Oct 13, 2022 - Sale 2617

Sale 2617 - Lot 200

Price Realized: $ 23,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 7,000 - $ 9,000
Gower, John (1325?-1408)
De Confessione Amantis.

London: Thomas Bertelette, 1532.

Second edition, small folio, title page printed within decorative woodcut border copied from master printer Geoffroy Tory; text in black letter, double columns, early signature of a John Man, with other contemporary notations by a John Smyth and Edward Hertford; bound in full 19th century russia, neatly gilt ruled and lettered on spine with triple-fillet ruled boards; ex libris John William Cole and W.R. Jeudwine, sold in the latter's sale as lot 71 on 18 September 1984; with bookplates; lacking final blank i6; 11 3/4 x 7 3/4 in.

A treasure of 14th century Middle English poetry, along with works of the Pearl poet, Chaucer, and Langland, Gower's Confessio Amantis, or Lover's Confession, is a framed narrative. It consists of some 33,000 lines, and contains a series of shorter tales. The lover wanders in misery in the forest. He calls for the help of Venus and Cupid, who appear and ask to hear his tale, and thus begins his confession. Inspired in part by Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy, Gower's work is often read alongside the Canterbury Tales and Boccaccio's Decameron.

STC 12143; Pforzheimer 421; Langland to Wither 96; ESTC S106702.

From the Ken Rapoport Collection.