Venus' Owne Clerk: Chaucer's Debt to the Confessio Amantis

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Rodopi, 2007 - 477 pages
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Venus' Owne Clerk: Chaucer's Debt to the “Confessio Amantis” will appeal to all those who value a bit of integration of Chaucer and Gower studies. It develops the unusual theme that theCanterbury Tales were signally influenced by John Gower's Confessio Amantis, resulting in a set-up which is entirely different from the one announced in theGeneral Prologue. Lindeboom seeks to show that this results from Gower's call, at the end of his first redaction of theConfessio, for a work similar to his – a testament of love. Much of the argument centres upon the Wife of Bath and the Pardoner, who are shown to follow Gower's lead by both engaging in confessing to all the Seven Deadly Sins while preaching a typically fourteenth-century sermon at the same time. While not beyond speculation at times, the author offers his readers a well-documented and tantalizing glimpse of Chaucer turning away from his original concept for theCanterbury Tales and realigning them along lines far closer to Gower.
 

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Contents

Chaucers Changing Design of the Canterbury Tales
3
Towards Composing a Testament of Love
45
The Sergeant and Man of Law as Gower
123
The Testament of Love
147
Confession Sin and the Wife of Bath
227
The Pardoners Confession of Sin
295
The Wife of Baths Sermon
319
The Pardoners Double Sermon
395
Conclusion
437
Reference
461
Register
475
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