Gower's vocabulary is educated, with extensive use of French and Latin loans, some of them apparently original; for example, the Confessio is the earliest work in which the word "history" is attested in English (OED also Middle English Dictionary). While Macaulay (1901:x-xxi, 1908:sec 28) was cautiously appreciative, his contemporary Crawshaw (1907:61) attributed to the work "a certain nervelessness or lack of vigor, and a fatal inability to understand when he had said enough". While only a few manuscripts of this version survive, it has been taken as representing Gower's final vision for the work, and is the best-known version, having served as the basis of all modern editions. The true story is probably somewhat more complicated (see e.g. The external matter comprises the prologue, which spills over briefly into the start of Book 1 and an epilogue at the end of Book 8. Genius leads Amans through the seven deadly sins, interpreting them in the context of the courtly love tradition. Gower characterised his verse in the Confessio as the plain style. Confessio amantis, late 14th-century poem by John Gower. The Index of Middle English Verse shows that in the era before the printing press it was one of the most-often copied manuscripts (59 copies) along with Canterbury Tales (72 copies) and Piers Plowman (63 copies).[1]. It stands with the works of Chaucer, Langland, and the Pearl poet as one of the great works of late 14th-century English literature. Upon being told that he is on the verge of dying from love, Venus insists that he be shriven, and summons her chaplain Genius to hear his confession. Confessio amantis by John Gower, Sian Echard, Claire Fanger, 1968, Holt, Rinehart and Winston edition, in Latin Confessio Amantis ("The Lover's Confession") is a 33,000-line Middle English poem by John Gower, which uses the confession made by an ageing lover to the chaplain of Venus as a frame story for a collection of shorter narrative poems. It is hard to find works that show signs of direct influence: the only clear example is Shakespeare's Pericles, where the influence is conscious borrowing: the use of Gower's characteristic octosyllabic line for the character of Gower himself. The Confessio Amantis is bilingual. Samuels and Smith (1988:15) observed that there are several ways in which his language differs from that of Chaucer. (1899). The play of Gower has also been given his share of appreciation. Learn more about Caxton’s life and career. The first known criticism is an apparent reference in Chaucer's 'Man of Law's Prologue': the eponymous Man, praising Chaucer, observes that. The influential assessment of Puttenham (1589:50) found Gower's English verse inadequate in every respect: Gower [...] had nothing in him highly to be commended, for his verse was homely and without good measure, his wordes strained much deale out of the French writers, his ryme wrested, and in his inuentions small subtilitie: the applications of his moralities are the best in him, and yet those many times very grossely bestowed, neither doth the substance of his workes sufficiently aunswere the subtiltie of his titles. Despite this, it is more usually studied alongside other tale collections with similar structures, such as the Decameron of Boccaccio, and particularly Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, with which the Confessio has several stories in common. Confessio amantis by John Gower, Sian Echard, Claire Fanger, 1963, Penguin Books edition, in English Sir Robert Gower (uncle of John Gower) was buried at the church of St Mary the Blessed Virgin in, CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, Last edited on 23 December 2020, at 16:46, List of subjects and tales in Confessio Amantis, "Digital Edition of the Index of Middle English Verse", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Confessio_Amantis&oldid=995927006, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. George L. Hamilton (1912). In this context, the plan of the work given in the prologue is one of the most-quoted passages of the poem: This is essentially what he does; the external matter and parts of the narrative frame, together with some long digressions (most notably the whole of Book 7, discussed below) make up the "lore", while the majority of the tales are wholly concerned with "lust". According to the traditional system, the final sin should be lechery, but since this can hardly be considered a sin against Venus, the topic of the final book is narrowed to the single perversion of incest. The poet, as a lover, confesses his shortcomings to Genius, the priest of Venus, who absolves him and relates tales suitable to counteract each type of sin. Composition of the work probably began circa 1386, and the work was completed in 1390. The work's most enthusiastic advocate was C.S. The Latin Verses in the Confessio Amantis: An Annotated Translation: Echard, Sian, Fanger, Claire: 9780937191194: Books - Amazon.ca Written in Middle English, the Confessio Amantis is a long poem: 33,000 lines long, to be precise. Vol 3:The complete works of John Gower. The Gower Project Translation Wiki is an open forum for Modern English translations of John Gower’s major works: Mirour de l’Omme, Vox Clamantis, and Confessio Amantis. Previous page . Pearsall (2004:94) assigns a "dubious status" to Macaulay's ‘second recension’ and has other comments on Macaulay's account of the text. Confessio amantis by John Gower, Sian Echard, Claire Fanger, 2005, Published for TEAMS (The Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages) in association with the University of Rochester by Medieval Institute Publications, College of Arts and Sciences, Western Michigan University edition, in English … A 15th-century treatise printed by Caxton describes "his bookes, called Confessionalle" as. Some well known differences between Chaucer and Gower are explained by conclusion that Gower is associated with Kent and Suffolk. 