Gower Bibliography

Gower's Slothful Aeneas in Batman's 'Christall Glasse of Christian Reformation'

Reid, Lindsay Ann. "Gower's Slothful Aeneas in Batman's 'Christall Glasse of Christian Reformation'." Notes and Queries 61 (2014), pp. 349-54. ISSN 0029-3970

Review

No, not that Batman. Stephan Batman was in the service of Matthew Parker, possibly as his household chaplain, and he aided him in the acquisition of his vast library as well as acquiring a collection of books of his own. His "Christall Glasse of Christian Reformation" was published in 1569. It includes a discussion of the Seven Deadly Sins, and under Sloth, a brief version of the story of Dido and Aeneas that Reid argues is modeled on CA rather than any classical source: in it, Aeneas does not abandon Dido when he departs from Carthage but is merely "long tyme absent," and his sloth lies in the slowness of his return, with its ultimate tragic consequence, not in his delaying the founding of Rome. The episode still poses two puzzles, Reid notes: this account of Aeneas' sloth does not fit well with either of the two ways in which Batman defines the sin, and it is "somewhat surprising" that Batman should turn to Gower, given his "rather ambiguous status among sixteenth-century Protestant reformers," in an anti-papist tract (350). [PN. Copyright. The John Gower Society. eJGN 34.1]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Influence and Later Allusion

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