Gower Bibliography

"Richard II in John Gower's Confessio Amantis: Some Historical Perspectives."

Stow, George. ""Richard II in John Gower's Confessio Amantis: Some Historical Perspectives."." Mediaevalia 16 (1993), pp. 3-31.

Review

Offers a new attempt to explain the evident change in Gower's opinion of Richard II that is reflected in his revisions in CA. He focuses on the period 1390-91, the time when Gower revised the epilogue to his poem if the marginal reference to "anno quarto decimo Regis Ricardi" at 8.2973 is correct; and he finds evidence of Richard's growing "absolutism" and of his "quasi-autocratic approach to government" in his struggles with Parliament over their respective authority, in his reappointment to office of men loyal to him who had been dismissed by the Appellants, and in his display of the badge of the White Hart at the Smithfield tournament of October, 1390, in violation of the spirit of the Ordinance of 1390 restricting the use of livery (though this Ordinance specifically excluded the king). He does not explain why Gower, having become so disillusioned with the king, did not remove the dedication to the king in the Prologue until two years later, the "yer sextenthe of kyng Richard" (Prol. 25), the date that most scholars, following Fisher, have cited for Gower's change of feeling. [PN. Copyright The John Gower Society. JGN 13.1]

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Special issue edited by Robert F. Yeager.
Subjects:Biography of Gower
Confessio Amantis

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