1410 1415 1420 1425 1430 1435 1440 1445 1450 1455 1460 1465 1470 1475 1480 1485 1490 1495 1500 1505 1510 1515 1520 1525 1530 1535 1540 1545 1550 1555 1560 1565 1570 1575 1580 1585 1590 1595 1600 1605 1610 1615 1620 1625 1630 1635 1640 1645 1650 1655 1660 1665 1670 1675 1680 1685 1690 1695 1700 1705 1710 1715 1720 1725 1730 … Publication date 1963 Publisher Baltimore,: Penguin Books Collection universityoffloridaduplicates; univ_florida_smathers; americana Digitizing sponsor University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries with support from LYRASIS and the Sloan Foundation Contributor University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries Language English. This section ends with an account of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar (which draws on a similar passage in the Vox Clamantis), identifying the statue's feet of iron mixed with clay with the medieval world that Gower perceives as hopelessly divided and in danger of imminent collapse. Confessio amantis : (The lover's shrift) / John Gower ; translated into modern English with an introduction by Terence Tiller Gower, John, 1325?-1408 View online Borrow Translated into modern English with an introduction by Terence Tiller (Penguin Classics. Both these examples are references to the Confessio (Canace is III.143–336), and it has sometimes been thought that this passage was the direct cause of the removal of the dedication to Chaucer from the later editions of the work (see "Textual History" above). At this point, however, Gower breaks his form and digresses: at the end of Book 6 Amans requests that Genius give him a break from the confession and teach him wisdom instead, and Genius responds in Book 7 by discoursing at length on the education given by Aristotle to Alexander the Great. Publication date. (Lee in DNB) Thus "Gower’s dialect is essentially based on the two regional dialects of Kent and Suffolk, not that of London, as Macaulay(1901:cxxx, 1908:sec 32) thought.". That the work was aimed at a similarly educated audience is clear from the inclusion of Latin epigraphs at the start of each major section. no. The design is that each book of the poem shall be devoted to one sin, and the first six books follow the traditional order for the first six sins: pride, envy, wrath, sloth, avarice, and gluttony. When at last Genius pronounces Amans absolved of all his sins against love, Venus cures him of his infatuation. With the exception of a 74 line letter "unto cupid and to venus" in Book VIII, Gower did not adopt the new pentameter with which Chaucer had recently been experimenting, and which was in the 15th century to become the standard metre for English rhyme. Book 8 returns to the confession. The prologue of this first recension recounts that the work was commissioned by Richard II after a chance meeting with the royal barge on the River Thames; the epilogue dedicates the work to Richard and to Geoffrey Chaucer, as the "disciple and poete" of Venus. [Here begins the confession of the Lover, to whom the Confessor particularly inquires concerning two of the five senses, that is, sight and sound.] … The works of John Gower as well as those of Chaucer initiated a new tradition of vernacular English poetry relying on a syllabic verse structure. CONFESSIO AMANTIS page 1 / … The best-known tales are those that have analogues in other English writers, since these are often studied for comparison. The Apollonius is nearly 2,000 lines long, but at the other extreme, the distinction between tale and allusion is hard to define; for example, summaries of the story of Troilus and Criseide appear in three places (II.2456–2458, IV.7597–7602, VIII.2531–2535), but none can really be described as a "tale". Database of Middle English Romances – provides key information, including (where known) date and place of composition, verse form, authorship and sources, extant manuscripts and early modern prints, for each romance, as well as a full list of modern editions and plot summaries. None of Gower's tales are original. Watt 2003:11–13 for an overview of recent work). He explains the various aspects of each one with exempla, and requires Amans to detail any ways in which he has committed them. Navigate; Linked Data; Dashboard; Tools / Extras; Stats; Share . The marginal Latin glosses, identified by a capital L in the left margin next to the text, are transcribed and translated in the notes and can be accessed by clicking on (see note) at the corresponding line. 1 Jan. 1963. 1 In every matter, wise doctrine gains well-being, nor does anyone except one taught acquire wealth. Much revision took place, some of it by Gower and some probably by individual scribes. He notably published The Canterbury Tales, Le Morte Darthur, and Confessio amantis. The Confessio is divided into a prologue and eight books, which are divided thematically. John Lydgate praised "Gower Chaucers erthly goddes two", The Kings Quair was dedicated to "Gowere and chaucere, that on the steppis satt/ of rethorike", and George Ashby called Chaucer, Gower and Lydgate "premier poetes of this nacion" (quoted by Fisher, 1965: 3). This broadly follows the pattern of Christian confessions of the time. But it was Chaucer's works which became the model for future poets, and the legacy of the Confessio has suffered as a result. Please email Georgiana Donavin to have a account set up for you. Later generations have been equally unkind. Tale of Acteon 333-88; Tale of Medusa 389-462; Aspidis the Serpent 463-80; The Sirens 481-574; Hypocrisy 575-672. In genre it is usually considered a poem of consolation, a medieval form inspired by Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy and typified by works such as Pearl. These include the Apollonius, which served as a source for the Shakespearean Pericles, and the tales shared with Chaucer, such as the tales of Constance (II.587–1603, also told by the Man of Law) and Florent (I.1407–1875, also told by the Wife of Bath). Confessio amantis by John Gower, Sian Echard, Claire Fanger, 1968, Holt, Rinehart and Winston edition, in English, Middle (1100-1500) Another group is definitely East Anglian: Gower's family owned land in SW Suffolk (Kentwell Hall) and had associations with NW Kent (Brabourne?