Gower Bibliography

The Wife of Bath's Tale: Its Sources and Analogues

Maynadier, G. H. "The Wife of Bath's Tale: Its Sources and Analogues." London: Nutt, 1901


Maynadier argues that Chaucer and Gower's loathly lady narratives (the Wife of Bath's Tale and the Tale of Florent) ultimately have an Irish origin and are not directly influenced by the Icelandic tradition. In addition, much of the Arthurian material belongs to a separate strand that diverges from Chaucer and Gower's versions (see 128 for a complete diagram). Gower in all likelihood borrowed his version from a Latin exempla collection such as the "Gesta Romanorum" (135). Chaucer's tale may have been suggested by Gower's, but since Gower was a completely unoriginal and uninventive poet (6, 134), there cannot be much indebtedness. Maynadier further discusses analogues to Gower's motif of capital punishment for answering a riddle incorrectly (126-27), and he notes that the light in the bridal chamber in the Tale of Florent is also of Irish origin (138). [CvD]

Item Type:Book
Additional Information:Rpt. New York: AMS, 1972
Subjects:Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Confessio Amantis

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