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.


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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