Elegant edition of fables by John Gay, with the life of the author


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Published on
Dec 31, 1796
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'Gamesters and Highwaymen are generally very good to their Whores, but they are very Devils to their Wives.' With The Beggar's Opera (1728), John Gay created one of the most enduringly popular works in English theatre history, and invented a new dramatic form, the ballad opera. Gay's daring mixture of caustic political satire, well-loved popular tunes, and a story of crime and betrayal set in the urban underworld of prostitutes and thieves was an overnight sensation. Captain Macheath and Polly Peachum have become famous well beyond the confines of Gay's original play, and in its sequel, Polly, banned in Gay's lifetime, their adventures continue in the West Indies. With a cross-dressing heroine and a cast of female adventurers, pirates, Indian princes, rebel slaves, and rapacious landowners, Polly lays bare a culture in which all human relationships are reduced to commercial transactions. Raucous, lyrical, witty, ironic and tragic by turns, The Beggar's Opera and Polly - published together here for the first time - offer a scathing and ebullient portrait of a society in which statesmen and outlaws, colonialists and pirates, are impossible to tell apart. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
An eighteenth century poet and dramatist, John Gay is best remembered for ‘The Beggar's Opera’ (1728), a ballad opera featuring the characters Captain Macheath and Polly Peachum, who swiftly became household names. Gay’s refined and satirical poetry was much influenced by his close friend Alexander Pope. His first important poem, ‘Rural Sports’, is a descriptive and didactic work in two short books dealing with hunting and fishing, as well as meditations on the Horatian theme of retirement. Gay’s finest poem, ‘Trivia: or, The Art of Walking the Streets of London’ (1716), displays an assured craftsmanship in which rhythm and diction portrays the many experiences he describes. Other notable poems include ‘The Shepherd’s Week’ (1714), a series of mock classical poems in a pastoral setting and the ‘Fables’ (1727), structured as octosyllabic illustrations of moral themes, often satirical in tone. The Delphi Poets Series offers readers the works of literature’s finest poets, with superior formatting. This volume presents Gay’s complete poetical works, with related illustrations and the usual Delphi bonus material. (Version 1)

* Beautifully illustrated with images relating to Gay’s life and works

* Concise introduction to Gay’s life and poetry

* Complete poetical works of John Gay, based on the Lawrence and Bullen Edition, 1893

* Includes Gay’s famous plays, including all of the ballad operas

* Images of how the poetry books were first printed, giving your eReader a taste of the original texts

* Excellent formatting of the poems

* Special alphabetical contents tables for the poetry

* Easily locate the poems you want to read

* Includes Gay’s letters — spend hours exploring the poet’s personal correspondence

* Gay’s important prose pamphlet ‘The Present State of Wit’

* Features two biographies, including Samuel Johnson’s famous account of Gay’s life — discover the poet’s intriguing past

* Scholarly ordering of texts into chronological order and literary genres

Please visit www.delphiclassics.com to see our wide range of poet titles


The Life and Poetry of John Gay

Brief Introduction: John Gay

Complete Poetical Works of John Gay

List of Poems in Alphabetical Order

The Dramatic Works

The Mohocks

Three Hours after Marriage

The Beggar’s Opera


Acis and Galatea


The Letters

List of Letters

The Pamphlet

The Present State of Wit

The Biographies

Gay by Samuel Johnson

John Gay by Henry Austin Dobson

Please visit www.delphiclassics.com to browse through our range of poetry titles or buy the entire Delphi Poets Series as a Super Set

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