An Introduction to the Gawain Poet
By: John M. Bowers (author)Hardback
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An impressive and challenging survey of the five poems attributed to the poet known as the Gawain-poet. Bowers presents the principal critical issues in Gawain, Pearl, Cleanness, Patience, and St. Erkenwald, with special attention to the poems relation to contemporary political and social events. J. Stephen Russell, Hofstra UniversityIn An Introduction to the Gawain Poet, John Bowers surveys an expanded selection of the works of Chaucer s anonymous contemporary, considering Sir Gawain and the Green Knight alongside the poet s lesser known but no less brilliant works. In addition to his succinct introductions and plot summaries, Bowers skillfully details the cultural, historical, political, and religious contexts for these works, synthesizing them with close reading of selected passages. Perhaps his most exciting contribution to the field is his choice to historicize the poet s life and works in the context of the royal culture of King Richard II, boldly contending that it was highly possible the Gawain Poet was a frequent visitor to Richard s court in London. The final chapter surveys the works influenced by, as well as the influences reflected in, the poet s work, from the Bible to The Lord of the Rings. The attention Bowers pays to the critical tradition that has developed around these texts over the past hundred years makes An Introduction to the Gawain Poet an ideal volume for both undergraduate students and scholars of the Gawain Poet. Bowers has marshaled his formidable skills to create a book impressive in its balanced combination of breadth and depth."
John M. Bowers is professor of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the author of five books, including Chaucer and Langland: The Antagonistic Tradition.
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- ID: 9780813040158
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