Gower Bibliography

Monstrous England: Nation and reform, 1375—1385

Marshall, David W. "Monstrous England: Nation and reform, 1375—1385." PhD thesis, Indiana University, 2007.

Review

"The years surrounding the Rising of 1381 witnessed socio-cultural struggles suggesting to authors of the day the fallen-ness of England. That impression had significant effects on the community imagined by writers. As authors such as John Gower and William Langland represented the perceived moral and social decay, they communicated multiple images of the nation simultaneously. One facet is the "monstrous nation," in which a people is unified by its immoral predilection for self-destruction; the other facet is the "reformist nation," in which texts communicate an ideal image, rooted in the theory of the Three Estates. Religion, therefore, becomes a structuring principle in medieval "imagined communities." Chapter One analyzes Gower's use of Nebuchadnezzar's statue in the Vox Clamantis, which Gower reuses in the Confessio Amantis, reading it as an image of a monstrous body politic that shadows the ideal image of community. Gower's adopted role as prophet for the English locates this community within a specifically religious discourse that elevates the ideal image of the nation to one of chosenness by God." Other chapters: Thomas Walsingham's Historia Anglicana, Henry Knighton's Chronicon and other accounts of the Peasants' Revolt; the letters attributed to John Ball; and Piers Plowman. Directed by Karma Lochrie and Patricia C.Ingham.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:Dissertation Abstracts International A68.07 (2008)
Subjects:Vox Clamantis
Confessio Amantis

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