Gower Woodcut

Above is a woodcut of John Gower from the title page of "The Painful Adventures of Pericles Prince of Tyre," by George Wilkins (1608). The full title reads: "The Painfull Aduentures of Pericles Prince of Tyre, Being the true History of the Play of Pericles, as it was lately presented by the worthy and ancient Poet Iohn Gower." Wilkins adapts this story of incest and adventure from Book VIII of Gower's "Confessio Amantis" (the Apollonius of Tyre narrative).

You can make out the words "Iohn" and "Gower" just above the poet's shoulders.

Wilkins may have collaborated with Shakespeare to write the play now commonly known as "Pericles, Prince of Tyre." John Gower famously appears as "the Presenter" (narrator) in this play. If you wish, take a look at some photographs of John Gower as he was portrayed in the Royal Shakespeare Company's 1958 and 1969 productions of "Pericles."