Gower Bibliography

The Trentham Manuscript as Broken Prosthesis: Wholeness and Disability in Lancastrian England

Barrington, Candace. "The Trentham Manuscript as Broken Prosthesis: Wholeness and Disability in Lancastrian England." Accessus: A Journal of Premodern Literature and New Media 1.1 (2013), n.p. Article 4.

Review

Barrington writes: "Gower's Trentham manuscript allows us to think about pre-modern disabilities in three ways. First, because it encourages Henry IV to restore the body politic disabled by Richard II, we can see the manuscript as presenting itself as a prosthesis able to compensate, even cure, Henry's illegitimate claims to the throne. Here, disability is a condition that needs to be eradicated at best, repaired at least. Second, because the Trentham manuscript reports Gower's blindness, we can examine how it registers that disability. As "Henrici quarti primus" makes clear, Gower's disability allows him to assert his own legitimacy as king's advisor. Here, disability is a means by which Gower asserts his authority. Finally, because the manuscript duplicates poems found elsewhere in markedly substantially versions, we can query how editorial decisions have marked it as a deformed text. Here, apparent disability disappears when digitizing eliminates the need for editorial choices." [JGN 33.1].

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Available at: http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/accessus/
Subjects:Manuscripts and Textual Studies

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