Chapter 2 Wonder and Love
“Wonder and Love” examines the tradition of love in Middle English romance and finds a commonly recurring post-wedding dilemma: the fact of husband. If choice in marriage is the high point of feminine agency, what happens next? While heroines of Middle English romance have more agency than their continental counterparts do, marriage nevertheless presents its limitations; The Erle of Tolous and Athelston offer pertinent examples. This chapter explores these limitations through a multifaceted lens of varying theories of desire and considers the tale of Melusine within this context.