Gower Bibliography

Gower's Knowledge of Poetria Nova

Ito, Masayoshi. "Gower's Knowledge of Poetria Nova." Studies in English Literature 162 (1975), pp. 3-20.

Review

Ito argues against James J. Murphy's controversial thesis that Chaucer and Gower did not know Geoffrey of Vinsauf's "Poetria Nova" directly. Ito points out that in addition to the well-known play on the acephalous name in VC 3.955-56, there is a further passage in Gower that is clearly indebted to Vinsauf. In VC 6.979-84, Gower's advice to Richard to avoid timidity is a detailed and skilful borrowing from Vinsauf's third example of apostrophe or "exclamatio." Ito also provides a number of other possible echoes, particularly in the description of a beautiful woman in VC 5.79-128) and in Gower's frequent use of the wordplay on "onus"/"honos" (labour/honour). While not many manuscripts of the "Poetria Nova" are known to have circulated in England, it is suggestive that a manuscript of the "Aurora" (a major source for Gower) also contained Vinsauf's work on rhetoric. [CvD]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Style, Rhetoric, and Versification
Vox Clamantis

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