The Shipman’s Tale
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Item #: NCS113
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Audio: 373 KB

It seems from the early references at the beginning of the tale that this tale was originally meant for the Wife of Bath, since she is the sort of woman who would tell a tale about the importance of a husband's paying his wife enough sexual attention as well as meeting her needs for new clothes and spending money. The parsimonious merchant of this tale never quite realizes his old friend from his childhood, Don John the monk, has cuckolded him because of his wife's disgust that her wealthy husband will not give her both the money and sexual attention that she craves. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, but there is hope at the end of this tale that, despite fabliau-like infidelity by the wife, both her husband and she have learned that fidelity and increased attention to one another will greatly improve their marriage. The husband is a good example of a Scrooge McDuck sort of miser, at first.

Recorded at at Santa Monica College, in association with the 10th International Congress of the New Chaucer Society, Beverly Hills. July 1996
Readers: Nicholas R. Havely (Shipman), Mary Hamel (Wife),Winthrop Wetherbee (Don John), Peter G. Beidler (Merchant).
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