John Gower and London English

Smith, Jeremy J

John Gower and London English

Smith, Jeremy J. "John Gower and London English." In A Companion to Gower. Ed. Echard, Siân. Cambridge: Brewer, 2004, pp. 61-72.

Provides a brief but comprehensible account of what we know of Gower's language--a mixture of Kentish and Suffolk forms (consistent with Gower's family background) that would have been "fairly easily accommodated" (69) within the great variety of London speech at the time but that might have struck some as a bit old-fashioned--and equally helpfully, of how we know it. Smith also points to the remarkably conservative character of scribes' spelling habits in the later MSS of CA as an example of the perpetuation of one of several competing "standard" forms of the language, this one serving the very specific purpose of disseminating Gower's text. [PN. Copyright. The John Gower Society. JGN 24.1]


Gower Subjects
Language and Word Studies
Manuscripts and Textual Studies