Gower Bibliography

A Source of the Confessio Amantis

Thorpe, Lewis. "A Source of the Confessio Amantis." Modern Language Review 43 (1948), pp. 175-181.


Thorpe finds an analogue for the Tale of the False Bachelor (from Book 2 of the CA) in the story "Annulus," a brief exemplum told by the Empress in the thirteenth-century romance Le Roman de Marques de Rome. The Marques is a sequel of sorts to The Seven Sages of Rome, a tale collection Gower and Chaucer both borrowed from. Most extant manuscripts of the Marques also include the Seven Sages, and so it seems quite likely that Gower drew upon it directly, and did not consult a shared parent source. Thorpe provides a detailed parallel transcription of tale and source and notes some striking similarities in phrasing. Notable differences, on the other hand, include the intended moralitas or frame, the fact that Gower's version goes on for another 67 lines (describing the Bachelor's punishment), and the greater preoccupation of the Marques with aspects of contemporary warfare. Despite these differences, Gower’s general indebtedness is clearly evident. [CvD]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Confessio Amantis

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