[2]). Though this is one sin Amans is innocent of, Genius contrives to fill a book nonetheless by telling the longest and best-known story in the Confessio, namely Apollonius of Tyre (VIII.271–2008). It is worth doing. And he recapitulates in the Epilogue. And despite this apparent popularity, critical reactions to the work have often been unfavourable. The subsequent history is complicated and not entirely certain. He invokes Venus and Cupid, who promptly appear and demand to know the reason for his sorrow. Unknown Binding – 1 Jan. 1963 by John Gower (Author), Terence Tiller (Author) See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions. L.128.) [it] has a large integrity and unity based on a defense of [Gower's] ethical scheme for the universe... Gower tells in the Prologue exactly what he is going to do. It has been suggested that it was the influence of Chaucer, who had in part dedicated his Troilus and Criseyde to Gower, that persuaded him that the vernacular was a suitable language for poetry, and the influence of Chaucer's Legend of Good Women has been detected in the Confessio (Macaulay 1908:sec 23). It follows that it is hard to produce a definite figure for the number of tales in the Confessio. By the 19th century, the Confessio was regarded by some as an established "monument of dulness and pedantry" (quoted by Coffman 1945:52). He does it well. According to Macaulay (1901:xxii), a second recension was issued in about 1392, with some significant changes: most notably, most references to Richard are removed, as is the dedication to Chaucer, and these are replaced with a new dedication to Henry of Lancaster, the future Henry IV. Mail Social. In the prologue he details at some length the numerous failings he identifies in the three estates (government, church, and people) of his time. Thus this edition has sought to provide abundant glosses and notes to make his Middle English more fully clear to modern readers. Confessio Amantis, the Lover’s Confession 203-88; Senses of Sight and Sound 289-332. The story of the brazen head, here associated with Robert Grosseteste, were later associated with his disciple Roger Bacon. Services . 294 ff. Confessio Amantis or Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins: Gower, John: 9781469928241: Books - Amazon.ca Next page. The tale of Apollonius of Tyre is the principal tale of the final book. The wiki is hosted by PBworks but is password protected. The source he relies on most is Ovid, whose Metamorphoses was ever a popular source of exempla; others include the Bible and various other classical and medieval writers, of whom Macaulay (1908:sec 29) lists Valerius Maximus, Statius, Benoît de Sainte-Maure (the Roman de Troie), Guido delle Colonne (Historia destructionis Troiae), Godfrey of Viterbo, Brunetto Latini, Nicholas Trivet, the Romans des sept sages, the Vita Barlaam et Josaphat, and the Historia Alexandri Magni. Jye Afamasaga This electronic text was edited and proofed by Douglas B. Killings (DeTroyes@AOL.COM), September 1994. Confessio Amantis ("The Lover's Confession") is a 33,000-line Middle English poem by John Gower, which uses the confession made by an ageing lover to the chaplain of Venus as a frame story for a collection of shorter narrative poems. Prof. G.C. If you have questions about the collection, please contact mec-info@umich.edu. on November 18, 2011, There are no reviews yet. Gower's previous works had been written in Anglo-Norman French and Latin. Hypocrisy of Lovers 672-760; Tale of Mundus and Paulina 761-1076 ; Trojan Horse 1077-1234; Disobedience 1235-1342; Murmur and Complaint 1343–1406. Macauley. JOHN GOWER, CONFESSIO AMANTIS, BOOK 7: FOOTNOTES. Tens of thousands of lines later, the epilogue returns to these concerns, again touching on the matters Gower believes each estate needs most urgently to attend to. The frame story as such is easily summarised. Confessio Amantis, Book I, 1407-1882. The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. This notwithstanding, the digression, and the consequent flaw in an otherwise strict plan, is the most frequently criticised aspect of the poem's structure (see e.g. Watt (2003:11) sums up the divided critical reactions as "reflecting ... the complexity of both the poem itself, which invites conflicting interpretations and contradictory reactions, and its textual history". Pearsall 1966:476). Macaulay (1901:xvi, 1908:sec 33) finds his style technically superior to Chaucer's, admiring "the metrical smoothness of his lines, attained without unnatural accent or forced order of words". He was a close friend of Geoffrey Chaucer. A brief overview and summary of Confessio Amantis, ... but this is a modern translation of the original Middle English and contains only around a third of the entire poem.) 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