Confessio Amantis or Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins: Gower, John: 9781469928241: Books - Amazon.ca The Confessio Amantis is bilingual. 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. no. 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]. JOHN GOWER (c. 1330-1408) was an English poet who wrote in French, Latin, and Middle English. Even C.S. See all details. Please email Georgiana Donavin to have a account set up for you. Be the first one to, Advanced embedding details, examples, and help, University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries with support from LYRASIS and the Sloan Foundation, University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries, http://uf.catalog.fcla.edu/uf.jsp?st=UF000761657&ix=pm&I=0&V=D&pm=1, University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries, Terms of Service (last updated 12/31/2014). By the 19th century, the Confessio was regarded by some as an established "monument of dulness and pedantry" (quoted by Coffman 1945:52). The narrator of this section, conventionally referred to as Amans or the Lover, wanders through a forest in May, as medieval lovers typically do, and despairs at his lack of success. Boston University Libraries. John Gower's Confessio amantis: Rights/Permissions: Oxford Text Archive number: U-1677-C. He explains the various aspects of each one with exempla, and requires Amans to detail any ways in which he has committed them. Services . The best-known tales are those that have analogues in other English writers, since these are often studied for comparison. Confessio Amantis is a collection of over one hundred stories illustrative of the vices and virtues. 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. CAXTON’S COPYTEXT OF GOWER’S CONFESSIO AMANTIS CAXTON’S COPYTEXT OF GOWER’S CONFESSIO AMANTIS BLAKE, N. F. 1967-01-01 00:00:00 CAXTON'S COPYTEXT OF GOWER'S CONFESSIO AMANTIS Although Gower may well have been one of Caxton's favourite authors, for we know he used Confessio Amantis in his translation of the Ovide Moralise1, Caxton's handling of … When at last Genius pronounces Amans absolved of all his sins against love, Venus cures him of his infatuation. 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". 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 … [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 Confessio (begun about 1386) runs to some 33,000 lines in octosyllabic couplets and takes the form of a collection of exemplary tales of love placed within the framework of a lover’s confession to a priest of Venus. Next page. 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. Thus this edition has sought to provide abundant glosses and notes to make his Middle English more fully clear to modern readers. 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). 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). It has naturally been commonly assumed that this reflects a shift in the poet's loyalties, and indeed there are signs that Gower was more attached to Henry's party from this period; but while he did attack Richard later in the decade, there is no evidence that these early changes indicate any particular hostility towards either Richard or Chaucer (Peck 2000), and it has been argued that the revision process was not politically motivated at all, but begun rather because Gower wished to improve the style of the work (Burrows 1971:32), with the dedications being altered as a purely secondary matter. 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. The Learning Store. And he recapitulates in the Epilogue. Macaulay (1900: vii) claims that it was the first English book to be translated into a foreign language.Nonetheless, Gower, perhaps more than any poet of his period, has suffered through his close association with Chaucer, who as the preeminent maker of the English Middle Ages overshadows his peers in the same way that Shakespeare dominates the turn of the 17th century. Teaching surpasses nature; whatever an ancestry ripe for learning does not provide a clever man, instruction will give him. If you have questions about the collection, please contact mec-info@umich.edu. on November 18, 2011, There are no reviews yet. As the name implies, the poem details the confession of Amans, the Lover. Confessio Amantis 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. A 15th-century treatise printed by Caxton describes "his bookes, called Confessionalle" as. Confessio amantis by John Gower, Sian Echard, Claire Fanger, 1964, Miami University edition, in English 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). Prof. G.C. Composition of the work probably began circa 1386, and the work was completed in 1390. 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. Lewis, who has been quoted above admiring the style of the work, was unconvinced by its structure, describing the epilogue as "a long and unsuccessful coda" (Lewis 1936:222). 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. Jye Afamasaga Hypocrisy of Lovers 672-760; Tale of Mundus and Paulina 761-1076 ; Trojan Horse 1077-1234; Disobedience 1235-1342; Murmur and Complaint 1343–1406. Watt 2003:11–13 for an overview of recent work). See what's new with book lending at the Internet Archive, Uploaded by 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). "Some Sources of the Seventh Book of Gower's "Confessio Amantis " ". Publication date. Later generations have been equally unkind. Confessio Amantis, the Lover’s Confession 203-88; Senses of Sight and Sound 289-332. Robbins Library Digital Projects > TEAMS Middle English Texts > Confessio Amantis, Volume 3 > Confessio Amantis: Book 5. Another group is definitely East Anglian: Gower's family owned land in SW Suffolk (Kentwell Hall) and had associations with NW Kent (Brabourne?[2]). first half of Confessio Amantis(to V.1970) G.C.Macaulay, ed. While not of immense importance as a source for later works, the Confessio is nonetheless significant in its own right as one of the earliest poems written in a form of English that is clearly recognizable as a direct precursor to the modern standard, and, above all, as one of the handful of works that established the foundations of literary prestige on which modern English literature is built. 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. 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. Learn more about Caxton’s life and career. This decision has not always met with appreciation, the shorter lines being sometimes viewed as lending themselves to monotonous regularity, but Gower's handling of the metre has usually been praised. But it was Chaucer's works which became the model for future poets, and the legacy of the Confessio has suffered as a result. 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. The Confessio is divided into a prologue and eight books, which are divided thematically. Tale of Florent 1407-1882; Presumption … The subsequent history is complicated and not entirely certain. The work's most enthusiastic advocate was C.S. Tale of Acteon 333-88; Tale of Medusa 389-462; Aspidis the Serpent 463-80; The Sirens 481-574; Hypocrisy 575-672. The treatment given to individual stories varies widely. The following electronic text is based on that edition published in THE WORKS OF JOHN GOWER, ed. Mail According to its prologue, it was composed at the request of Richard II. 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. 