Gower Bibliography

Chaucer Borrows From Gower: The Sources of the Man of Law's Tale

Nicholson, Peter. "Chaucer Borrows From Gower: The Sources of the Man of Law's Tale." In Chaucer and Gower: Difference, Mutuality, Exchange. Ed. Yeager, R.F.. ELS Monograph Series (51). Victoria, B.C.: English Literary Studies, 1991, pp. 85-99.


Argues that not only did Gower provide Chaucer's most important model for his tale, but that he also may have been Chaucer's "source" for his copy of Trevet's "Chronicles." The evidence includes the known friendship of the two poets, the limited manuscript circulation of the work, the fact that Chaucer shows no familiarity with any of the rest of its contents, and the very important fact that Gower got to it first. It also includes the indications that the two poets had access to a very similar copy of Trevet, as revealed by their handling of the names of the characters in the tale. If Chaucer did borrow the book from his friend, the result is a more concrete instance of their literary interaction than we have otherwise been able to document. [PN. Copyright The John Gower Society. JGN 11.1]

Item Type:Book Section
Subjects:Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Confessio Amantis
Influence and Later Allusion

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