Gower Bibliography

Precious Stones in the Middle-English Verse of the Fourteenth Century.

Heather, P. J. "Precious Stones in the Middle-English Verse of the Fourteenth Century." Folklore 42 (1931), pp. 217-264.


As the title implies, Heather surveys folklore about precious stones in Gower's time period. Heather is quick to point out that for the fourteenth century no radical distinction is to be made between an illiterate "folk" and a cultured elite. As a result, Gower's learned references in the CA are frequently listed as examples of more widespread beliefs or superstitions. Along with Book 7 of the CA, tales that are repeatedly mined for evidence include the stories of Jason and Medea, Adrian and Bardus, and Lucius and the Statue. Occasionally Heather pauses to explain a point about a Gower quotation. For instance, Heather argues that in the description of the stones associated with the sun in Book 7, the name "Ceramius" might be a corruption of "Ceraunius," also known as the "thunderbolt," because this stone supposedly falls down with lightning. Aside from connecting stones with magic, royalty, and with other natural objects (stars, herbs, etc.), Heather briefly dwells on Gower's understanding of eclipses (394). [CvD]

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:The article continues on pages 345-404.
Subjects:Backgrounds and General Studies
Confessio Amantis

Gower Bibliography Editors Only: edit metadata