294 ff. Genius leads Amans through the seven deadly sins, interpreting them in the context of the courtly love tradition. 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. Arrives: Jan 18 - 20 Details. CONFESSIO AMANTIS page 1 / … 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. 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. 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. Confessio Amantis: | | ||| | The author and the Priest of Venice, from an MS of the... World Heritage Encyclopedia, the aggregation of the largest online encyclopedias available, and the most definitive collection ever assembled. … Unlike the bulk of the Confessio, these have much in common with Gower's previous works (Pearsall 1966:475). He invokes Venus and Cupid, who promptly appear and demand to know the reason for his sorrow. Pearsall 1966:476). The Confessio was apparently popular in its own time; its 49 surviving manuscripts suggest a popularity about halfway between Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (80 copies) and Troilus and Criseyde (16 copies). G. C. Macaulay, 2 vols., Early English Text Society, Extra Series 81 (1900; reprint 1978); 82 (1901). 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". 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". Book 8 returns to the confession. 'John Gower in His Most Significant Role', in, Pearsall, Derek (1966). 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. Even excluding the very shortest, however, there are over 100 individual stories (Macaulay 1908:sec 24), making them more numerous than the strict 100 of the Decameron, and much more so than the Canterbury Tales or the Legend of Good Women. 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). The true story is probably somewhat more complicated (see e.g. Cambridge University MS Mm 2.21; film in University of Michigan … Confessio amantis by John Gower, Sian Echard, Claire Fanger, 1963, Penguin Books edition, in English None of Gower's tales are original. The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. His 33,000-line poem Confessio Amantis ("The Lover's Confession") uses the frame of the confessions of an ageing lover to tell a series of incidents of famous loves. 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. He retained instead the octosyllabic line that had previously been the standard form for English poetry, and wrote it in couplets, rather than in the stanzas he had employed in his previous works. Pearsall (2004:94) assigns a "dubious status" to Macaulay's ‘second recension’ and has other comments on Macaulay's account of the text. In Gower's hands this becomes a treatise on good kingship, and it is in this book that it is most obvious how the work is intended to answer the royal commission. The tale of Apollonius of Tyre is the principal tale of the final book. Gower has also been given his share of appreciation. 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. Gower's language differs from the London dialect in which Chaucer wrote. 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. (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.". George L. Hamilton (1912). This edition includes all Latin components of the poem along with translations. Much revision took place, some of it by Gower and some probably by individual scribes. This veiled criticism of the Confessio's immoral stories is not necessarily inconsistent with Chaucer's famous dubbing of his friend "Moral Gower"; that passage, in Chaucer's Troilus, was likely written before Gower even began the Confessio. Translated into modern English with an introduction by Terence Tiller (Penguin Classics. In some cases he is praised and damned at once; Jonson (1640) considers him dangerously attractive, and liable to damage young writers who might be tempted to imitate his style: ...beware of letting them taste Gower, or Chaucer at first, lest falling too much in love with Antiquity, and not apprehending the weight, they grow rough and barren in language onely, Peck (2000) interprets this as unambiguous praise. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. The frame story as such is easily summarised. He was a close friend of Geoffrey Chaucer. The first known criticism is an apparent reference in Chaucer's 'Man of Law's Prologue': the eponymous Man, praising Chaucer, observes that. As the work's title implies, therefore, the bulk of the work is devoted to Amans' confession. He notably published The Canterbury Tales, Le Morte Darthur, and Confessio amantis. 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". These materials are in the public domain. Vol 2:The complete works of John Gower. Macauley. Crucial as Latin clearly was to late medieval English poems like Piers Plowman and Gower’s Confessio Amantis, and as the idea of Latin glossing was to Chaucer, Latin mar- ginal glossing of English in this learned and exploratory period of English poetry is rare and muted, regardless of issues of orthodoxy or heresy. This version of the work saw widespread circulation, perhaps due to its royal connections (Peck 2000), and was the most popular of Gower's works, with at least 32 of the 49 surviving manuscripts of the Confessio containing this version. Documentation about the poet's birthplace does not exist. It is worth doing. Additional assistance provided by Diane M. Brendan. 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". William Caxton, the first English printer, who, as a translator and publisher, exerted an important influence on English literature. Confessio amantis (The lover's shrift by Gower, John. 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). Written in Middle English, the Confessio Amantis is a long poem: 33,000 lines long, to be precise. And despite this apparent popularity, critical reactions to the work have often been unfavourable. 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. In the prologue he details at some length the numerous failings he identifies in the three estates (government, church, and people) of his time. The narrative structure is overlaid on this in three levels: the external matter, the narrative frame, and the individual tales which make up the bulk of the work. This electronic text was edited and proofed by Douglas B. Killings (DeTroyes@AOL.COM), September 1994. In the fifteenth century, Gower and Chaucer were invariably regarded together as the founders of English poetry. According to its prologue, it was composed at the request of Richard II. The story of the brazen head, here associated with Robert Grosseteste, were later associated with his disciple Roger Bacon. Smith (2004:65) concludes that despite these regional features "Gower was evidently part of the linguistic community of late-fourteenth-century London." contracted 3rd person singular present indicative verbs, used to a far greater extent than in Chaucer, e.g. Social. What follows is the conventional history as formulated by Macaulay (1901:xxi). Modern Philology. Coffman, George R. (1945). And even the structure of his work has been declared perfect by some: Coffman (1945:58) argues that. 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 broadly follows the pattern of Christian confessions of the time. According to its prologue, it was composed at the request of Richard II. Some well known differences between Chaucer and Gower are explained by conclusion that Gower is associated with Kent and Suffolk. [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. 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