Loathly Lady

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A traditional ballad figure, an apparently ugly woman whose beauty is restored when at last she has found a husband and the enchantment laid on her is dispelled. The story is told by the Wife of Bath in the Canterbury Tales; the knight who has married the loathly lady has to answer the question, ‘what do women most desire?’, and his wife regains youth and beauty at the correct answer, ‘sovereignty’.

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