Gower Bibliography

On the Question of the Portuguese Translation of Gower’s Confessio Amantis.

Manly, John Matthews. "On the Question of the Portuguese Translation of Gower’s Confessio Amantis." Modern Philology 27.4 (1930), pp. 467-472.


In the Spanish version of the CA, mention is made of a Portuguese translation by one Robert Paym, canon of Lisbon. Manley finds evidence that there was indeed a family of Payms in Lisbon in the latter part of the fourteenth century. He mentions two documents in the Archivo Nacional that tell us about a certain Tomalin Paym, who appears to have been in charge of queen Philippa's jewels. The Lancastrian connection (Philippa was John of Gaunt's daughter and brother to Henry) is further strengthened by the knowledge that the name of a John Payn - Paym is the Portuguese form of the English name Payne - crops up frequently in the accounts concerning Henry's expeditions to Prussia and the Holy Land. It is to John and Tomalin Payn (or Paym) that Robert is most likely related. Of the various candidates for Robert Paym, the likeliest may be a certain "Robert Payn, of Whitby, clerk" (470), who in 1390 was licensed to pass beyond the sea to the Roman court, where the Pope may have granted him a canonry in Lisbon. Manly admits that much of this must remain speculation. However, he suggests that it is not surprising that Gower's CA would be translated into Portuguese. Such a translation would be favorably received by Philippa and her husband, who were both "fond of books" (471). The CA had also been dedicated to Henry, from whom Gower had received a silver collar of SSS. Manly ends with an expression of hope that one day not only Gower's Portuguese CA may be found in a Portuguese collection, but also that one of Chaucer's works may be found among the "uncatalogued treasures" (472) of those collections. [CvD]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Confessio Amantis

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