Gower Bibliography

'Fine Amor': Its Meaning and Context

Burnley, J. D. "'Fine Amor': Its Meaning and Context." Review of English Studies 31.2 (1980), pp. 129-148. ISSN 0034-6551


Burnley takes up the question whether the medieval phrase "fine amor" is a proper substitute for "courtly love," given the controversial reception of the latter term after Gaston Paris popularized it in 1883. Burnley samples a wide range of medieval uses of "fine amor." References to Gower occur on pages 133, 135, 141, and 144-47. Burnley argues that in the MO Gower generally refers to "fine amor" in relation to Christian charity and fellow feeling. In Gower's Balades, on the other hand, the term "seems to refer to sexual love" (144). However, in keeping with the common medieval view that "fine amor" is love that is pure, refined, and loyal, the love of the Balades remains a "virtuous secular love" (145). The Middle English equivalent for Gower would be "honeste love" (147). [CvD]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Language and Word Studies
Cinkante Balades
Mirour de l’Omme (Speculum Meditantis)

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