Gower Bibliography

Poets and Princepleasers: Literature and the English Court in the Late Middle Ages

Green, Richard Firth. "Poets and Princepleasers: Literature and the English Court in the Late Middle Ages." Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980

Review

Green frequently refers to Gower in arguing that the literature of late medieval England is less influenced by a rising middle class than by the patronage of the royal court. For instance, Green uses Gower's initial dedication of the CA to Richard II to suggest that royal commissions of literary works may have been commonplace (62). The same claim is made for regiment of princes material (like Book 7 of the CA). Indeed, according to Green, Gower "is a moralist who does little to hide the fact that the fortunes of the state interest him more than the fortunes of love's servants" (143). Gower's interest in the affairs of state is particularly evident in the CT. The CT's propagandist support of Henry IV provides a good example of "the potential value which a literary reputation might have for those in the service of astute princes" (179). However, Gower was not "cynically backing a winning horse" (180) when he switched his allegiance from Richard to Henry in the early 1390's. In addition, Gower was financially secure and did not need to write the CT for monetary reasons. Green concludes, "There is, thus, little in Gower's work to suggest that his espousal of Henry's cause was merely the dutiful act of a loyal servant, and still less to lead us to suppose that he was a cynical timeserver writing to order" (182). [CvD]

Item Type:Book
Subjects:Backgrounds and General Studies
Confessio Amantis
Cronica Tripertita

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