Title Background

A Welsh Addition to the <i>Piers Plowman</i> Group?

A Welsh Addition to the Piers Plowman Group?

PPl, specifically in the figure of the plowman as ideal Christian, directly influenced a Welsh poem by Iolo Goch (c. 1400) surviving in seventy-five MSS., in which Iolo’s description of the plowman’s gladness at the Last Day, a theme new in Welsh, is paralleled by B.10.456-61. Moreover, plowmen in both poems will be saved if they pay the church its due (the fate of the plowman’s soul is not mentioned by Chaucer), and both poems — but again not Chaucer — mention the plowman’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin. Iolo was educated at the cathedral school of St. Asaph, near the region of the Midlands and the North West where PPl was popular. His tribute to the plowman is more theological than Chaucer’s, less outspoken than WL’s; in no sense radical or unorthodox, it contrasts with most other members of the PPl group.