Gower Bibliography

Une Source Française des Poèmes de Gower

Fowler, R. Elfreda. "Une Source Française des Poèmes de Gower." Macon: Protat Frères, 1905

Review

Fowler's Paris dissertation examines the MO's sources. Fowler focuses on the MO's section on the vices and virtues, and argues that Gower is closest to two thirteenth-century French sommes, the "Mirëour" or "Miraour du Monde" and the "Somme le Roi." Yet since Gower also borrows from the Latin "Summa Virtutum ac Vitiorum" by Gulielmi Peraldi, Fowler posits that Gower uses a now non-extant version of these three closely related texts, one that includes all of Gower's borrowings. Fowler provides a number of tables to shows corresponding passages, including two lengthy appendices: the first lists all the subdivisions of the vices and virtues in the MO and its possible sources; the second prints the MO's sections on Pride and Humility side by side with corresponding passages from the other texts. Fowler also includes a general introduction to Gower's life (borrowed mostly from Macaulay, but strong on possible contradictions in Gower's work) and focuses frequently on larger comparisons between Gower's three major works. She summarizes the essential differences as follows: "Le Mirour de l'Omme se rapproche des ouvrages cycliques et religieux, homélies ou mystères; la Confessio Amantis, des ouvrages encyclopédiques, et la Vox Clamantis, des ouvrages satiriques." (13). Fowler concludes by arguing that Gower is above all a conservator of older authorities (80), and his sources (the French sommes, Jean de Meun, Benoît, etc.) tend to come from the thirteenth century. [CvD]

Item Type:Book
Subjects:Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Vox Clamantis
Biography of Gower
Confessio Amantis
Mirour de l’Omme (Speculum Meditantis)

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