The French Works: The Ballades.

Nicholson, Peter.

The French Works: The Ballades.

Nicholson, Peter. "The French Works: The Ballades." 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. 312-20.

Gower wrote two ballade sequences, both in French, the "Cinkante balades" and the "Traitié pour essampler les amantz marietz," eighteen ballades. The "cinkante" are mostly love poems in the voice of a man or a woman (312), while the "Traitié" ballades univocally excoriate infidelity in marriage (312-13). For both sequences, date of composition and source(s) have been debated, with recent scholarship noting the possible influence of Christine de Pizan (313, 316). Displaying its author's sophisticated command of the fourteenth-century French lyric tradition (314-15), the CB includes an encomium to the new King Henry IV (312). The "Traitié"--despite the reference in most MSS to Gower's impending marriage of 1398--has inspired a scholarly debate as to its original date and intended audience (315-17). [LBB. Copyright. The John Gower Society. eJGN 37.2.]


Gower Subjects
Cinkante Balades
Traité pour Essampler les Amants Marietz
Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations