Excerpt from The Complete Works of John Gower, Vol. 4
To write anything like a biography of Gower, with the materials that exist, is an impossibility. Almost the only authentic records of him, apart from his writings, are his marriage-licence, his will, and his tomb in St. Sa... viour's Church; and it was this last which furnished most of the material out of which the early accounts of the poet were composed. A succession of writers from Leland down to Todd contribute hardly anything except guesswork, and this is copied by each from his predecessors with little or no pretence of criticism. Some of them, as Berthelette and Stow, describe from their own observation the tomb with its effigy and inscriptions, as it actually was in their time, and these descriptions supply us with positive information of some value, but the rest is almost entirely worthless.
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