George Gascoigne



The Complete Works of George Gascoigne, ed. John W. Cunliffe, 2 vols (Cambridge, 1907-10).


George Gascoigne, A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres, ed. G.W. Pigman III (Oxford, 2000)


George Gascoigne, A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres, ed. C.T. Prouty, University of Missouri Studies, 17 (Columbia, 1942).

Prouty's biography

C.T. Prouty, George Gascoigne: Elizabethan Courtier, Soldier, and Poet (New York, 1942).


None of the works attributed wholly or in part to Gascoigne in Cunliffe is known to survive in the author's hand. Of scribal manuscripts, the most important are the copies that Gascoigne presented to Queen Elizabeth of Hemetes the Hermit (*GaG 4) and The Grief of Joye (GaG 3), the former signed and with some drawings probably in his hand. Beside these two manuscripts, an early copy of Jocasta is preserved (GaG 6), and there is an early copy of the anonymous English version of Hemetes (GaG 5). The only other manuscripts of Gascoigne's works are verse extracts in miscellanies.

For an argument that two poems in a miscellany compiled by Edward Pudsey (1573-1613) may perhaps be attributed to Gascoigne on stylistic evidence, see Juliet Mary Gowan, An Edition of Edward Pudsey's Commonplace Book (c.1600-1615) (unpublished M. Phil., University of London, 1967). These poems are verses beginning ‘Pleasure on whome senses as seruants wayt’ (Bodleian, MS Eng. poet. d. 3, f. 1v) and ‘Dy dy desire and bid delight adew’ (ibid, f. 2). They have not been given separate entries below.


Three original letters by Gascoigne can be recorded, written to Lord Burghley and to Sir Nicholas Bacon (GaG 7-9), the last notable for its semi-calligraphic verses and drawing of two men with horses. This is the only known survivor of what was evidently a series of emblematic letters that Gascoigne sent to all his ‘lordes and good frendes in Cowrte’.


Two printed books and a manuscript volume apparently owned by Gascoigne are recorded below (GaG 10-12). Various other documents relating to Gascoigne's life are cited in B.M. Ward, ‘George Gascoigne and his Circle’, Review of English Studies, 2 (1926), 32-4, and in Prouty's biography. A printed exemplum of The Whole woorkes of George Gascoigne (London, 1587) in the British Library (C.34.f.8) has three leaves at the end containing manuscript copies of additional poems by Gascoigne transcribed from printed sources; the hand is probably that of an eighteenth-century scholar. For Gabriel Harvey's exemplum of The Posies of George Gascoigne Esquire (1575), see *HvG 89. A copy of Gascoignes Lullabie, beginning ‘Sing lullabie, as women do’ (Prouty, p. 150; Pigman, pp. 272-3) in the Folger (MS V.a.339, f. 181r) is a forgery by J.P. Collier: see Giles E. Dawson, ‘John Payne Collier's Great Forgery’, SB, 24 (1971), 1-26 (pp. 10-11).

Peter Beal