Iberian Gower

Authored by: Clara Pascual-Argente

The Routledge Research Companion to John Gower

Print publication date:  April  2017
Online publication date:  March  2017

Print ISBN: 9781472435804
eBook ISBN: 9781315613109
Adobe ISBN: 9781317043034


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The existence of two Iberian versions of John Gower’s Confessio Amantis, the Portuguese Livro do Amante and the Castilian Confisyon del Amante, has been widely known to scholars since at least the nineteenth century. 1 , 2 However, and in spite of the significance of the Iberian Confessios as two of the earliest examples – if not the earliest – of translations of vernacular English poetry into continental vernacular languages, research on them was scant until recently. This was due to a combination of factors: the relative obscurity of Gower in English literary history for most of the twentieth century; the persistent consideration of translated works as lacking in specific literary and cultural value; the traditional marginal position of the Iberian Peninsula within the field of medieval studies; and the fact that all copies of the Portuguese translation seemed to have disappeared. The tide has turned in the past two decades, during which time studies on Gower, translation, and medieval Iberia have all started to gain much deserved prominence. The discovery in 1995 of a manuscript containing the Portuguese translation at the Real Biblioteca [Royal Library] in Madrid has provided the definitive impulse, opening even more avenues for new scholarship. 3

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