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ABSTRACT Using the example of the l4th century household book Le menagier de Paris written by an old man for his teenaged wife, this essay explores how the desires of late-medieval women might have been articulated, manipulated and created by the paradigms they read about in popular conduct/courtesy/advice books, manuals usually written by men for an audience of women. I probe what indoctrination the author/narrator provides for the young wife's moral and domestic life in his bourgeous medieval Parisian household, what anecdotes about women are imbedded in the course of the narrative for her edification, and why it all matters for the medieval audience. The essay demonstrates how what women are to desire in order to be desirable to men is shaped in Le menagier. Manners, morals, and housekeeping details are equated and integrated in this book in complex ways. I want to interrogate aspects of the sort of cultural work a text such as Le menagier might perform. What are the consequences for medieval women (and modem women ), for medieval men, for medieval literary expressions, for the depictions of gender relations -- of an authorized conduct for women, created by men?