Gower Bibliography

Longleat House Extracted Manuscript of Gower's Confessio Amantis

Harris, Kate. "Longleat House Extracted Manuscript of Gower's Confessio Amantis." In Middle English Poetry: Texts and Traditions. Essays in Honour of Derek Pearsall. Ed. Minnis, A. J.. York: York Medieval Press, 2001, pp. 77-90.


Harris' essay is a detailed description of Longleat House MS 174, in the possession of the Marquess of Bath, a compilation of mainly medical texts in several hands from the third quarter of the fifteenth century which Harris concludes was probably assembled for the use of professional medical practitioners. Its interest for readers of JGN lies in its inclusion on ff. 159-60 of Confessio Amantis 7.1281-1438, the description of the fifteen stars and their associated gems and herbs, among a group of other texts on the uses of herbs and other medical recipes. Longleat 174 is unique among the MSS containing excerpts from CA, Harris notes, in that it draws from the discursive portion of Gower's poem rather than presenting one or more of its tales, and also in that it includes the Latin apparatus associated with the extracted portion of the English text. Harris concludes her account by citing evidence that among a small circle of later, seventeenth-century readers as well, Gower may have been better known as a "scientist" than as a poet. [PN; JGN 22.1]

Item Type:Book Section
Subjects:Confessio Amantis
Manuscripts and Textual Studies

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