Gower Bibliography

Poetic visions of London Civic Ceremony, 1360-1440

Horsley, Katharine Frances. "Poetic visions of London Civic Ceremony, 1360-1440." PhD thesis, Harvard University, 2004.

Review

"This is a study of the dream poem in the context of medieval ritual, exploring the interaction between poetry and London civic ceremony in late medieval England. In it I examine the poetic use of visions of civic life to illustrate and negotiate an individual's place in their community, the way that late medieval poetry used elements of civic ceremony to critique London life. Each chapter of my thesis presents the work of a medieval author – Langland's Piers Plowman; Chaucer's Legend of Good Women; Gower's Confessio Amantis, Mirour de l'Omme and Vox Clamantis; Lydgate's Troy Book, Siege of Thebes, Fall of Princes, and coronation verses – in close comparison with a different type of London performance recorded in church processionals and civic records, reading the language of each ceremonial text side by side with poetry and examining the form of literary texts alongside performances. . . . In the second chapter [I discuss] Gower's poetic visions of public chastisement, alienation and exile, which I argue echoed the ridings to Newgate used to punish both perceived sin within the community and civil disobedience. . . . In each case, I attempt to establish the thesis that by using medieval ceremony to re-imagine city life each of these authors negotiated an individual relationship with civic order and communal harmony.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:Dissertation Abstracts International 65.10 (2005): 3796A.
Subjects:Vox Clamantis
Confessio Amantis
Mirour de l’Omme (Speculum Meditantis)

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