Gower Bibliography

Early Printed Editions of Confessio Amantis

Blake, N. F.. "Early Printed Editions of Confessio Amantis." Mediaevalia 16 (1993), pp. 289-306.

Review

Offers a more detailed description of Caxton's and Berthelette's editions of CA to supplement the accounts of Macaulay and of Pearsall (in Minnis' Responses and Reassessments, 1983). Many of his more valuable comments derive from his familiarity with the printers' other output; he points out, for instance, that Caxton's account of Gower is far less glowing than his remarks on other poets, and that though he placed Gower in a triad with Chaucer and Lydgate, he had evidently been influenced by Lydgate to consider him a lesser luminary. Caxton also made less effort than he could have to discover the facts of Gower's biography, and his edition of CA is printed more carelessly than was his norm. Berthelette's edition is less well known; Blake therefore reprints the complete texts of his dedication to Henry VIII and his address to the reader, and discusses the attitudes towards Gower and towards Caxton that they reveal. For both printers, who did so much to shape Gower's reputation, Blake concludes, Gower remained in the shadow of Chaucer, and was judged more a moralist than a poet. [PN. Copyright The John Gower Society. JGN 13.1]

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Guest issue edited by Robert F. Yeager.
Subjects:Facsimiles, Editions, and Translations
Confessio Amantis

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