Next to the knight on his quest, the romance’s female heroine performs one of the genre’s most important roles. According to the character formula for most early modern romance, this heroine is a beautiful, highly sought-after woman of noble blood who endures unimaginable hardships before finally being united in love to a man of equally good character, beauty, and name.2 She acts with varying degrees of resourcefulness but is almost always dependent upon men, especially her beloved, for her salvation from any number of trials, most often involving fierce beasts, wicked men and women, deceptive sorcerers, and even her own parents or guardians-who typically try to force her to marry a man she does not love. She is adored; she is served by countless suitors; and, in return, she sighs … a lot. But what is much less remarked-upon in this familiar scenario is that, like Candiana, she also speaks. Indeed, the women of early modern romance are exceptionally talented storytellers, capable of vocalizing much more than a simple rhetoric of sighs.3 They tell their own life stories, others’ life stories, and entertaining fictions that not only advance the plot but also often enable selfknowledge and self-preservation.