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Can an outrageously immoral man or a scandalous woman teach morality or lead people to virtue? Does personal fallibility devalue one’s words and deeds? Can individual failing be separated from official function? Chaucer addressed these issues through his portraits of the Pardoner, the immoral seller of indulgences, and the sexually rapacious Wife of Bath. In this study of these two ‘fallible authors’, Minnis reveals them as aspects of Chaucer’s radical experiment, confronting the relationship between objective authority and subjective fallibility.