Herschel Gower, a native of Nashville, was born in 1919. He received his B.A. from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee and his master and doctorate degrees from Vanderbilt University. He spent 1954 - 1956 at the University of Edinburgh on a Fulbright Scholarship and has maintained a lifelong interest in Scottish culture and history.
He began his teaching career at Vanderbilt in 1956 in the English department and was awarded the title Professor Emeritus before his retirement from Vanderbilt in 1985. He taught courses in the ballad, the lyric, and American literature.
During his academic career he was a lecturer in the Vanderbilt in France study abroad program and at the University of Leeds for the Vanderbilt in England program.
Professor Gower is the author and editor of a number of books including:
Pen and Sword: The Life and Journals of Randal W. McGavock (1959)
The Sense of Fiction (1966)
The Hawk’s Done Gone and Other Stories by Mildred Haun (ed. 1968)
Beersheba Springs: A History and A Celebration (1983)
Faces in a Nashville Arcade (1983)
Jeannie Robertson: Emergent Singer, Transformative Voice (1995)
Charles Dahlgren of Natchez: The Civil War and Dynastic Decline (2002)
He has contributed articles and poems to scholarly publications, magazines, and newspapers, many with a focus on Tennessee history.
At present he is a free-lance writer and lectures at the Athena Foundation, a non-profit organization, started by his wife Dona. They live in Dallas, Texas and have a home in Beersheba Springs, Tennessee.