John Gower

Karen Elaine Smyth (University of East Anglia)
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With Geoffrey Chaucer and William Langland, John Gower is one of the most important poets of the English Middle Ages. His renown rests on his numerous short lyrics and the four poems known as the

Mirour de l'Omme


Vox Clamantis


Cronica Tripertita

[also called

Cronica Tripartita

, i.e. the Tripartite Chronicle], and

Confessio Amantis

. Very little is known of Gower's life, but his work is of impressive scope, being written in French, Latin and English, in genres ranging from love lyrics to didactic poems, and addressing religious, political, historical and moral themes. However, the critical heritage has not always compared the poet favourably with his contemporaries because of his reputation as “moral Gower” – his poetry has an overriding concern to censure the vices of the secular…

2067 words

Citation: Smyth, Karen Elaine. "John Gower". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 April 2008 [, accessed 25 July 2024.]

1825 John Gower 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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