Gower Bibliography

The Instructor's Library

Nicholson, Peter. "The Instructor's Library." In Approaches to Teaching the Poetry of John Gower. Ed. Yeager, R. F., and Gastle, Brian W. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2011, pp. 17-25. ISBN 9781603290999

Review

Nicholson focuses on works about Gower, including several important overviews of his literary career that have appeared in book-length studies and in essays such as those gathered, for example, in Siân Echard's recent "Companion to Gower." He identifies major bibliographies (by Yeager, Nicholson, and, again, Echard), and briefly discusses Gower's sources for the "Confessio." Most of this essay, however, attends to the critical tradition, not only major book-length studies extending from those by Wickert, Fisher, Schmitz, Gallacher, and Peck to the present, as well as important essay collections, but also major issues. Nicholson frames the latter with a brief discussion of Macaulay's introduction, C.S. Lewis's "Allegory of Love," and Fisher's "John Gower" and the issues these scholars raise. The fullest consideration is devoted to scholars who qualify Lewis's account of the poem and seek to address Gower's seemingly problematic treatment of love in a moral frame. In recent decades, that discussion has led to a spirited critical debate regarding "the poem's paradoxes and inconsistencies" (23). In the last analysis, "the 'Confessio Amantis' has served as a mirror of the preoccupations of its readers. Some extol its complex but coherent plan, others celebrate its fractures, but all find it worthy of study and exploration" (24-25). [Kurt Olsson. Copyright. The John Gower Society. JGN 31.1]

Item Type:Book Section
Subjects:Backgrounds and General Studies
Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations

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