Gower Bibliography

Politicizing the Landscape: Ricardian Literary Languages of Power.

Johnson, Valerie. "Politicizing the Landscape: Ricardian Literary Languages of Power." PhD thesis, University of Rochester, 2013.

Review

"This dissertation examines the narrative landscapes of Middle English Ricardian political poetry in light of the split between creation and reception of these literary environments. Environmental descriptions are significant and nuanced political statements in the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, John Gower, and William Langland. These authors do not use environment as background or mere scenery because perception of environment is highly political, based upon temporal and cultural distinctions. This dissertation argues that medieval authors seek to focus audience attention upon the figure of the sovereign via textual depictions of the realm. Covert political criticism is activated through the latent cultural power of forests, rivers, and agricultural spaces like fields and gardens. In contrast to these bounded and regulated places, the wilderness serves as an 'a priori' state of political disorder that demonstrates, through its own fluidity and uncontrollable nature, the inherent stability of place. . . . The second chapter argues that Gower's use of the River Thames in the Ricardian Prologue of the 'Confessio Amantis' infuses the work with uniquely English political qualities that the Lancastrian recensions of the poem lack." [JGN 33.2.]

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Subjects:Confessio Amantis

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