The Politics and Psychology of Governance in Gower: Ideas of Kingship and Real Kings

Author/Editor
Peck, Russell A

Title
The Politics and Psychology of Governance in Gower: Ideas of Kingship and Real Kings

Published
Peck, Russell A. "The Politics and Psychology of Governance in Gower: Ideas of Kingship and Real Kings." In A Companion to Gower. Ed. Echard, Siân. Cambridge: Brewer, 2004, pp. 215-38.

Review
Peck summarizes the argument on the relation between personal and political governance in all of Gower's work, particularly in CA, that he first put forth in his "Kingship and Common Profit" in 1978: "Gower conceives of the hypostasis between the personal and social through images of kingship, domain, and right rule. Each--the social and the personal--is contingent upon the other and operates through metaphoric interdependence. The king of England is akin to the king of the soul; the state of England is linked to one's sense of personal domain; and right rule is mirrored simultaneously through both sides of the equation" (216). In the longer, second part of his essay, Peck traces Gower's commentary on the effects of royal misrule through VC, MO, TC, and "IPP," and he offers a new attempt to read the dedication of CA to "Henry of Lancaster" as a rejection of King Richard II motivated by Richard's dispute with the city of London in 1392 (cf. Fisher, 116-22). (The reasons for the second dedication are an issue on which Gower scholars are not yet of a single mind. For an assortment of views, see in the same volume pp. 26, 57, 61, 94 n. 45, and 159.) [PN. Copyright. The John Gower Society. JGN 24.1]

Date
2004

Gower Subjects
Confessio Amantis
Mirour de l’Omme (Speculum Meditantis)
Vox Clamantis
Cronica Tripertita
In Praise of Peace