Gower Bibliography

Reader, Editor, and Geometrician ‘for Engelondes sake'

Peck, Russell A. "Reader, Editor, and Geometrician ‘for Engelondes sake'." In John Gower: Manuscripts, Readers, Contexts. Ed. Urban, Malte. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2009, pp. 11-37.

Review

Peck concludes his essay by quoting the explicit at the end of the Confessio Amantis: (here in Galloway's translation): "Here ends this book, and may it, I implore, travel free so that without a bruise it may thrive in the reader's ear. May he who sits in the throne of heaven grant that this page of John remain for all time pleasing the Britains. Go, spotless book, to the Count of Derby, whom the learned honor with praise, and take repose when you will be in his keeping." He goes on to note: "The Explicit sums up the thesis of this essay succinctly. Gower, as editor/reader, brought forth from old books an idea that his poem begets anew, in hope that it may abide (dwell) freely amidst a new community who will help to edit it e-dare, ‘to bring forth, beget, raise up') intelligently. The community will live as an idea that resides/dwells in the ear of its readers as long as it remains pleasing to them—these Britains whom Gower prays God will bless. He sends forth his book under the keeping of a good man, Henry Bolingbroke, knowing that health within the state is dependent on good leadership and good rule. That hope, set in a prayer, reflects a deep-seated anxiety on Gower's part: will his book have any influence whatsoever? In his trusting way, he hopes it will. But whether that trust is optimistic or pessimistic only the reader can determine" (36-37). [RFY. Copyright. The John Gower Society. JGN 30.1]

Item Type:Book Section
Subjects:Confessio Amantis

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