerful novel, at times brutal, but always enthralling. The Darkest Shore is a major achievement for Karen Brooks.' Better Reading on The Darkest Shore
'Meticulously researched and historically compelling... this fast-paced novel is a dramatic spy thriller that shines a spotlight on the inner workings of Elizabethan England.' - BOOKS+PUBLISHING on The Locksmith's Daughter
'Historian and novelist Brooks shows her research and imaginative chops in a luscious and astonishingly affecting chronicle of family scandal, political unrest, and redemptive hope in 1660s London.' - Publishers Weekly on The Chocolate Maker's Wife
'Brooks masterfully deploys surprising plot twists, deftly pacing the opening of closets to reveal hidden diaries and family skeletons. . . A charming and smart historical novel from a master storyteller.' - Kirkus Reviews on The Chocolate Maker's Wife
'Sensual, seductive, bold . . . A rich indulgence.' - Booklist on The Chocolate Maker's Wife
'The latest from Australian author Brooks is an excellent option for reading groups that enjoy multigenerational tales and historical fiction. . . Your late middle English vocabulary will be sumptuously rewarded.' - Library Journal on The Chocolate Maker's Wife