Five Fascinating Facts about John Gower

Interesting Literature

Fun facts about the life and work of an overlooked medieval English poet

1. John Gower appears as the Chorus to Shakespeare’s Pericles. In Pericles, Prince of Tyre, written by William Shakespeare and (probably) George Wilkins, ‘Gower’ appears at the start of the play to introduce the scene. When Shakespeare (and his collaborator) wrote Pericles, John Gower (c. 1330-1408) was slightly better known: throughout the fifteenth century and arguably later, he was seen as one of the twin pillars of great English poetry, along with Chaucer – an important founding figure of poetry written in English. But where Chaucer’s reputation has lasted, Gower has suffered relative neglect.

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