, Volume 92, Issue 2, pp 351-358
Date: 12 Jun 2007

Did Chaucer know the ballad of Glen Kindy?

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Abstract

This paper argues that the contexts in which Geoffrey Chaucer (in The House of Fame) and Gavin Douglas (in The Palice of Honour) refer to the legendary Welsh harper Glascurion (or Glaskeryane) suggest that they may well have known a story about him close to that of the surviving ballad Glasgerion (also called Glen Kindy). Chaucer implies that Glasgerion’s music gave him power over the physical world, and links his name with apprentice harpers, while Douglas associates him with the music of love—all details exemplified in the later ballad tradition.