Gower Bibliography

Authorial Versions, Rolling Revision, Scribal Error? Or, the Truth about Truth

Hanna, Ralph III. "Authorial Versions, Rolling Revision, Scribal Error? Or, the Truth about Truth." Studies in the Age of Chaucer 10 (1988), pp. 23-40.


Hanna makes a contribution to the discussion of the literary relation between Gower and Chaucer during the course of his essay on the text of Chaucer's "Truth." Brusendorff (1925:204) first pointed out the resemblance between line 2 and the refrain of one version of Chaucer's poem and CA 5.7739-41, and concluded that Chaucer had probably borrowed from Gower. Pace and David, in their edition of The Minor Poems for the Variorum Chaucer (1982:60), suggested that Gower was alluding to Chaucer's poem instead, indicating that the version in question was thus already well known. Hanna points out that Brusendorff evidently supposed Gower to use "fre" in 5.7741 in the modern sense of "free, independent," and that since he uses it to mean "generous, liberal" instead, the purported resemblance to Chaucer's refrain ("And trouthe thee shal delivere, it is no drede" in the new Riverside Chaucer) disappears. The remaining similarity between the two passages can be attributed to independent allusion to the same Latin proverb, and Hanna concludes that there is no evidence that either poet influenced the other. [PN. Copyright The John Gower Society. JGN 7.2]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Confessio Amantis

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