Gower, John

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Gower, John

(gou`ər, gôr), 1330?–1408, English poet. He was the best-known contemporary and friend of Chaucer, who addressed him as "Moral Gower," at the end of Troilus and Criseyde. Apparently he was a Kentish landowner who lived in London until his last years, when he became blind and retired as a layman to the priory of St. Mary Overey. In the 15th and 16th cent. Gower was frequently paired with Chaucer as a master of English poetry. Each of his three major works, characterized by metrical smoothness and serious moral criticism, was written in a different language. Speculum Meditantis (or Miroir de l'omme, 28,603 French octosyllabic lines, written before 1381) is an allegorical manual of the vices and virtues; Vox Clamantis (10,265 Latin elegiac verses, written c.1381) expresses horror at the Peasants' Revolt led by Wat Tyler and goes on to condemn the baseness of all classes of society; Confessio Amantis, Gower's masterpiece (c.34,000 English lines, written c.1390) is a collection of stories that illustrate the Seven Deadly Sins. Among his minor works are Cinkante Ballades, which are love poems in French, and In Praise of Peace, a poem in English.


See his complete works (ed. by G. C. Macaulay, 4 vol., 1899–1902); selections, ed. by R. A. Peck (1968); studies by J. H. Fisher (1964) and R. A. Peck (1978); bibliography by R. F. Yeager (1981).

References in periodicals archive ?
John Gower, uncle of former England captain, was a naval commander who captained HMS Swift on convoys to Russia, which was considered by Winston Churchill as "the worst journey in the world", the Independent reported.
As well as John Gower the historical author of the work, there is the Gower who is named as such in the Latin glosses: there is also the celebrated identification of Amans as Gower towards the end of the work.
Kathryn McKinley also shows how Ovid emboldened another medieval poet, John Gower, in his Confessio Amantis, this time to attempt a moral transformation in his royal reader, Richard II, by using Ovid's tales of Tereus and Philomela and Jason and Medea to warn against perfidy.
In place of the living dramatist or dramatists whom the text never mentions, the prologue to Pericles offers us the medieval English poet John Gower, one of the sources for the play, who maintains that he has returned "from ashes" to "sing a song" he claims as "my rhymes.
John Gower, operations director at SBS Commercial, said: "We sell more businesses in the Midlands than anywhere else in the UK.
Enillwyd y ddwy nofel (swmpus) gan Patrick McGuinness a John Gower ac enillodd Richard Gwyn ac Allan James am lyfrau ffeithiol.
Un o gymeriadau eraill Llanelli oedd yn ddylanwad mawr ar Jon oedd ei dadcu, Thomas John Gower.
While many banks today maintain high fees and low yields for introductory accounts, BBVA Compass offers its customers a range of excellent consumer products with easy access to their money," said John Gower, senior analyst for NerdWallet.
IN THE 14th century John Gower, a member of the Gower family who held the manor of Ingleby, was a speech writer for Edward III along with Chaucer.
Pittsburgh was beaten by Cincinnati only because of the bank fees parameter, said John Gower, chief of NerdWallet.
A quick dip into the Middle English Dictionary would have led him to Julian's contemporary John Gower, who wrote, "As seint Gregoire it wrot and sayde, / Al was behovely to the man: / For that wherof his wo began / Was after cause oral his welthe" (John Gower, Confessio Amantis, ed.