Gower Bibliography

Social Conscience and the Poets.

Peck, Russell A.. "Social Conscience and the Poets." In Social Unrest in the Late Middle Ages: Papers of the Fifteenth Annual Conference of the Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies. Ed. Newman, Francis X. Binghamton, NY: CEMERS, 1986, pp. 113-148.


Peck examines major and minor poets of late 14th-century England for their attitudes toward the pervasive problems of the time: proper kingship, religious egalitarianism or its absence, attitudes toward the agrarian estate. Chaucer, Langland, and Gower receive prominent treatment within the larger contaxt including Wycliff, John Ball, Clanvowe, the author of "Richard the Redeles." Peck stresses Gower's concern for the law, and his placing it above the power of kings--a position Gower derived from Bracton. "Only insofar as 'king' is a metaphor for the governance of the soul does Gower allow for an absolute sovereignty. And even here the 'king' is more an administrator under divine, natural, and positive laws than an absolutist" (p. 129). [PN. Copyright the John Gower Newsleller. JGN 6.1]

Item Type:Book Section
Subjects:Backgrounds and General Studies

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