Illuminations in Gower's Manuscripts.

Coleman, Joyce.

Illuminations in Gower's Manuscripts.

Coleman, Joyce. "Illuminations in Gower's Manuscripts." In Ana Sáez-Hidalgo, Brian Gastle, and R. F. Yeager, eds. The Routledge Research Companion to John Gower (Oxford and New York: Routledge, 2017), pp. 117-131.

Gower "seems to have been the first English literary author to create an illustration program for his work," and the first in English to use illustrations "which feature an author-persona as part of a story's action" (117). For the VC, he commissioned the picture of an archer shooting an arrow at the world, underscoring his self-conceived, Bible-based role as a preacher and prophet excoriating abuses (118-21). For the CA, he used the statue from the dream of Nebuchadnezzar to picture the world's decline (121), and the highly self-conscious image of the author as Amans confessing to Genius (124-26). Two late manuscripts have more illuminations, in one case alleged to especially feature women (126). [LBB. Copyright. The John Gower Society. eJGN 37.2.]


Gower Subjects
Manuscripts and Textual Studies
Vox Clamantis
Confessio Amantis