Gower Bibliography

Gower and Caxton

Wells, William. "Gower and Caxton." South Atlantic Bulletin 27.1 (1961), pp. 9-10.


On the occasion of the library of the University of North Carolina acquiring its millionth volume, a 1483 folio edition of Gower's CA printed by William Caxton, Wells writes a critical appreciation of both the poet and the printer. By Caxton's time Gower's fame was well established, as shown from the translation of his work into Spanish and Portuguese. Wells remarks on the range of Gower's reading "in the ancient and contemporary classics of his age" (9). Despite his extensive borrowing, Gower preserves a sense of order, not only by the achievement of a plain style, but also by making the image of the lover seeking his ideal representative of the good man "striving towards order" (9). The second half of Wells' piece provides an appraisal of Caxton's career. Wells suggests that Caxton's criteria for each book that he chose to print were that it was "1) long established in reputation or very popular, 2) well written, 3) instructive, and 4) if the subject permitted, delightful" (10). Wells ends with a brief description of Caxton's edition, including its marginalia and binding. [CvD]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Facsimiles, Editions, and Translations
Confessio Amantis
Manuscripts and Textual Studies

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