John Gower wrote in three languages - Latin, French, and English - and their considerable and sometimes competing significance in fourteenth-century England underlies his trilingualism. The essays collected in this volume start from Gower as trilingual poet, exploring Gower's negotiations between them - his adaptation of French sources into his Latin poetry, for example - as well as the work of medieval translators who made Gower's French poetry available in English. "Translation" is also considered more broadly, as a "carrying over" (its etymological sense) between genres, registers, and contexts, with essays exploring Gower's acts of translation between the idioms of varied literary and non-literary forms; and further essays investigate Gower's writings from literary, historical, linguistic, and codicological perspectives. Overall, the volume bears witness to Gower's merit and his importance to English literary history, and increases our understanding of French and Latin literature composed in England; it also makes it possible to understand and to appreciate fully the shape and significance of Gower's literary achievement and influence, which have sometimes suffered in comparison to Chaucer.
Elisabeth Dutton is Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford.
Contributors: Elisabeth Dutton, Jean Pascal Pouzet, Ethan Knapp, Carolyn P. Collette, Elliot Kendall, Robert R. Edwards, George Shuffleton, Nigel Saul, David Carlson, Candace Barrington, Andreea Boboc, Tamara F. O'Callaghan, Stephanie Batkie, Karla Taylor, Brian Gastle, Matthew Irvin, Peter Nicholson, J.A. Burrow, Holly Barbaccia, Kim Zarins, Richard F. Green, Cathy Hume, John Bowers, Andrew Galloway, R.F. Yeager, Martha Driver