Chaucer's Decameron and the Origin of the Canterbury Tales.
- Biggs, Frederick M.
- Chaucer's Decameron and the Origin of the Canterbury Tales.
- Biggs, Frederick M. Chaucer's Decameron and the Origin of the Canterbury Tales. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2017. ISBN 9781843844754.
- Biggs seeks to establish Chaucer's direct reliance on Boccaccio's Decameron for inspiration and for narratives in the Canterbury Tales. Gower figures prominently, especially in chapter 1, in a section sub-titled "The Canon' Yeoman's Prologue and Tale and Gower's Confessio Amantis" (32-42), and chapter 5, entitled "The Wife of Bath's Tale and the Tale of Florent" (178-227). Much of Biggs' rangy argument about Chaucer's use of the Decameron relies on establishing composition dates for various tales. It is important for his case to show that Gower's discussion of alchemy in Book IV was revised—and criticized—by Chaucer into the CYT. In Biggs' view Gower considered alchemy a true science (because Genius says so), and in mocking that notion Chaucer continued a "Quarrel" between the two (much debated of yore) that had begun with Chaucer's satirical portrait of Gower as the Man of Law, and a "sharp criticism" of Gower in the WBT—which, Biggs claims (relying in part on Tyrwhitt), Chaucer crafted out of the "Tale of Florent" to condemn "Gower's moral blindness to rape" and his failure "to treat the stories of others and women honestly," albeit that—in Biggs' view—Chaucer thought Gower had the capability to do so (214-15)." [RFY. Copyright. John Gower Society. eJGN 36.2]
- Gower Subjects
- Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations