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Gower, Richard II and Henry IV


Bennett, M, Gower, Richard II and Henry IV, Historians on John Gower, Brewer, S Rigby (ed), Cambridge, UK, pp. 425-488. ISBN 9781843845379 (2019) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2019 Boydell & Brewer

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John Gower spent much of his life writing for and about Richard II and his nemesis Henry of Lancaster. This chapter reassesses Gower’s views on Richard’s reign by examining the poet’s writings in the context of his background in Kent, his social circle and political connections, the politics of Richard’s reign, and contemporary perceptions of his rule. Key issues here are Gower’s role as mentor to royalty in his letter to Richard in the Vox Clamantis; the dating of the critical comments about the king which Gower added to this text; Gower’s stance in relation to the cause of the Appellants in 1387-8; the dating and significance of the changes which Gower made to the Confessio Amantis, particularly the change of dedication from Richard to Henry; the date of the composition of the three parts of the Cronica Tripertita, in which Gower wrote an account of Richard’s misrule, his tyranny and overthrow; and the misleading nature of modern representations of Gower as a ‘Lancastrian propagandist’.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:John Gower, Richard II, Henry IV, Confessio Amantis, political poetry
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:British history
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology
UTAS Author:Bennett, M (Professor Michael Bennett)
ID Code:143258
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2021-03-09
Last Modified:2021-04-08

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